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The Migration Report 2001 Published 2005-01-26

Posted by clype in Europe, Scotland, Statistics.

The extent to which Scotland’s young are ‘heading south’ to seek work was ‘laid bare’ yesterday 2005-01-25 by a new report. ‘The Migration Report’, compiled by the Registrar-General for Scotland from 2001 census data, warns that emigration from remote rural areas is a ‘big problem’. But there is hope for ‘The Fresh Talent initiative’ championed by The First Minister Mr.Jack Mcconnell: immigrants arriving from outside the UK are mostly younger and from strong economies such as the USA, Germany and France. The Registrar General Mr.Duncan Macniven said:

‘There are still parts of Scotland where emigration is a big problem — particularly Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles’.

The findings show the number of people coming to Scotland from the rest of the UK was roughly in balance with Scots heading south in the year before the census — but the average age of people moving out was one and a quarter years lower than that of those moving in the opposite direction. In the 16-34 age group, there was nett emigration, with an overall loss of 2 688 people. But in the older 35-64 category there was a nett gain of 1 952. The Registrar General said:

‘The pattern seems to be that young people leave Scotland, returning when they are older either to raise children or to retire’.

The report found that there were 794 577 Scots-born people living in England & Wales, almost twice as many as the 408 948 people living in Scotland who came from England & Wales. Two thirds of the difference was accounted for by people aged 45 and over, reflecting high levels of emigration from Scotland during the 1950s to 1970s. London continues to attract most Scots who leave, with the 12 months before the census seeing a nett loss to the British capital of about 900 — mainly from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Mr.Tony Parker, director of ‘The School of American Studies’ at ‘The University of Dundee’, said:

‘Anybody wanting to use their knowledge or “build a career” is going to “head” where the best job opportunities lie.

‘Scotland is a very attractive place to live and the quality of life is high, but very few people come here for the money’.

Others were more positive. Mr.Chris. Jackson, managing director of the recruitment website ‘Return To Scotland’, said:

‘It is perhaps better that young people in Scotland head out to “spread their wings”, “explore the world” and become more “rounded” individuals, bringing some of that experience back when they are older’.

Yesterday’s report shows that areas defined as ‘accessible rural’ — settlements of fewer than 3 000 within 30 minutes’ drive of settlements of 10 000 or more — gained about five people per 1 000 population, while remote rural areas lost most, at almost 8 per 1 000. Argyll and Bute, a short ‘commute’ from Glasgow, had the highest nett immigration, while Shetland had the highest emigration. Edinburgh’s economic success saw it gain immigrants from virtually every part of the UK — but lose emigrants to five neighbouring areas as house prices soared. A spokesman for ‘The Scottish Executive’ said:

‘These figures demonstrate the need to “tackle” Scotland’s declining population by attracting people, particularly those aged 16 to 34 to come live, work or study in Scotland’.

Scores of empty ‘council homes’ in Aberdeen could be leased to companies trying to attract foreign workers to fill a growing ‘skills gap’ in the city, it was also revealed yesterday 2005-01-25. The homes, mostly flats in difficult-to-let areas of the city, could be leased to local companies trying to recruit foreign labour. The council has up to 1 200 homes ‘lying’ vacant at any one time, including a ‘hard core’ of 400 ‘council homes’ that those on the ‘housing waiting list’ do not want.

More immigrants come to Scotland from the USA than any other single overseas country, according to yesterday’s report. Some 2 875 moved from the USA to Scotland — about 10 per cent of the total 28 868 arriving from abroad in the year prior to the 2001 census. 43 per cent came from Europe, with Germany, France, Spain and ‘The Republic of Ireland’ providing the largest number. 21 per cent came from Asia, with a further 15, 11 and 9 per cent from North America, Oceania and Africa respectively. The Registrar General said:

‘It does put things into context, given that “asylum seekers” from other countries have been in the spotlight’. He added:

‘In future, with expansion of the EU, the numbers from eastern Europe may increase’.

More than three-quarters of the total non-UK immigrants were aged under 35, and 37 per cent were full-time students. But the ’emotional pull’ of the ‘homeland’ was responsible for many immigrants: a quarter of all the immigrants from outside the UK were returning Scots.




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