Page last updated at 10:20 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 11:20 UK

Scotland's population rises again

Glasgow street
There are 3,329 people per square kilometre in Glasgow

Scotland's population has risen to its highest level since 1981, according to the latest government figures.

The estimated population of Scotland was 5,168,500 in mid-2008, up 24,300 on the previous year.

The increase was slightly less than the year before, although births outstripped deaths by almost 4,000.

Migration from the rest of the UK went up, although the General Register Office for Scotland figures suggested a decrease in international migration.

There were 66 people per square kilometre in Scotland - ranging from nine in the Highlands to 3,329 in Glasgow.

'Leaving Scotland'

East Lothian, Perth and Kinross and Midlothian saw the largest population increases, while the biggest drop came in Argyll and Bute, the Western Isles and Inverclyde.

Scotland's registrar general, Duncan Macniven, said: "Scotland's population continued to rise in the year ending in June 2008.

"The increase was slightly less than in the previous year - over 24,000 rather than over 27,000.

"But births exceeded deaths by almost 4,000, almost four-times as much as the previous year."

Mr Macniven said migration accounted for the remaining increase, although the figure was less than the record of 27,000 for net migration, set in 2006-07.

He went on: "Net migration from the rest of the UK was up on the previous year - 11,500 compared with 8,800.

"But international migration was down from a net 16,800 to a net 7,700, mainly because of an increase in the number of people leaving Scotland."

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