A POPULATION boom in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire is expected to grind to a halt in the next 20 years, a new report has revealed.

According to the National Register of Statistics (NRS), the number of people in both regions will grow by less than the national average.

East Renfrewshire’s population growth rate from 2012 to 2037 is expected to be less than half of Scotland’s at just 3.7 per cent.

And the slowdown is considerably more dramatic in Renfrewshire, where the population is expected to increase by a meagre 0.6 per cent over that 25-year timeframe.

Scotland’s population is expected to grow by 8.8 per cent over the same period.

The report suggests an ageing population, coupled with a lack of people opting to move into these areas compared with elsewhere, will hinder expansion.

For example, over the 25-year period, the 75-plus age group is projected to increase the most in size in both regions.

In Renfrewshire, the population aged under 16 is projected to decline by 1.8 per cent over the same period.

Latest figures from the NRS show the 2015 population of Renfrewshire was 174,560 - an increase of 0.2 per cent from 174,230 in 2014.

The population of Renfrewshire accounts for 3.2 per cent of the total population of Scotland, while the 92,410 people living in East Renfrewshire make up only 1.7 per cent of the country’s population.

Tim Ellis, the Registrar General of Scotland, said the nation’s population has continued to age over the past decade.

He added: “This has implications for funding allocations, tax revenues, pensions, education, health and social care provision.”

East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton has also expressed concerns over the latest population predictions.

The Tory politician said: “In East Renfrewshire, there is an increasingly large population of over-65s, which adds significant pressure on local public services, and this is an issue which will only be exacerbated in the years ahead.

“We can already see the strain that the Scottish Government’s failure to plan for an ageing population has put on the NHS and there is a real risk that, unless serious action is taken now, it won’t be properly equipped to provide the support needed in the future.”