Snapshot of Scotland's population in the year 2012


Key statistics about the make-up of Scotland's population have been drawn together by the National Records of Scotland.

The figures paint a picture of births, deaths, marriages, migration and Scotland's population.

Scotland in 2012

SOURCE: 158th edition of the Registrar General's Annual Review of Demographic Trends

  • The estimated population of Scotland on 30 June 2012 was 5,313,600, the highest ever.
  • The number of people in Scotland had risen by about 13,700 from the figure 12 months earlier.
  • The age profile of the population was: 17% aged under 16, 66% aged 16 to 64, 17% aged 65 and over.
  • There were 58,027 births registered in Scotland in 2012.
  • This was 563 (1.0%) fewer than in the year before, the fourth year the number has fallen.
  • The average age of mothers increased from 27.4 in 1991 to 29.7 in 2012.
  • The average age of fathers has increased from 30.0 to 32.5.
  • There were 54,937 deaths registered in Scotland in 2012 - 1,276 (2.4%) more than in 2011.
  • The main causes of deaths were: cancer (29%), heart disease (14%) and respiratory diseases (13%).
  • There were 274 stillbirths and 217 infant deaths in 2012. Death rates for both have improved significantly.
  • Based on 2001 Census population estimates, life expectancy in Scotland has improved greatly over the past 25 years.
  • Life expectancy is 69.1 years for men and 75.3 years for women born around 1981.
  • It now stands at 76.1 years for men and 80.6 years for women born around 2010.
People dancing
  • In the year to 30 June, 45,100 people came to Scotland from the rest of the UK and 42,100 people left Scotland for other parts of the UK.
  • In the same time, 35,900 people came to Scotland from overseas and 26,200 people left Scotland to go overseas.
  • This movement of people increased the population by about 9,700, lower than the net gains from recent years.
  • There were 30,534 marriages in Scotland in 2012, including 7,259 (24%) where neither the bride nor groom lived in Scotland.
  • The average age at which people marry for the first time has increased by about two years since 2002, to 32.9 years for men and 31.0 years for women.
  • Just over half of all marriages (51%) were civil ceremonies. In 2012 there were 574 civil partnerships.
  • In 2012, there were 495 adoptions recorded in Scotland.
  • The number of adoptions each year is about a quarter of what it used to be in the early 1970s.
Mother and child
  • In mid-2012, there were 2.39 million households in Scotland, which is an increase of about 175,000 over the past 10 years.
  • The rise is the result of an ageing population and more people living alone or in smaller households, as well as an increase in the population.
  • There are higher proportions of flats in urban and more deprived areas. The average number of rooms is lower in more deprived and urban areas.

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