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Glasgow City Council

Briefing 1: Population in Glasgow (March 2021)

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The purpose of this briefing note is to outline recent trends in the demographics of Glasgow. The data is from the Mid-Year Estimates (MYE) produced by the Office for National Statistics which at March 2021 are still to reflect the full impact of COVID-19 and associated lockdown.

These details can therefore best be seen as describing the situation up to what can be expected to be a fairly significant change when the data for 2020 is released.

Population Trends

The MYE are produced each year, the most recent available are for 2019, and the trends are set out below.

Table 1: Population

YearGlasgow   Non-Glasgow Conurbation  Scotland         
Change 2015-1926,80013,70090,300
% change 2015-19

Source: ONS NOMIS.  Note: Non-Glasgow Conurbation includes, East and West Dunbartonshire, North and South Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, and Inverclyde.

As you can see from this, it is clear that Glasgow's population has been increasing at a greater rate than in the surrounding area and for Scotland in general.

The MYE have a base year from the 2011 Census and are calculated each year from factors including estimates of births, deaths, in-migration and out-migration.

Population Age Breakdown in Glasgow

As shown in the table below, the main factor in the increase of population in Glasgow has been the 25-44 age group. There was a modest increase in the number of children while the 65+ remained largely stable, rising from 83,600 in 2015 to 85,200 in 2019.

Table 2: Population Age Breakdown in Glasgow

Year0-14 15-24 25-44   45-64 65-7475+  
No. 2015-19  3,300-4,20022,6003,1002,400-800
% 2015-193.6-4.711.72.15.4-2.0

Source: ONS NOMIS. Note: in some cases the figures have been rounded.

The 2019 estimate for Glasgow was the highest since 1989. The recent growth in population was a change from the pattern experienced from the 1980s onwards; from a 1981 level of 712,400 the total fell to 629,200 in 1991 and to 578,700 in 2001, before rising to 593,100 in 2011.

Of interest, however, is that the 25-44 age group in 1981 was 161,600 (22.7% of total population), lower than the 2019 total of 216,200 (34.1%); in part the legacy of suburbanisation and New Town expansion.

An awareness and understanding of age-based demographics is often key to understanding the nature of an area.



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