The Population of Urban Scotland is Aging

The population of Scotland is on the increase according to latest records and is now 50,94,800. The reasons are slightly more births, slightly fewer deaths and more people coming to Scotland than leaving.The main reason for the increase in population is the net gain in migration. More people come into Scotland from other countries, mostly the rest of the UK as compared to the number of people leaving Scotland. According to latest reports this gain is 19000 with almost 45000 leaving Scotland and over 55000 coming in.

These projections show that Scotland’s population will to rise over the next 15 years before falling slowly. It had been projected earlier that the fall would begin by 2017 but the latest projections put it at 2020. Aberdeenshire, Highland and Falkirk have highest increase of 1%, closely followed by Edinburgh City.

Falling death rates and rising birth rates are the other reasons for the increase in population. There were 54,386 births in 2005, 429 more than in 2004. A male baby born in 2004 could expect to live for 74.3 years and a female baby for 79.4 years – increases from 69.1 and 75.4 for those born in 1981. There were 55,747 deaths in the same period, 440 fewer than in 2004 and the lowest total ever recorded.

In 2005, the two most common causes of death were cancer (27 per cent of deaths) and coronary heart disease (19 per cent). Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths. Alcohol-related deaths significantly increased from the early 1990s, particularly among men aged 45-59.

But Scotland will still be an ageing nation, because the birth rate has declined since the 1980s and life expectancy is on the increase. The projections for the population of Scotland, particularly in the cities are that there will be more single people in the older age group in the coming years. In other words the urban population is graying and their needs are quite different. Another trend which partially arises from this is that there will be fewer family homes and housing will have to cater to the needs of larger numbers of single persons or just couples. This means the number of households is on the rise.