National Records of Scotland

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Non-British population of Scotland increased over most recent year

Non-British population of Scotland increased over most recent year

Thursday, 21 May 2020
Demography news release image

National Records of Scotland (NRS) published figures today which show that in 2019, 388,000 non-British nationals or 502,000 non-UK born people lived in Scotland.

The number of non-British nationals living in Scotland increased by 36,000 (from 352,000 in 2018) over the latest year, driven mainly by an increase in non-EU nationals.

Of all non-British nationals living in Scotland, 3 in 5 were EU nationals (234,000) and 2 in 5 were non-EU nationals (154,000). Most EU nationals were from EU8 countries (134,000), and Polish remained the most common non-British nationality, accounting for almost one quarter (23%) of all non-British nationals living in Scotland in 2019.

Overall, 7% of Scotland’s population were non-British nationals. This varied across councils with cities having the largest proportion of non-British residents – highest in Aberdeen City (18%), City of Edinburgh (16%) and Glasgow City (14%).

The full publication ‘Population by Country of Birth and Nationality for Scotland in 2019’ can be accessed on this website. This includes information on the number of non-British nationals and non-UK born living in Scotland and each council area. Infographics summarising the key findings are also available for this publication.

As part of ongoing work to improve understanding of the latest migration trends for Scotland, check out NRS’ new Migration Statistics Quarterly Summary for Scotland. This is updated quarterly with the next update published on 22 May 2020. It brings together data from a range of sources, including the above statistics, to give an overview of what’s happening to migration in Scotland.