National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Migration Statistics

Migration Statistics


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The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in line with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics (available on the UK Statistics Authority website).


It is increasingly important to have high quality statistics on migration and the population, for policy development and for planning and providing public services. Achieving this aim is challenging in the context of increasingly complex lifestyles and changes in migration to and from the UK over the last decade.

Migration is the most difficult component of population change to estimate; there is no comprehensive system which registers migration in the UK. Estimates of migration therefore have to be based on survey data and the best proxy data that exist.

The links below provide access to estimates of migration within Scotland, between Scotland and the rest of the UK and between Scotland and overseas. The migration statistics Methodology section on this website explains how these estimates are produced.

Estimates of migration for the UK, England and Wales are available on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website, and for Northern Ireland from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) website.

Data Visualisation

An interactive map showing the migration flows between council areas between mid-2014 and mid-2015 can be accessed in the Infographics and Visualisations section of this website. Further details can be found in the Migration within Scotland section.

More information and statistics

Detailed information on migration, including time series data, can be found in the tables below. Further information, including commentary on these statistics, can be found on this website in the Registrar General’s Annual Review, the Mid-Year Population Estimates publications for the relevant year and also in the High Level Summary of Statistical Trends.

Total Migration To or From an Area (Last Updated: 20 July 2016)

Migration within Scotland (Last Updated: 20 July 2016)

Migration between Scotland and the Rest of the UK (Last Updated: 20 July 2016)

Migration between Scotland and Overseas (Last Updated: 20 July 2016)

Local Area Migration (Last Updated: 25 August 2016)

About this publication (Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format) (PDF 86 Kb)

Migration Statistics Improvements

Other Useful Information

Latest Update

These detailed migration tables have been updated to include migration estimates for 2015, following the publication of the 2015 mid-year population estimates in April 2016.

Data for 2011/12 to 2013/14 has been corrected to account for the age-distribution errors which were discovered in 2015. Details of this correction can be found on the Population section of the website.

We have published new tables providing estimates of migrants to and from Scotland from overseas and the rest of the UK by single year of age and sex.

New NHS Board areas came into force in April 2014. The 2014 NHS Boards have been used for 2011/12 data onwards. The pre-2006 NHS Board areas being used for data up to and including 2010/11.

Unrevised migration estimates based on the 2001 Census

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Statistics - useful links

The Statistics - Useful Links page gives details of other related websites.

Enquiries and Suggestions

Please contact our Statistics Customer Services if you need any further information.

If you have comments or suggestions that would help us improve our outputs or our standards of service please contact:

Kirsty MacLachlan, Senior Statistician, National Records of Scotland,
Room 1/2/3, Ladywell House, Ladywell Road, Edinburgh. EH12 7TF.
Telephone: (0131) 314 4242