National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Local Area Migration

Local Area Migration

Last Updated: 22 August 2019


Local Area Migration 2018 (Excel 799 KB)

An interactive visualisation is available through the Infographics and Visualisations page of this website

The spreadsheet displays data from 2011–2018 but also gives you access to data from 2004 when available. It will be updated once a year, although some of the data will be available before this update.

It can only be accessed in Excel format. If this causes you any difficulties please do not hesitate to contact us either through the website enquiry service or by phone, and we will endeavour to provide you with the information you require.

About this publication (PDF 127 KB)


To facilitate analysis of migration trends at administrative area level, NRS has compiled a local area migration spreadsheet. This tool gives access to migration data from a range of sources for council and NHS Board areas. Information is also available on each indicator and data source, including any strengths and weaknesses.

Migration is the most difficult component of population change to estimate as, unlike births and deaths, there is no comprehensive system for the registration of moves to or from the rest of the world, nor for moves within the UK. Official estimates of migration are therefore based on survey data and the best proxy data available. In addition to the official estimates, other sources of data may also provide information on migration. Although these alternative sources offer less complete migration data, they may prove useful. By using the National Records of Scotland (NRS) estimates of migration in conjunction with data from other sources, a fuller picture of migration can be built up.

When comparing different migration indicators it is important to remember that not all indicators are directly comparable. Features of the indicators change, such as the timing (either calendar year or mid-year), and the coverage of the data source, for example data from the pupil census can give an indication of migrants of school age at publicly funded schools which looks at a different section of the population to National Insurance Number (NINo) allocations to adult overseas nationals entering the UK. Also some indicators suggest in-migration patterns where as others indicate trends in the stock of migrants in an area.

The Office for National Statistics has also produced a Local Area Migration Indicators Suite which uses a lot of the same sources used in this publication, but looking at areas across the UK as a whole.

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Lead Statistician: Denise Patrick

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