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Number of Scots OAPs to rise by quarter over 25 years

The predicted increase in population will be due to migration from the UK and overseas.

Pensioners

There will be a 25% rise in the number of pensioners in Scotland over the next 25 years, according to the latest population projections.

The National Records of Scotland said the population of pensionable age would rise from 1.05 million to 1.32 million between 2016 and 2041.

The overall population is projected to increase by 5% over the same period to 5.69 million but the rise will be due to migration as the number of deaths overtakes the number of births each year.

Reacting to the figures, the Scottish Government said it was vital to maintain migration to Scotland from the EU.

Population: Over-75s fastest-growing group.
Population: Over-75s fastest-growing group. National Records Scotland

Tim Ellis, the registrar general of Scotland, said: "The latest population projections show Scotland's population is projected to continue to increase and to age over the next 25 years.

"The rise in population is driven by projected migration into Scotland both from rest of the UK and from overseas, while the number of deaths is projected to exceed the number of births every year.

"Over the period we also expect to see the number of people of pensionable age increase by 25 per cent, while the number of people of working age will increase by one per cent and the number of children will decrease by 2%."

Figures: Wales will see slowest rate of population growth.
Figures: Wales will see slowest rate of population growth. National Records Scotland

People aged 75 and over are projected to be the fastest growing age group in Scotland and by 2041 it is thought there will be 10,000 more deaths than births each year.

Over the next ten years all of the projected increase in population will be due to migration, with 58% coming from overseas and 42% from the rest of the UK.

The UK's population is projected to rise by 11.1% over the same time period.

The Scottish Government said that without migration from the EU, Scotland's population would only rise by 2% by 2041.

'As our population ages, the continued availability of labour from across Europe is essential.'
Fiona Hyslop

External affairs secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "These figures illustrate the critical importance of maintaining inward migration to Scotland - including maintaining the existing freedom of movement with European neighbours - to help increase Scotland's population and grow the economy.

"As our population ages, the continued availability of labour from across Europe is essential to meet our economic and social needs and to address potential skills shortages in all sectors of the labour market."

She added: "The stark reality outlined in today's figures is that projected growth in Scotland's population will slow significantly if levels of EU migration are reduced.

"And in that scenario the population is also predicted to start declining again within the next 25 years.

"That would have a significant negative impact on Scotland's economy and our ability to fund the public services we will need for an ageing population."

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