Net migration to Scotland doubles amid rise in international students

In the year to June 2022, net migration into Scotland was 48,800, compared with 22,200 in the year before.

Net migration to Scotland doubles amid rise in international students SNS Group

Net migration to Scotland more than doubled between 2021 and 2022, according to new statistics published on Tuesday, hitting its highest level in a decade.

In the year to June 2022, net migration into Scotland was 48,800, compared with 22,200 in the year before, the National Records of Scotland said.

It is the highest level of net migration over the last decade and is a result of higher levels of international migration into Scotland. 

A total of 36,300 more people moved to Scotland from outside the UK than left in the year to June 2022, compared with 13,300 in the previous year, the figures showed.

Net migration to Scotland from the rest of the UK also rose to 12,500 people in the year to June 2022, compared with 8,900 in the previous year.

Head of population and migration statistics at NRS, Esther Roughsedge said: “Today’s report shows that net migration more than doubled between mid-2021 and mid-2022 due to an increase in international migration. 

“This increase is likely to be the result of a substantial rise in the number of international students studying at universities in Scotland. International migration is highest into the big cities, particularly Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“More people move to Scotland each year from other parts of the UK than leave, averaging around 9,000 people per year over the last decade. This figure rose to 12,500 people in the most recent year. The report shows that more people from other parts of the UK moved to Edinburgh than any other place in Scotland.”

National Records of Scotland has also published revised population estimates for Scotland for 2011 to 2021, to reflect the new census data. 

The rebased figures show that Scotland’s population increased by 2.2% between mid-2011 and mid-2021.

The figures indicate Scotland is “an attractive and welcoming” place for migrants, the equalities minister has said.

Scotland’s equalities minister Kaukab Stewart welcomed the statistics and said: “Today’s statistics show that Scotland is an attractive and welcoming destination for skilled workers, students and graduates.

“Those who choose Scotland as their home help to build our economy, increase our productivity and contribute to their local communities.

“In many parts of Scotland, the population is falling and it is clear that we need continued migration to support our economy and help our nation to prosper.

“These statistics also reflect the contribution that Scotland has made in offering a warm welcome to people fleeing war and persecution.”

She added: “Since Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine, over 27,000 people sponsored by an individual in Scotland or the Scottish Government have arrived in the UK.

“Scotland has also continued to welcome refugees arriving through UK resettlement and relocation programmes and I am proud of how Scotland has responded to humanitarian crises.”

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