Scotland politics

Eight things to know about Scotland's population in 2015

The latest report from the National Records of Scotland puts life expectancy - if you are born today - at 77.1 years for boys and 81.1 years for girls. Here are a few more statistical snippets from the official records office.


1. East Dunbartonshire is the place to live longest, it appears. Both male and female life expectancy was highest in the East Dunbartonshire council area. Men can expect to live for 80.5 years and women until 83.5 years of age. Hop over the council border into West Dunbartonshire and the prospects for long life drop. If you are female being born today in that area you can expect to live to 78.7 years, 4.8 years fewer than your neighbours in the east.

2. Accidental deaths are on the rise if you look at figures gathered since the millennium. The number of people dying from accidents and assaults have gone up since 2002. The official figures record that in 2001 1,492 men and 922 women died from "external causes of morbidity and mortality". Scroll forward 13 years and 1,644 men and 1,058 women were classed as having died in this statistical category. The good news is that deaths from transport-related accidents have steadily fallen over the years from 329 in 2002 to 191 in 2015. However, deaths from poisonings have climbed rapidly to 663 in 2015.

3. At 28% cancer was the number one cause of deaths in Scotland in 2015. The number of men was 8,378 and the number of women was 7,715. Those figures have increased since 2002 when 7,770 men and 7,281 women died from cancer.

4. Women outnumber men in Scotland - and that's a long-term trend. Looking at Scotland's population in 1995 it stood at 5,103,690 people - 2,453,353 men and 2,650,337 women. Twenty years on, the total headcount is 5,373,000 and women (2,762,531) are still in the majority.

5. There were more deaths than births in 2015 - the first time that has happened in nearly a decade. The official figures showed 55,100 live births, compared with 57,573 deaths. Between 2000 and 2015, the peak year for births was 2008 when 60,041 boys and girls were born. Within that same period the peak year for deaths was 2007 when 55,986 people died.

6. Scotland's population is projected to rise by 7% over the next 25 years. That will take the current number of 5.37 million to 5.70 million by 2039. And the upward trend is set to continue well into the century. However, not all areas will see an even increase. It's thought that Edinburgh and Aberdeen will experience relatively large increases compared with similar urban areas such as Glasgow and Dundee. Other areas in the west, including Inverclyde, Argyll and Bute, and West Dunbartonshire are projected to see a decline.

7. The UK's population is expected to rise by 15% over the next 25 years. The population of most European countries is projected to increase with Norway showing a massive 38% rise. France at 10% and Italy at 9% will go ahead of Scotland in the population stakes by 2039 but Germany (-3%), Spain (-4%) and Poland (-6%) are projecting population decreases.

8. More people were aged 65 or over than under 16 in mid-2015. Some 18% of the population were aged 65 and over on 30 June 2015 in Scotland. The majority of the population (65%) was aged between 16 and 64 and 17% were 15 and younger.

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