Each side of the debate also sought to discredit the figures put forward by their opponents.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said the Treasury's calculations had been "blown to smithereens", while Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander accused SNP ministers of offering voters a "bogus bonus".
13% more tax needed to maintain independent Scotland public services, or...
11% cut in public services needed to keep current tax levels
£1.5bn-£2.7bn estimated cost of restructuring Scotland's institutions
Note: Figs relate to a 20-year period starting from 2016-17 Source: Treasury
A new Scottish government paper said an independent Scotland would begin life with its public finances in a "strong" position, and could see its economy £5bn per year better off by 2029-30.
Mr Salmond said Scotland was one of the world's wealthiest countries, but needed the powers of independence to realise its full potential.
He told the BBC: "We put forward the benefit over a period of 15 years. We calculate that as each individual in Scotland being £1,000 better off - that's a £5bn bonus, or a family £2,000 better off a year."
The Scottish government paper said:
Scotland's finances in 2016-17 will be similar to, or stronger than, both the UK and the G7 industrialised countries as a whole.
Scotland's public finances show debt on a downward trajectory, enabling future Scottish governments to start an oil savings fund.
Scotland's estimated debt to GDP ratio in 2016-17 is forecast to be lower than the UK's under any potential outcome of negotiation with the UK over public sector assets and liabilities.
Scotland's fiscal position between 2008-09 and 2012-13 is estimated to have been worth £8.3bn, equivalent to £1,600 per person.
An independent Scotland could see tax income increase by £2,4bn a year by 2029-30, under a predicted 0.3% productivity increase.
A 3.3% increase in Scotland's employment rate would move it up to the level of the top five performing countries in the OECD and could increase revenues by £1.3bn a year, by 2029-30.
14% increase in oil and gas production between 2013-18
Tax receipts currently 14% higher in Scotland than UK
Source: Scottish government
The first minister said his government's calculations were "based on reason and logic", as he hit out at UK government claims it could cost up to £2.7bn for an independent Scotland to set up the public bodies it needed, which made use of London School of Economics research.
LSE academic Patrick Dunleavy later posted on his Twitter account: "UK Treasury press release on Scotland costs of government badly misrepresents LSE research."
Mr Salmond added: "Danny Alexander's calculations have been blown to smithereens, because the Treasury relied on the work of the LSE professor, Professor Dunleavy, who this morning has accused them of grossly misrepresenting his work."
But Mr Alexander branded the Scottish government's £5bn figure a "bogus bonus", adding: "They're desperately trying to distract attention from that fundamental question, that there simply wouldn't be the same level of resources available for public services if Scotland were independent."
The Treasury published its own paper outlining what the UK government sees as challenges to an independent Scotland, including an ageing population, declining oil revenues and the potential for higher interest rates.
Scotland in numbers
What is Scotland's population?
What is Scotland's share of the national debt?
How does pay in Scotland compare with England, Wales and NI?
Mr Alexander said: "Today we have shown that, by staying together, Scotland's future will be safer, with stronger finances and a more progressive society.
"Because as a United Kingdom we can pool resources and share risks. It means a UK dividend of £1,400 a year for every man, woman and child in Scotland.
"That dividend is our share of a more prosperous future. It is the money that will pay for better public services and a fairer society."
The Treasury analysis said:
Scotland, as part of the UK, was projected to be able to have lower tax or higher spending than under independence. This "UK Dividend" is estimated to be worth £1,400 per person in Scotland in each year from 2016-17 onwards.
Under independence, the loss of the UK Dividend would mean £1,400 per year for each Scottish person in higher taxes and lower public spending.
The "direct costs" of independence would include higher interest rates for an independent Scottish state to borrow, the net costs of setting up new institutions, and the net costs of funding the Scottish government's White Paper policies (including the potential economic benefits).
If the UK debt was split according to population at the end of 2015-16, an independent Scotland would take on debt of about 74% of its GDP, which could reach "unsustainable levels without policy action".
ANALYSIS - BBC Scotland political editor Brian Taylor
What is the £1,400 Union dividend?
Well, the UK Treasury says it's per person and would come into play at the onset of independence. It takes into account higher public spending borne by Scotland alone; lower oil revenues than Scottish government forecasts; a disproportionately ageing population; set-up costs of independence and the net effect of policies in the White Paper, such as a reduction in corporation tax. To counter that, Scotland would benefit from having a geographical share of North Sea oil, rather than having it shared across the UK as a whole.
So, what is the breakdown per head? The first six figures show costs to be added to Scotland's account (hence the plus). The seventh, about oil share, is a cost to be removed from Scotland's account (hence the negative).
Lower UK borrowing +£47
Set-up costs and net effects of Work and Pensions policies avoided +£261
Caithness ballot boxes held up by 1.5 hours because of an accident on the A9 at Berriedale Braes blackspot.
The ballot boxes are now expected at the count in Dingwall at about 03:00.
East Dunbartonshire is declaring that 97% of postal votes have been returned.
There has been a 95% turnout for postal votes in Clackmannanshire.
Sandy Buchanan, 53, said he was glad to witness the count. "It seems like the logical conclusion to what's been a remarkable campaign," he said.
His sister, Elizabeth Buchanan, 49, added: "Normally you just put your cross on the paper and that's it. Watching it makes you really feel part of it."
East Renfrewshire now expecting to finish verifying the votes here at 00:30 now rather than midnight. That's when we'll get turnout figures.
Martyn Mclaughlin of the Scotsman tweets: Some 90% of postal votes returned in Edinburgh. Word from hacks in Ingleston is it's looking like a No #indyref
Some Better Together campaigners say the result in Clackmannanshire may be better for them than they'd hoped. A "Yes" vote had been widely expected here.
The Highland Council: Highland Counting Officer expects some delay in receiving ballot boxes from north following A9 road closure by RTC.
Labour MP Thomas Doherty, spokesman for the No Campaign in Fife, has said he is confident that Fife will be a "No", based on the latest YouGov poll.
He said Kirkcaldy would be the key part of the region to watch as "Yes" could do well there, but they would have to be ahead of "No" by some margin to dent Dunfermline, North East and West Fife where he said the "No" vote was solid.
"Yes" could do well in Glenrothes due to the town being representated by SNP MSP Patricia Marwick, he added.
It has been suggested that the count result here could be later than 04:00 and closer to 06:00.
Scotland's only Conservative MP, David Mundell, is at the count in Dumfries and says the boxes from Stranraer were not expected until 01:00.
He told BBC Scotland: "Everybody recognises that if there is a Yes vote in Dumfries and Galloway then Scotland will be independent so I'm expecting a No vote. The initial signs here are encouraging but we have such a high turnout, so many people who don't normally vote, it is very difficult to make predictions.
"It is a huge turnout. Particularly in some of the rural areas. In one of the boxes 100% of the people who have been available to vote have done so."
Official figures from Clackmannanshire put the turnout at 89%.
The first official statement of the number of ballot papers found in the ballot boxes has come from Orkney. This shows 84% of voters have cast a ballot.
The evidence from throughout Scotland is of a large, indeed a phenomenal, turnout. A series of questions arise from that.
1. Will this benefit one side or the other?
That depends upon differential turnout. Is one side or the other feeling more motivated, more inclined to participate? It had been thought that the more motivated side would be Yes. It had been thought this could be worth 1% or 2% in the final tally.
However, at these huge levels of interest, that may be open to challenge. It seems that the entirety of Scotland is engaged. We shall see.
Former Scottish first minister Henry McLeish said he had been a "reluctant" No voter.
The former Labour MP and MSP said he had been "intensely annoyed" by the No campaign's approach of "fear and scare".
He said: "There is an old Scottish word - thrawn - which essentially means the more you tell people they can't do something, the more they are likely to say 'I might want to do it'."
Alistair Carmichael, who is Lib Dem MP for Orkney and Shetland, calls for more powers for Scotland's islands and alleges "Alex Salmond runs the most centralised government in western Europe right now."
SNP MSP Humza Yousaf tells the BBC he does not foresee new powers from Westminster "coming at all".
Counting is well under way at Alloa Town Hall. Election officials say they have packed in as many staff as the hall will take.
Speaking at the Ingliston count, Cat Boyd, of the Radical Independence grassroots campaign, says they had organised buses to get people to polling stations, but found that when she was in Glasgow's Drumchapel area earlier, many people said they'd been out to vote already.
She says there's been "phenomenal" support for independence in communities that the polling companies don't reach.
Lib Dem MSP for Shetland, Tavish Scott, told the BBC: "The sheer weight of the vote is at a scale that none of us who have stood at elections over a number of years have ever seen before.
"That's a good sign but we are therefore in uncharted waters."
Laurens Zhang from Kilmacolm has been fascinated by the whole voting and counting process.
The 16-year-old pupil at St Columba's voted "No" today.
He said: "The atmosphere in the sixth-year common room was amazing. Everyone was buzzing. It's good to see so many young people taking an interest in politics."
Former UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband tweets: Wonderful to hear of 80/90 per cent turnouts in #indyref. Scots have taught us all a lesson in democracy.
Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael tells the BBC: "It is now for the English to have the debate that we've had in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland."
This could mean an English Parliament, city regions or regional assemblies, but it is "not for me to tell them", he adds.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson sounds a note of caution about polls, arguing that opinion pollsters might be the "losers" in the referendum campaign.
"They haven't had a touch or a feel for Scotland," she tells the BBC. "They've tried to weight it to party politics and it just doesn't work."
Counting officer Alex Haswell tells 175 counters in Dumfries they're "taking part in history" #indyref
Flemish nationalists have been on the streets of Brussels putting candles down on the Scottish flag. There is less enthusiasm for independence among EU politicians, however.
Black is clearly in fashion at the North Ayrshire count!
SNP MSP Fiona Hyslop told the BBC the people of Scotland had been on a journey.
She said: "There are people who have voted for the first time, people in their fifties and sixties. The turnout will be something quite staggering.
"In terms of what that means, politics has changed as a result of the referendum."
To quote BBC Reporter Sam Poling at Midlothian: "It's a plateau of tension."
Labour MP Douglas Alexander said the story of the early part of the evening was the "enormous turnout".
"We should all feel both extraordinary pride and a certain humility when it comes to a turnout of this scale because it is literally unprecedented," he said.
"Predictions at this stage need to be taken with a barrel of salt not just a punch of salt."
Contrary to what Ruth Davidson said the turnout for Friocheim is not 100 per cent and there were only two ballot boxes #scotlanddecides
Glasgow City Council: All 483 ballot boxes from Glasgow polling stations have arrived at The Emirates arena for #indyref
Labour MP Diane Abbott, speaking to the BBC in Westminster, says that "Labour MPs will be relieved that it looks like we're going to squeak through" with a narrow "No" victory.
Long queue of cars full of ballot boxes waiting outside the Lasswade Centre at the Midlothian count.
The BBC's Laura Bicker reports that 90% of the postal votes have been returned in Edinburgh.
Full official turnout figures for the city will not be known for at least two more hours.
Conservative MP John Redwood tells the BBC's Andrew Neil at Westminster that, if there is a "No" victory, "every power that goes to Scotland must be matched by the same power coming to England".
Veteran Lib Dem politician Lord Steel, who's at the Ingliston count looking dapper as usual, tells me a young voter came up to him in the street in Selkirk this morning.
He was on the way the polling station but still had no idea how he was going to vote.
"It was an experience I've never had in my long years in politics," Lord Steel says, adding: "I made a last-minute conversion."
Prof Charlie Jeffery from the University of Edinburgh said if the reports of 90% turnout were correct they would be "record-breaking".
"The highest ever turnout in Scotland was in Dundee East in 1950 - 88.6%," he said. "The highest Scotland-wide turnout was just over 80% at the UK election in 1951.
"I think we are going to be above that Scottish record and we may even see some places which exceed that Dundee East record."
All ballot boxes have now arrived for Inverclyde count, more than one hour after the polls closed.
YouGov president Peter Kellner, who's at the Ingliston national count, tells me his organisation's latest polling data indicates a "small but consistent" shift from "Yes" to "No" and a "slightly higher determination to vote" among "No" people.
He reckons "No" voters are more frightened of independence than "Yes" voters are of the status quo.
Mr Kellner says his instinct is that, if the latest YouGov survey is wrong, the gap may actually be wider in favour of "No".
Some people here at the count are talking about the experience of the 1995 Quebec referendum, which saw an "emotional swing" to "Yes" when the campaign was going full tilt, but swung back when it was time to fill in the ballot paper, resulting in a (very slim) "No" outcome.
The plane has landed in Benbecula. If the skies stay clear, the boxes should be collected from Uist and Barra and loaded aboard by midnight - ballots should arrive in Stornoway by 00.30.
If the fog closes in again, Plan B is to take them across the Sound of Harris by fishing boat.
If the plane can fly, the count will be done by 02:30. If not, the count would be done by 05:00 or 06:00.
Jim Murphy also said the referendum had shown that votes for 16 and 17-year-olds had taught an important lesson about how engaged young people were. He said he backed votes at 16 across the UK in time for the next general election in May 2015.
There are about 30 members of the public in the balcony of the Albert Halls where the Stirling count is taking place. I first covered an election nearly 40 years ago - October, 1974 - and I've never seen spectators at a count before.
A total of 122 ballot boxes from as far away as Killin and Tyndrum have now all arrived to be counted.
Labour MP Jim Murphy calls the events of today "remarkable" and predicts a "very, very big" No vote in his constituency of East Renfrewshire.
One Yes Campaigner said in one part of Perth he counted turnout at 82% - it's usually 35%. He had tears in his eyes.
Some early postal turnouts confirm the expectation that overall turnout in this referendum would be extraordinarily high.
As of this morning, 95% of the postal votes in East Lothian had been returned and 93% in South Ayrshire.
YouGov's on the day prediction poll is based on the responses from 1,828 people who voted today, together with 800 who had already voted by post and were interviewed previously.
The ones who were contacted today consist of respondents to one of YouGov's polls conducted earlier this week, and the company claims there has been a small shift from "Yes" to "No" among this group.
Election aficionados caution that postal voters comprise a rather high 30% of this sample.
The first ballot box arrives at the Orkney count.
That's all the ballot boxes arrived at Grangemouth. 168 of them.
SNP MSP Fiona Hyslop tells the BBC: "The debate that some didn't want to have has energised a nation."
The referendum is not about "the politics of party, it's the politics of people", she claims.
First time voters, 17-year-olds Rachel Falconer and Sean Davidson, are watching the Perth and Kinross count at Bell's Sports Centre in Perth.
The pair are the deputy head girl and deputy head boy at Perth High School. They said the referendum had stimulated much debate among their fellow pupils.
An hour after polling closed, all 75 boxes from 38 polling places had arrived at the Inverclyde count. All ballot boxes were received at the East Lothian count by 11pm.
Chief counting officer Mary Pitcaithly said counting was taking place at 32 centres around Scotland, including Ingliston where she is based.
She said: "The counting officers in all those 32 areas then give me information about the number of votes they are counting. They are authorised to release that and that's how you work out what the turnout is.
"After that they split the votes into 'Yes', 'No' and 'doubtful's. At the end of that, if it all adds up, we have a result from that area."
Labour MP Douglas Alexander tells the BBC: "We can only welcome the fact that we have come out in our millions to cast our vote".
He adds that the referendum will be a "historic judgement".
Deputy Lib Dem Leader and Gordon MP Malcolm Bruce tells me he's hopeful Aberdeenshire has voted "No", but admits it is still too close call.
The turnout in Aberdeenshire is thought to be more 80%.
Are they expecting a long night? Someone is going round offering chocolate to the counters in Glasgow.
A high turnout in this referendum means, of course, that the votes will take a long time to count. It could be at least 01:00 before the first results are in.
The chief counting officer at the National Counting Centre at Ingliston, near Edinburgh, is Mary Pitcaithly.
"There is a big job to be done today but we are ready for it," she told the BBC's Laura Bicker.
"It seems to have gone very smoothly. It has been very busy. I know that polling has been brisk everywhere but I am not aware of significant queues. I am not aware of any major issues."
The first ballot box from Motherwell arrives.
Jackie Bird is presenting BBC Scotland's results programme, along with Glenn Campbell.
All voting papers have now arrived at Alloa Town Hall. On schedule for an early declaration here.
Ballot boxes are arriving at the Edinburgh count now.
"Yes" campaigners in the Highlands say postal votes here so far showing a majority for Better Together.
But they say that's what they expected and believe the majority of the local authority's 190,782 registered voters will vote "Yes".
Unofficial estimates of the turnout in the north are "huge" with some polling stations seeing queues of voters before they opened.
At the Ingliston national count, The YouGov survey seems to have intrigued the "No" side. They're, of course, being VERY cautious, but one senior figure in the camp tells me it could be an indication that undecided voters might have gone for "No" - early days yet though.
Indications from the central count at Ingliston are that the turnout has been "astonishingly high".
Counting has begun in the Albert Halls in Stirling which, until 22:00, was also a polling place.
The counting officer says 62,400 people were registered to vote.
A total of 10,845 postal ballots were sent out and by 16:00 95% had been returned.
Don't forget you can watch or listen to the BBC's live television coverage of the results at the top of this page.
Today on Facebook, an 'I'm Voting' button was displayed to everyone of voting age in Scotland. As of 6pm tonight, the 'I'm Voting' button had appeared in people's newsfeeds more than 2.5 million times since 7am.
On Twitter, the most re-tweeted tweet on referendum day came from Scottish tennis player Andy Murray, who shared his stance with his 2.7 million followers. That tweet was re-tweeted more than 18,000 times.
YouGov president Peter Kellner has been telling Sky News about their final poll of 3,000 people: it shows a 54-46 lead for the No campaign. He said he was now "99% certain" of a "No" vote.
Shetland counters get ready for the most northern ballot boxes to arrive in Lerwick.
SNP MSP Humza Yousaf told the BBC Scotland Decides programme he was "confident" of a victory for the "Yes" campaign.
Lib Dem MP Danny Alexander said a high turnout could marginally help the "No" campaign.
An election official counts votes at the counting centre in Ingliston, Edinburgh.
The BBC's Angus MacDonald says the plane that will carry the ballot boxes to Stornoway for the Western Isles count has arrived in Benbecula. However, there is a still a fog around the isles and they do not know if the plane will make it to Stornoway. They have a plan to use a ferry if the plane cannot fly.
There is talk on Twitter that a number of voters were turned away in Fife.
In a series of tweets, Fife Council has clarified: Postal voters without their postal packs couldn't vote at polling stations, need to ensure people haven't voted twice. If people hadn't received/had lost their postal vote, they were told they could get another one from Glenrothes today. We've been putting info out online/in press asking anyone who hadn't received their postal votes to contact elections team
A YouGov survey of voters previously polled has just been released. It shows support for "No" at 54%. "Yes" at 46%.
There were concerns that the count in Stornoway on Lewis could be delayed by fog affecting the plane that was carrying ballot boxes from the other Western Isles.
It seems the plane is flying so there is no delay expected - but that could change.
Labour MP Jim Murphy: This is more of a feeling than an #indyref prediction. Today I just sensed a wee bit of movement in our direction. But far too early to call
In East Lothian, they are reporting that at least 94% of postal votes have been returned. Its previous record was 65%.
The 80% turnout figure for East Lothian does not include postal votes, apparently. The actual figure will be available later.
This short film was broadcast at the end of the BBC's televised debate at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow where 7,500 16 and 17-year-olds watched a panel of politicians make the Yes/No arguments.
It is a call to come together, whichever way the Scottish independence referendum vote goes.
Schoolchildren from across Scotland each recite a line from Christine De Luca's poem "The Morning After".
The word from the returning officer at the East Lothian count is that 65,339 votes have been cast from a registered 81,947, giving a turnout figure of 79.7% for the local authority.
South Lanarkshire - the first boxes have started to arrive from polling stations.
This is traditionally the area that is quickest to declare when it comes to parliamentary elections. But there will be a lot of counting to do tonight.
Sky are reporting an estimated 90% turnout in Dundee.
Kenny Lowe in East Renfrewshire on Facebook: Just about to step out the door and head for the Scottish Referendum 2014 count. What a feeling of history in the making. Best wishes to all on both sides of the campaign.
At 32 locations across Scotland counting has begun. While they wait for the ballot boxes to arrive from the polling stations, they are counting postal votes. And there are a lot by all accounts.
When will we know the result? It is very difficult to predict. The bulk of the local results are expected to come in between 03:00 and 06:00.
In East Lothian, they are reporting that at least 94% of postal votes have been returned - the authority's previous record was 65%.
Elsewhere, the Dumfries count reports a 95.5% return rate on postal votes. And there may be some handed into polling stations.
Counting is getting under way for Edinburgh at the national count centre in Ingliston.
Postal votes are first, with the first ballot boxes expected to start arriving at about 22:45, we're told.
YouGov have announced they will release the results of their on-the-day poll at 22:30.
There were 4,285,323 people registered to vote - that is about 97% of the possible electorate.
There were 789,024 postal vote applications, which was the largest volume of registration for postal votes ever in Scotland.
The polls have now closed at polling places across Scotland. The referendum on Scottish independence is all over bar the counting.
"Should Scotland be an independent country?" was the questioned answered by voters.
We should know the verdict of the people of Scotland by breakfast time.
On television, on radio and online, the BBC is mounting its most comprehensive coverage ever of a major political event as Scotland decides. Our correspondents are at every count - all 32 of them - and beyond, to tell the full story of this momentous referendum. And, sometime tomorrow morning, they will deliver the answer that Scottish voters have given to the six-word ballot paper question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"
Before voting began at 7am today the polls told us it was too close to call - at this moment in time it could hardly be more exciting.
The referendum - which sees 16 and 17 year olds given the vote for the first time - is the culmination of a campaign signalled more than three years ago when the SNP's Alex Salmond was returned again as first minister with an overall majority and on a manifesto pledge to deliver a referendum.
Prime Minister David Cameron agreed, via the Edinburgh Agreement, but the third option - to vote neither for independence or the status quo but for further devolution - was ruled off the ballot paper.
Throughout the night, the BBC news website will - on this page - bring you all the key developments, as soon as they happen. And you'll have plenty of reasons to stay with us because we'll have detailed stories, the key moments in pictures and video, analysis and reaction.
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