Inward migration will be essential to ensure that Scotland’s population continues to grow, according to new official data.

The figures project there will be 240,000 more pensioners over the next 25 years, but the working age population will reduce by 7,000 people.

No natural growth is expected, and the figures do not take into account the potential impact of ‘political circumstances’.

In the 25 years to mid-2043, 51 per cent of net migration is projected to come from overseas and 49 per cent from the rest of the UK.

The figures demonstrate the importance of the UK remaining in the EU and Scotland remaining in the UK, avoiding a hard border.

Commenting on the figures, Martin Whitfield MP said:

“Inward migration is essential for Scotland’s economy, with more workers paying the taxes we need to fund vital public services for a growing elderly population.

“EU migrants have made a massive contribution to the Scottish and UK economies, which is why we need a People’s Vote so that we have the option to remain in the EU and protect freedom of movement.

“But there are also hundreds of thousands of people from the rest of the UK living and working in Scotland, so the last thing we need is a hard border with England.

“The best future for the UK is to remain in the EU and the best future for Scotland is to remain in the UK, so that we can build bridges, not barriers.”