Older, drier, with more cash to splash: What will happen to the UK if Scotland votes yes to independence?

Sarah Spickernell
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Alex Salmond believes independence would be good for Scotland (Source: Getty)
If the Scots decide to leave on 18 September, what do the statistics tell us about how the rest of the UK will change?
Population drops by eight per cent
The UK will lose eight per cent of its population if Scotland chooses to leave, dropping from 64m to 59m.
At the European level, this is enough to shift the UK from fourth position to fifth position, just behind Italy which has a population of 60m. It would still be significantly behind Germany, however, which has the largest population in Europe at 82m.

Spare cash

Disposable income per head will increase from its current value of £16,791. That means that on average, Britons will have more cash to splash (even if they don't see much change in their bank accounts).

Things will become a bit squashed
An exit will lead to a loss of 32 per cent of the UK's land, leaving behind a nation similar in size to Greece or Tunisia.
The fact the loss of land will exceed the loss of population means the population density will increase, moving the UK from the position of 45th most densely populated nation in the world to 29th most densely populated nation in the world.
In terms of Europe, it will remain the fourth most densely populated nation, but it won't be far off usurping Belgium for third place.

Sunny side of life

Hello sunshine: the average annual rainfall will go down by 20cm each year if Scotland leaves.


After England, Scotland is currently the biggest exporter from the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics. Scottish exports are worth £16.9bn of the UK's total of £235.8bn, which means if Scotland leaves, the UK will lose 7.1 per cent of total exports.

In terms of GDP per head, there would be a slight increase from £21,287 to £21,404.
The average life expectancy of both women and men will increase slightly in the event of a Scottish exit. The average woman will live for 0.3 years longer, while the average man will live for an additional 0.4 years.

In the context of Europe, the UK will still sit firmly between the highest and lowest average life expectancies. Men can expect to live the shortest lives in Lithuania, where the average life length is 68 years, whereas the men in Iceland live for the longest at an average of 82 years.
Women have the longest average life expectancy in Spain, where it is 86 years. The lowest for women is in Macedonia, where it is 77.

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