Although the country has a growing population the most recent live birth rates in Scotland have experienced small annual decreases since 2008. This trend was replicated in the total fertility rate, which fell each year from 2008 until the most recent period. The number of marriages in Scotland shows a high degree of fluctuation since 2000, but falling marriages was the overall trend.
Despite a growing population, the number of recorded crimes in Scotland has undergone a substantial reduction, dropping from nearly 440 thousand incidents in 2005 to just 246 thousand by 2019. The greatest number of which occurred in Dumfries & Galloway, according to data on the crime rate in Scotland by region.
Employment statistics show that the overall annual unemployment rate had been decreasing. This trend was also reflected in youth unemployment rates in Scotland, which halved in the time between 2014 and 2017. This is almost certainly linked to the country's recovery from the global recession of the late 2000s, with the Scottish economy generating a gross domestic product of 162.39 billion British pounds in 2018.
Perhaps the issue that will define the 2020s for Scotland however, is the issue of Scottish independence from the rest of the United Kingdom. Although the country voted to reject independence in a referendum in 2014, subsequent events in the UK have only served to widen the gaps between Scotland and it's southern neighbor. The Brexit vote saw Scotland vote primarily to remain in the European Union compared with England and Wales which mostly voted to leave. The Scottish National Party, led by Nicola Sturgeon won 48 of 59 Scottish seats in the 2019 general election, and has officially requested a second Scottish independence referendum but was rebuked by Westminster.