The Scottish Borders area is 473,614 hectares (1,827 square miles) and is located in the South East of Scotland. It has Edinburgh and the Lothians to the North, Northumberland to the South and Dumfries and Galloway to the West.
The Scottish Borders is a rural area with a population of 115,270 (in 2018), spread over a large geographical area. The largest town is Hawick with an estimated population of approx. 14,000, followed by Galashiels with 12,600. Close to 30% of the Scottish Borders population lives in settlements 500 people or below, many in isolated small villages.
The population of the Scottish Borders has risen by 8.7% in the past 10 years, which is a faster growth-rate than for Scotland. The Borders population split highlights that we have a lower proportion of under 25s and a higher proportion of over 65s, and in particular over 75s, than the Scotland average. Over the past 10 years, our 25-44 age population group has reduced by 25% and our 65-74 age population group has increased by almost 50%.
These geographic and demographic factors have unique and challenging impacts on providing sustainable and cost-effective health and social care services in the Scottish Borders, both currently and into the future.