Population Estimates

Glasgow's population 1801-2021

Pop trnd 1801 2021
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In 1801 the population of Glasgow was estimated as 77,000. Within 20 years the population had almost doubled to 147,000 and a hundred years later, in 1901, the population was ten times as large, estimated at 762,000. During this period the boundaries of the city were extended on many occasions reflecting the expansion of the city population. Both reductions in mortality (particularly early in life, brought about by improved sanitation, nutrition and general life circumstances) and greater inward migration (as people were attracted to industrial jobs) contributed to the increased population of the city.

Glasgow’s population peaked in 1925 and then remained stable until the early 1950s, before it began to drop. In the early 1960s Glasgow’s population started to fall steeply, by 1% or more per year.

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, in 2020, the impact of Covid-19 deaths and a fall in births contributed to a slow-down in population growth and in 2021 the population contracted slighlty. NRS have attributed reductions in city populations to people moving out of cities into surrounding local authorities.

In 2021, the population of the city was estimated to be 635,130, representing a reduction 0.1% (-510 people) on the previous year's estimate.


1. The estimates of Glasgow's population presented here are based on the City Council boundaries. However, Glasgow is the centre of larger economic region with a much larger population.  For example, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which takes in six local authorities (Glasgow City, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire), has an overall population of over 1.1 million people. Transport and spatial planning is organised on the basis of the Glasgow and Clyde Valley region, which additionally includes the two Lanarkshire local authorities (North and South Lanarkshire). A population of over 1.8 million people reside within the planning region.

2. The re-organisation of Scottish local and regional government in 1996 led to the replacement of Local Government Districts by Unitary Local Authorities.  As a result Cambuslang and Rutherglan were removed from Glasgow and reassigned to South Lanarkshire, leading to a population loss to the city of over 50,000 people.

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 »