Statistics published by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) have shown Scotland’s population reached a record total in 2012.
The figures, based on 2011 Census data, show that the estimated population of Scotland was 5,313,600 in mid-2012, a rise of 18,200 people since Census Day on 27 March 2011.
The rise was due to over 6,000 more births than deaths and a net migration in-flow of 15,200. The gain includes 14,300 people from overseas and 900 people from the rest of the UK.
Along with increased productivity and continuing high rates of participation in the labour market, population growth is one of the three drivers of sustainable economic growth identified in the Government Economic Strategy.
Welcoming the figures, Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:
“The Scottish Government has set a target to match average European population growth over the period 2007 to 2017. Today’s figures show that we continue in the right direction.
“While like almost every mature economy we have an ageing population it is excellent to see the under-fives population has increased by 3,050 since Census day 2011.
“The net in-flow of 14,300 more people coming to Scotland from overseas than leaving is proof that Scotland is an attractive and dynamic nation and one where people want to make a life for themselves.
“The Scottish Government welcomes the contribution these new Scots can make to our economy and society, and we are working hard to attract the best international talent to our universities and our workforce.
“With full responsibility for immigration, an Independent Scotland would be able to support the needs of Scottish businesses and help to address Scotland’s own demographic challenges.”