The 2020 mid-year population estimates in Scotland are now available from National Records of Scotland. Given the timing, the changes between 2019 and 2020 only partially reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nevertheless, the data does provide some insight into the broader trends affecting areas in Scotland.
The headline for Glasgow is that the population increased, from 633,120 in 2019 to 635,640 in 2020. It is a small increase, of 2,520 persons, and a percentage increase of 0.4%; however another way of looking at the data is that the increase in Glasgow was virtually the same as the increase in the whole of Scotland.
The table below shows the change for local authorities in west central Scotland. For the areas surrounding Glasgow (NGC, Non-Glasgow Conurbation) there was a very small decline.
Table 1: Mid-Year Population Estimates, 2019 and 2020
Additional insight is given by analysis of the components of population change. There are two main reasons why the mid-year population estimates might change between years.
The first is the difference between the number of registered births and the number of registered deaths, also referred to as natural change. The second is the difference between inmigration and outmigration, to and from whatever source and destination.
A third and generally less important factor include changes due to for example the prison population, the stationing of armed forces personnel.
Table 2: Components of Population Change
As Table 2 shows, across Scotland and the west central Scotland local authorities, all areas experienced an excess of deaths over births. Not altogether surprising, given the COVID-19 pandemic; bear in mind the details only go as far as to the end of June 2020.
However, given that Glasgow has around half the population of the surrounding local authorities, the reduction due to natural change was only around one-fifth of the total combined for the surrounding local authorities.
Clearly other factors had an influence in areas surrounding Glasgow.
The other point of interest is that inmigration was larger than outmigration, and in several areas was enough to drive an overall increase in population. Particularly in Glasgow, where the increase was almost the same as that of the surrounding local authorities.
Only two areas experienced both a declining natural change and an excess of outmigration over inmigration, Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire.
A more in-depth discussion of these trends and the factors underlying the change will follow.