FALL IN BIG KILLERS
SNP MSP Rob Gibson, Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament's Economy Committee, has today welcomed figures from the General Registrar for Scotland showing that Scotland's population is at its highest level since 1981 as long term projections of population decline are put into reverse.
Figures show the population increased by just over 24,000 in the year 2007/2008 as migrants exceeded the numbers leaving Scotland and reducing death tolls from ill health such as heart attacks see life expectancy increasing. Births exceeded deaths by 4,000 - the highest natural increase since 1992. And migration accounted for an increase of 19,200 people, with most migrants among young or working age people.
Rob Gibson MSP said;
"These figures show Scotland is beginning to turn around the long term population decline we have faced, with the highest level since 1981. Scotland is proving an attractive destination for migration, and we have the highest natural increase in population since 1992.
"That people are choosing to come and live and work in Scotland and that people born here are choosing to stay at home is a positive reflection on our economy and society, and prospects for the future.
"While these trends are good news for Scotland we must not be complacent, and a growth in the number of young and working age people is essential in building a bright economic future for Scotland."
Commenting on the death rate figures, Health Committee member Dr Ian McKee welcomed the fall in deaths from heart disease over the last 20 years.
"The decline in heart disease as one of Scotland's big three killers is a real tribute to the efforts of the NHS and public health professionals over the years.
"It is now for people across Scotland to make sure they play their part by eating healthily and living healthy lifestyles.
" For example the continuing high level of deaths from alcohol is something that we must address and the Scottish Government's efforts to reverse tackle this problem are essential."