Scotland’s population rose to 5.46 million in 2019 which is a record high, according to the statistics released by National Records of Scotland today.

There were fewer births and marriages in the year, with the lowest number of births recorded since 1855 when records began.

With the number of deaths outnumbering births for the fifth year in a row, this means that the population has grown due to migration. One in five people now live alone so the number of households is growing faster than the population, something which is usually mentioned in planning meetings and by developers.

The numbers released today also report on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic from March to September and summarise the spread and impact of it. There is quite a stark increase in the number of deaths over the five year average in the infographic which NRS provide.

Pete Whitehouse, Director of Statistical Services said:“This report provides a review of statistics, trends and analysis of Scotland’s population for 2019. Given the impact of COVID-19, we have included the latest analysis of deaths involving COVID-19. Together, these provide a picture of Scotland prior to the pandemic and a summary of the spread and impact of COVID-19 on mortality.

“Today’s report describes how the number of deaths involving COVID-19 increased sharply in the first 6 weeks of the pandemic, before falling again, with numbers remaining very low since July. 

“More than three quarters of deaths were among those aged 75 and over, and after taking age into account, people were more likely to die with COVID-19 if they were male, if they lived in an urban area, or lived in a deprived area.

“Alongside this, the statistics highlight a number of firsts for our population in 2019, prior to the pandemic. The population was at its highest, and births and marriages were the lowest ever recorded. 

“Understanding Scotland’s population plays an important role in monitoring the impact of COVID-19, and allowing us to analyse the effect of the pandemic.

“NRS will continue to publish regular statistics and analysis on deaths involving COVID-19, as well as monthly numbers of births and deaths. Next spring we will release our first population estimates that take the pandemic into account, and next autumn we will publish the first statistics on how it has affected life expectancy in Scotland.”