National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future



1.1 This report summarises the Registrar General for Scotland’s mid-2005 estimates of the population of Scotland and its administrative areas. Some relevant historical information and a table giving land areas and population densities are also presented.

1.2 These population estimates are produced using the demographic cohort component method. The estimates are based on the 2001 Census. Each year the population is aged on one year i.e. the 0 year olds become 1 year olds, the number of births in the year are added, the number of deaths subtracted and adjustments are made for estimated migration and other changes in special populations. It is important to remember that while the number of births and deaths are considered to be virtually complete, there is no comprehensive source of migration data either for moves within Scotland to the rest of the UK, or to the rest of the world.  Estimates of migration are made using the best proxy sources available including health service patient registrations and survey information. Therefore, any error in the estimates is likely to be due to the migration estimates, particularly the international estimates. Information for the old 15 NHS Boards including Argyll & Clyde is presented in this paper. It is planned to produce population estimates for the new areas taking into account the abolition of Argyll & Clyde NHS Board for the Registrar General’s Annual Review, due to be published in July 2006.

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