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New census data confirm that the Western Isles has amongst the highest percentages of people aged 65 or over in Scotland.

The Mid-2022 Population Estimates Scotland report released by the National Records of Scotland shows that 27% of the Isles’ population are seniors.

The figure pegs the Isles along with South Ayrshire, Argyll and Bute, and Dumfries and Galloway with the greatest number of older adults.

With 58% of the population aged 16 to 64, the Western Isles is at the lower end of the scale, in common with most other rural areas of Scotland.

However, 15% of the population is aged 0 to 15, which puts the islands on par with Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Inverclyde.

But percentages should be viewed in the light of the total size of the population. The three island council areas had the lowest estimated populations in Scotland: Western Isles (26,120), Shetland Islands (23,020), and Orkney Islands (22,020). 

Scotland-wide, the 2022 Census estimate places the nation’s population at 5,447,700 as of June 30, 2022, comprising 2,801,000 (51.4%) females and 2,646,700 (48.6%) males.

Overall, an estimated 20% of Scotland’s population was aged 65 and over, with 16%  aged 0 to 15.

Other notable stats revealed are that between Scotland’s Census on March 20, 2022, and mid-2022, there were 12,900 births and 17,100 deaths in Scotland. 

This resulted in a natural change of -4,200.  

However, migration during the same period saw 25,800 people relocate to Scotland while 13,900 left.

This resulted in total net migration being +11,900 from other parts of the UK and internationally.