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This is an archived section of the Scottish Government website. External links, forms and search may not work on archived pages and content/contact details are likely to be out of date.

This page relates to the 2007 version of the National Performance Framework. Information about the current version of the NPF is available on the Scotland Performs Home Page.

Heading

Current Status

Population

The population of Scotland has continually increased over the last eight years and is now at its highest level since 1977. Population growth in 2010 has, for the first time in several decades, been greater than that of the EU 15 countries. Levels of healthy life expectancy for women and men have been gradually increasing since 1980.

more on population growth
more on healthy life expectancy

Population

up

To match average European (EU15) population growth over the period from 2007 to 2017

level

Supported by increased healthy life expectancy in Scotland over the period from 2007 to 2017

Population

Why is this Purpose target important?

Population growth is a key contributor to, and a consequence of, a more vibrant society and a more dynamic economy. Scotland is projected to experience a significant demographic shift, leading to an increasing average age, caused by considerable increases in the over-60 age group, between now and 2031. Unless we increase labour participation rates among older people or attract more people of working age to Scotland, our economic growth will be adversely affected.

What will influence this Purpose target?

Population change in Scotland is determined by three key elements:

  • Birth rates
  • Life expectancy
  • Net migration

These are, in turn, influenced by a combination of factors, including the relative levels of economic prosperity and opportunity, quality of life and the quality of public services supporting children and families and health.

What is the Government's role?

The Government can take several actions to encourage population growth in Scotland. These include:

  • Learning, skills and well-being: an approach to health and well-being to ensure everyone maximises their physical and mental health while creating the conditions for talented people to live, work and remain in Scotland.
  • Infrastructure development and place: a planning and development regime which fully takes account of the need to attract inward migration into Scottish communities and gives greater certainty and faster decision-making through the National Planning Framework.
  • Equity: making the case for Scotland to have fuller responsibility for personal taxation and benefits in support of an approach to equity and boosting economic activity that fits with our circumstances.

How are we performing?

For Population Growth Target:

The annual population growth rates for Scotland and EU15 in 2009-10 were 0.54 and 0.36 per cent respectively. So, for the first time since the series began in 1999, the population of Scotland grew more than that of the EU15. In 2008-09, the EU15 population grew by 0.50 and the population of Scotland grew by 0.49. The gap between annual population growth rates in Scotland and the EU15 therefore improved by 0.19 percentage points, from the annual rate of change being 0.01 percentage points lower in Scotland in 2008-09 to 0.18 percentage points higher in Scotland in 2009-10 (based on the rounded figures above).

Annual Population Growth Rates, Scotland and EU15, 1997-98 to 2009-10

Source: Eurostat and National Records of Scotland

View data on Population

Methodology

This evaluation is based on: any difference in the gap within +/- 0.1 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A movement of 0.1 percentage points or more in Scotland's favour suggests that the position is improving, whereas a movement of 0.1 percentage point or more to Scotland's detriment suggests that the position is worsening.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

How are we performing?

For Healthy Life Expectancy Target:

Levels of healthy life expectancy for women and men have been gradually increasing since 1980. A change in methodology in 2009 makes the latest figures incomparable with the previous time series. 1 A partial back series calculated using the new methodology shows that levels of HLE based on the new methodology have been increasing at a similar rate to those based on the old methodology. In 2009 healthy life expectancy for women was 62.2 years, whilst levels for men were 60.0 years. Average levels of healthy life expectancy decreased by 0.1% between 2008 and 2009.

Life Expectancy and Healthy Life Expectancy at birth for men and women, 1980 to 2009

View data on Population

Note 1 - For more information on the change in the methodology please see the source publication: http://www.isdscotland.org/isd/6555.html.

Note 2 - Figures from 1995 to 2008 are based on the Scottish Health Survey but data from 2009 onwards are coming from the Scottish Household Survey.

Source: Information Services Division Scotland

Methodology

This evaluation is based on: any change in combined HLE within +/- 0.8% of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase in combined HLE of 0.8% or more suggests that the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 0.8% or more suggests the position is worsening.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Further Information

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Statistics Topic Page

View Purpose Target data

Downloadable document:

Data for purpose target on populationData for purpose target on population [XLS, 98.5 kb: 27 Apr 2011]
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