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Reasons for Scots Moving to England


I emailed Kirsty at the National Records of Scotland to see if she could provide any information on why so many Scots went to England and I got this reply...

You asked if we had any figures on why so many Scots moved to England. The attached table taken from the NOMIS website gives some information about the characteristics of people born in Scotland who were living in England at the time of the 2011 Census.

It shows that there were 709,000 usual residents of England who were born in Scotland. They represented 1% of the total population of England.

(The figures are for England only. There were 24,346 usual residents of Wales who were born in Scotland – giving a total of 733,218 for E&W,)

The figures show that this group of the population of England were:

· mostly adults – 4% aged under 16, 71% aged 16 to 64 and 25% aged 65 and over
· predominately white (98%)
· mainly reported their national identity to be “Scottish identity only (53%), ‘British identity only’ (27%) or ‘Scottish and British identities only’ (10%)
· mostly living in England one year before the census - 5.5% were living in Scotland one year before the census, with this proportion being highest for those aged 1 to 4 (34%), aged 18 to 19 (24%), aged 20 to 24 (34%) and aged 25 to 29 (21%). These older age groups are likely to relate to people who moved south for reasons of work or study.
· Of the 680,000 aged 16 and over residents of England who were born in Scotland, 390,000 (58%) were in employment, 23,000 (3%) were unemployed and 264,000 (39%) were economically inactive (mainly retired)

In 2011, there 459,000 Scottish residents who were born in England, 9% of the total population of Scotland. Of these people,

· the proportions aged under 16, 16 to 64 and 65 and over were 8%, 74% and 18% respectively
· mostly identified as ‘British identity only’ (33%) , ‘English identity only’ (25%) , ‘Other combinations of UK identities’ (15%) or ‘Scottish identity only (14%)
· mostly living in Scotland one year before the census – 8% were living in England one year before the census, with this proportion being 30% for those aged 18 to 19, likely to reflect people coming to Scotland for reasons of study.

You may also be interested in the chapter entitled ‘Migrants in Scotland’s population histories since 1850’ at the following link - https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/stats-at-a-glance/registrar-generals-annual-review/invited-chapters

It describes historical reasons for people moving between Scotland and England, many of which were work related.


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