It has been argued that Scotland faces population ageing and decline that will have potentially serious economic and social consequences, and that the origin of these processes lie in its low and declining fertility rates. After considering alternatives to the total period rate measure of fertility, empirical evidence and theoretical argument about low fertility and its consequences is briefly reviewed. The paper argues that low fertility in general may not be the problem it is often purported to be, that Scotland has relatively high fertility, and that pro-natalist policies are neither desirable nor necessary. It suggests that low fertility and population ageing may be viewed as positive developments, and that within Europe, Scotland is distinguished more by its excess of early deaths than by any shortage of births. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.