Population challenges

Ministerial group to address concerns.

A Ministerial task group will consider Scotland’s future population challenges and develop new solutions to address demographic and population change.

Against a backdrop of a record fall in the birth rate, Scotland’s population is ageing with a shift in population from the west to east and declining population in rural areas.

The Task Group on Population will explore different dimensions to the challenge recognising that with a falling birth rate, any future population growth over the next 25 years will be driven entirely by migration including from the rest of the UK.

There will also be a focus on the dispersal of population across Scotland and how the economic benefits of future population growth are spread across all communities.

Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:

“We need to grow our population to ensure we have sustainable, vibrant and resilient communities and drive improvements in inclusive growth. In doing so, it is also imperative that we maintain inward migration to help grow the economy.

“It is welcome that people are living longer, though the continued availability of labour is essential to support our public services, boost our economy and address potential skills shortages in all sectors of the labour market.

“The focus of this task group will be on identifying the good work that is already underway across Government, intensifying that work where needed as well as identifying and addressing further opportunities for change.”


Task Group on Population members:
Cabinet Secretary for the Culture, Tourism and External Affairs (Chair)
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport
Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment
Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands
Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development
Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation
Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning
Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills


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