About Edinburgh


Edinburgh – An Outstanding Capital City

Edinburgh is the inspiring capital of Scotland where centuries of history meet a vibrant, cosmopolitan city in an unforgettable setting.

A major tourism centre and gateway to the rest of Scotland, the city is home to the world’s biggest arts festival and offers an excellent quality of life.  Edinburgh was voted the best city in Britain for the fifth year in a row according to readers of the Telegraph.

Edinburgh is the UK’s most prosperous city outside of London and the UK’s second largest financial centre. It has long held a reputation for high quality education and academic excellence. Edinburgh life science research is among the best in the world, being part of one of the largest and fastest growing life science communities in Europe.

Our City Plan 2030 will inform all decisions on new development proposals and shape how the city grows and changes over the next ten years. The proposed plan will be published in 2021 and, as the spatial strategy for the city, it will set out the infrastructure required to support both change and growth and improve the city for existing communities and new residents. The key focus of the plan will be reusing existing ‘brownfield’ land where possible to deliver high quality, sustainable, mixed used developments.



  • Edinburgh has one of the fastest growing populations of any city in the UK, currently over 524,000 and is projected to grow to over 586,500 by 2043.
  • 62.7% of people working in Edinburgh are educated to degree level or above.
  • Education and Training
  • Edinburgh’s four universities are internationally renowned for their academic research base. The University of Edinburgh was in 18th place in the 2019 QS World University Rankings.
  • The city is home to around 90,000 university and college students.
  • Business and Economy
  • Edinburgh attracts the highest salary levels and residents have the most disposable income outside of London.
  • Edinburgh Airport is Scotland’s busiest airport and the UK’s sixth busiest airport, with over 14.7m passengers in 2019. An increase of over four million since 2014.
  • In 2018, the gross value added (GVA) in Edinburgh of the financial and insurance sector was £6 billion. This represents 24% of Edinburgh’s total GVA.
  • Edinburgh has the largest proportion of workers in high skilled occupations, such as corporate managers, directors, and science, research and engineering professions, than any other UK city including London.

Tourism and Culture

  • There were around 19.2 million visitor nights in Edinburgh in 2019 from domestic and international overnight visitors with a total spending of £1.87 billion.
  • The Edinburgh Festival Fringe had over three million attendees in 2019. 42% of attendees to the Fringe came from outside of Scotland.
  • Over 89% of residents are satisfied with parks and green spaces in Edinburgh, more than any other major city in Scotland and 2% over the Scottish average.

Read more key facts and stats in Edinburgh by Numbers.