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Scotland’s population hits highest ever level

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Scotland’s population reached its highest-ever level last year, according to newly-published figures.

The country’s estimated population hit 5,373,000 by mid-2015, statistics from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show.

The latest total was reached after the population increased by 25,400, or 0.5%, since mid-2014.

Statisticians said the population rose over that 12-month period because in-migration, which includes people from elsewhere in the UK, exceeded out-migration by about 28,000.

This was offset by around 2,000 more people dying than were born. Other changes, such as with armed forces personnel and prisoners, also resulted in the loss of approximately 500 people.

Further analysis of the figures shows that between mid-2014 and mid-2015, roughly 37,800 people came to Scotland from overseas and about 18,200 left, giving a net migration gain of 19,600.

Over the same period, some 47,200 people came to Scotland from the rest of the UK while around 38,800 left to go in the opposite direction, giving Scotland a net gain of approximately 8,400.

In the year to the end of June last year, there were more deaths than births for the first time since 2005-06, NRS said.

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