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Migration to Scotland doubles as international students go up



Migration to Scotland doubles as international students go up

Net migration to Scotland more than doubled in the year between 2021 and 2022 – up to the highest level in a decade – newly-released figures show.

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

The National Records of Scotland, which published the figures, said the rise was due to higher levels of international migration to cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“This increase is likely to be the result of a substantial rise in the number of international students studying at universities in Scotland” said Esther Roughsedge, NRS head of population and migration statistics.

The countries from which international students are coming has changed significantly in recent years.

There has been a sharp increase in those coming from countries outside the European Union and a decrease in those from EU countries since Brexit.

Students from China saw the highest increase, rising from 9.5 per 1,000 in 2017/18 to 20.8 per 1,000 in 2021/22.

The NRS figures show 36,300 more people moved to Scotland from outside the UK than left during the year 2021-2022, compared with 13,300 the previous year.

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

Data published by the Office for National Statistics for the whole of the UK shows a net migration figure of 685,000 for 2023, including asylum seekers.

The migration estimates for 2023 show 11% of migrants were from EU countries, while 82% came from non-EU countries.

The remaining 7% were British nationals moving to the UK.

Similarly to Scotland, the majority of migrants from non-EU countries came to the UK for study, with 423,000 travelling for that reason.

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