A Perthshire politician has warned Perth and Kinross’ projected rising population will put a “significant strain” on the area’s infrastructure and housing.
Between 2015 and 2016, the number of people living in Perth and Kinross increased by 8.1% and as of June last year, more than 150,000 residents called the area their home.
The statistics, which have been supplied by the National Records of Scotland, also show only six local authority areas in the country had steeper population rises than Perth and Kinross over the two years.
The Office for National Statistics, and the National Records of Scotland, project the total population for Perth and Kinross in 2034 would be around 164,479.
Several housing plans have been lodged with Perth and Kinross Council in a bid to cope with the population boom, including the sprawling £1 billion Bertha Park site, which will be built to the north of Perth.
Liz Smith, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP, said she feels the increase will cause a “significant strain” on infrastructure and housing that will require “careful planning” going forward.
Ms Smith said: “People making Perth and Kinross their home from other parts of the UK and the rest of the world is a significant strength for the local economy but it is also vital that public services continue to match demand.”
“If this trend continues, having access to good schools, doctors and housing in Perth and Kinross will take on increasing importance and it is important that the correct investment is made in these areas.
“There will also need to be careful planning for infrastructure projects and I would hope that greater consideration is given to the Edinburgh to Perth direct rail link.”
However, Ms Smith also highlighted the reasons for people moving to the area.
“Perth really is the place, especially if you are a looking for a great place to live in Scotland,” she added.
“Only Edinburgh and east Lothian attracted more migrants during the period surveyed which underlines Perth and Kinross’ strength in attracting newcomers.
“We have known for a long time that Perth and Kinross is a wonderful place to call home and it looks like that secret has finally got out.”
The estimated population for Perth and Kinross as at June 30, 2016, was 150,680.