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Number of pensioners expected to increase by 240,000 over next 25 years

PA

Number of pensioners expected to increase by 240,000 over next 25 years

Deaths are anticipated to outweigh births annually in Scotland for the next 25 years, according to new Scottish Government projections.

New official figures predict there will be an additional 240,000 pensioners over the next 25 years, an increase of 23 per cent, while the working age population is expected to fall by 7,000 people.

Life expectancy is projected to increase for men and women and the gap between male and female life expectancy will narrow, with a baby girl born in 2043 expected to live to 83.8 years and a baby boy to 80.6 years.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said the statistics showed Scotland needed inward migration to support the workforce.

She said: “We want people in Scotland to live longer, healthier and happier lives so this projected increase in life expectancy is extremely welcome.

“Today’s figures also suggest that inward migration will be the only driver of population growth in Scotland, however, they do not take into account the damaging potential impact of Brexit.

“Our pension age population is projected to grow while our working age population falls, and could decline even further if EU migration is reduced. This is why Scotland needs inward migration to support our public services and economy, particularly in sectors like tourism, hospitality, construction and agriculture, but also to enrich and diversify our society.

“The Scottish Government recently established a ministerial taskforce to look at Scotland’s future population challenges and develop new solutions to address demographic changes, including supporting rural settlement and growing our birth rate and working age population.

“However, it is clear Scotland urgently needs powers to deliver a tailored immigration system so we can mitigate against the risks of the UK Government’s increasingly restrictive policies and ensure Scotland can continue to be a welcoming, progressive and diverse country.”

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