County planning pressures highlighted as Scotland’s population reaches all time high

The Registrar General’s Annual Review of Demographic Trends has confirmed that Scotland’s population reached an all-time high of an estimated 5,327,700 people in June last year.

With the latest projections suggesting that the population will go on rising to 5.78 million by 2037, local MSP Iain Gray has highlighted the figures as further evidence of the pressure on local planning and public services, and, in particular, the need to build more new housing in the county.

The review also confirms that the population will continue to age significantly, with the number of people aged 65 or over rising by 59 per cent in the period up to 2037. It also expects the number of households to rise from 2.40 million in 2013, to 2.78 million over the same period.

Iain Gray MSP said:

“These latest figures from the Registrar General confirm the continued growth in Scotland’s population, and projected future growth. While this is a generally welcome development and is set to bring benefits for Scotland’s economy, it also highlights growing pressures on planners when it comes to housing and public services.

“East Lothian is already having to accept a large number of new housing developments and these figures suggest that this is set to increase as the population continues to grow. The review also reiterates the fact that we have an ageing population and that this brings about other challenges in relation to people’s health and social care needs as they get older.

“These pressures come at a time when East Lothian Council and many other authorities across Scotland are already facing significant budgetary difficulties. It underlines the important need for the Scottish Government to do more to support local authorities, particularly places like East Lothian which we know are facing rapid population growth.”