Edinburgh has highest rate of migrants in Scotland

Edinburgh's population statistics prove that the Capital is a multi-cultural city. Picture: Joey Kelly

Edinburgh's population statistics prove that the Capital is a multi-cultural city. Picture: Joey Kelly

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The Capital has the highest number of migrants in Scotland, a report has revealed.

Scotland’s foreign-born population has almost doubled since 2001, according to an analysis of the 2011 Census by Oxford University’s Migration Observatory.

Researchers found there were 75,696 non-UK born residents in Edinburgh, the most in the country.

Aberdeen had the highest population share at 16 per cent.

The new Migration Observatory census profile for Scotland showed that the nation’s foreign-born population increased by 93 per cent between 2001 and 2011 – a bigger proportional increase than England, at 61 per cent, Wales, at 82 per cent or Northern Ireland at 72 per cent.

The sharp growth in Scotland’s migrant population has been fuelled by a twenty-fold – 2105 per cent – increase in the Polish population of Scotland, which increased from 2505 in 2001 to 55,231 in 2011.

Polish-born people now represent Scotland’s largest migrant group, outnumbering the second, those born in India, by more than two to one.

The figures put Edinburgh’s Polish population at 11,651 or just over 15 per cent of our non-UK born citizens, followed by Indian migrants with 4888 or 6.4 per cent, Irish with 4743 people making 6.2 per cent, 3526 Germans making up 4.6 per cent, then 2472 Pakistani migrants with 3.2 per cent.

The profile is from the Migration Observatory 
Scotland project, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the ESRC’s Future of the UK and Scotland programme to inform the referendum debate.

Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva, the senior researcher leading the census project at the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, said: “This is the last census before the referendum on independence, and population is an important part of the discussion. While Scotland still has a much smaller foreign-born population than England, it has almost doubled in a decade. But because Scotland started with a much smaller migrant population than England, smaller numerical growth can be considerably bigger growth in percentage terms.”

The profile also shows the proportion of foreign-born people in Scotland’s population, seven per cent, remains considerably smaller than that of England and Wales, at 13 per cent.

Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: “Edinburgh has long been a multi-cultural city, which is something we should all value. Migrants bring with them a wide variety of new ideas, beliefs, customs and skills – benefiting the city’s economy and its diversity.”