Edinburgh has one of the fastest growing, most highly qualified and productive populations in the UK.

A Knowledge Economy Jan 2019

World-leading research

People from all over the world are drawn to Edinburgh by the wealth of career and cultural opportunities. World-leading research in fields as diverse as life sciences, data science, cyber security, blockchain and robotics have helped position Edinburgh as a global learning centre, supported by four universities that support a thriving student population.

The city has grown by 12.5% over the past 10 years to 2017, with significant growth coming from the city’s working age population. By 2026, it is predicted that 70% of the population will be of working age and in 2017, Edinburgh also had the second highest number of higher education students per 1,000 population across all the UK's major cities.

Today’s data driven agenda is shaping a forward-looking, outward-facing, ambitious city capable of building on its acknowledged key sector strengths.  

The University of Edinburgh's world-class School of Informatics is highly regarded for the calibre of its research, making it an attractive partner...

Charles Hoskinson, chief executive and co-founder , IOHK

Edinburgh by Numbers

To discover more, see Edinburgh by Numbers 2018, an annual economic overview of the city produced for investors, entrepreneurs and anyone else with an interest in the city. Here are some of the highlights:

  • In the ten years to 2017, Edinburgh’s population grew by 12.5% from 456,000 to 513,000 people. During the same period Scotland's population grew by 4.9%.
  • The city has the second highest Gross Value Added (GVA) per capita among major UK cities, with the average being £39,300 per resident (2016).
  • In 2017/18, Edinburgh had a higher percentage (75.6%) of its working age population in employment, than the average of major UK cities.
  • Edinburgh has the UK’s 2nd highest new business survival rate.
  • In 2017, Edinburgh was second only to London in median gross annual earnings per resident, at £30,700 and had the highest average gross disposable income per resident among major UK cities.


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