THE population of Scotland has grown by 5% over the last decade to a record high of 5,295,000.

The latest census results, published today, reveal that Scotland's population is now the highest in history.

It has beaten the previous record set in the 1970s and reverses declines seen since.

Women outnumber men at 2,728,000 compared to 2,567,000.

There are 3395 people for every square kilometre in Glasgow, compared to just nine in the Western Isles.

The figures also show that the under-fives population is up 6% compared with 2001.

Population growth is one of the three drivers of sustainable economic growth, says the Scottish Government along with increased productivity and continuing high rates of participation in the labour market.

Minister for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said the figures represented a "historic" moment.

She said: "A decade and more of devolution has delivered a growing and record high population.

"That is not simply a sign of the dynamic, attractive nation we are building. It is also a key factor in delivering economic growth in future years.

"The Scottish Government set popula-tion growth as a key national target because we know it is one of the most important drivers of sustainable economic growth.

"Today's figures show that we are well on track to meet and even exceed that population growth target.

"Scotland has a large, established migrant community and we welcome the contribution new Scots are making to our economy and society.

"Scotland still faces challenges. In common with almost every mature economy, we have an ageing population, but these figures also show that the under-fives population is up by 6% compared with 2001."