Click on our infographic to see the key facts from this indicator set. Population infographic - if you require an accessible version or transcript, please email info@gcph.co.uk

How Glasgow's population has changed and is predicted to change in the future is summarised below:

  • Glasgow's population has risen in the last thirteen years after decades of decline. In 2021, the city's population stood at 635,130. In contrast, the populations of Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire have dropped significantly over the last 4 decades.

  • Between 2007 and 2019, the birth rate in Glasgow exceeded the death rate and, along with inward migration to the city, this contributed to a steady rise in the city's population. However, since 2020, the impact of Covid-19 deaths and a fall in births has caused Glasgow's population to reduce slightly.

  • Glasgow has the most ethnically diverse population in Scotland. In 2001, 5% of Glasgow’s population were from an ethnic minority. This number rose to 12% in 2011.

  • The non-UK born population of Glasgow rose from 6% in 2001 to 12% in 2011
  • After two decades of reductions in mortality, since 2011 mortality has risen in Scotland, in all the major Scottish cities and in the majority of the local authorities in the Glasgow City Region. The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to a sharp increase in mortality in 2020.

  • Total net migration into Glasgow has increased as the number of migrants arriving in Glasgow has exceeded the number leaving, principally due to an increase in overseas migrants coming to Glasgow.

  • Projections suggest that the city's population is set to get older with the population over 50 years of age predicted to rise by 44,000 in the next 25 years to 241,000 by 2043.

  • The number of households in Glasgow is predicted to rise by 12% in the next 25 years. Single-adult households are projected to rise further to account for 45% of all households in the city by 2043.  

Understanding the characteristics and structure of a city's population are key to a better understanding of any city. Knowing whether a city is growing or contracting, whether it is attracting new residents and whether its population is ageing are all relevant factors to understanding the changing demographics of a city.

This population domain of the site is concerned with the size and structure of Glasgow's population. It includes trends in the city's population, birth and death trends, comparisons with other cities, population change within neighbourhoods, ethnicity, projections of future population and changes in household structure.

The children's indicators section of Understanding Glasgow contains more detailed information on aspects of the children's population within Glasgow.

The data on the Understanding Glasgow website comes from a variety of administrative sources and surveys, and the frequency of updates to these sources varies. The graphs and text on each page should indicate the period to which an indicator refers.  In some cases, where more recently published data is not available, we still use older published sources, such as the 2011 Census. Find out more about the timeliness of data presented on this website.


1. For more detailed information on demographic changes at a national and sub-national level go to the National Records of Scotland statistics pages.

2. In September 2017, GCPH published a detailed report on ethnicity and health, The changing ethnic profiles of Glasgow and Scotland. This report explored links between ethnicity and health in a Scottish context and the population health implications of the changing ethnic profiles of Scotland and of Glasgow.

3. This page was last updated in September 2022. 

Additional Resources

  • Resource
    Thursday, 26 May 2011

    Your Better Life Index

    A new, interactive index allowing users to measure and compare their lives.
  • Resource
    Sunday, 1 November 2009

    Miniature Glasgow - Video

    An extension of the GCPH's work profiling Glasgow's health, produced in collaboration with the International Future Forum.
  • Resource
    Monday, 3 April 2006

    Let Glasgow Flourish

    A comprehensive report on health and its determinants in Glasgow and West Central Scotland
View more Resources »