On 30 June 2006, the population of Scotland rose by 22,100 over the previous year, according to recently released statistics from the General Register Office for Scotland. The population boost was due in large part to immigration from overseas.
A net migration gain of 21,200 was recorded over the previous year, which included 8,900 citizens from other parts of the United Kingdom. 12,700 came from overseas, including asylum seekers. This is the fourth year in a row that the population of Scotland has increased.
53,000 people from other areas of the UK came to Scotland and 44,400 left for other parts of the UK. The net influx of 8,900 people is lower than the previous year's 12,500. The number of people leaving Scotland for other parts of the UK remained the same over the previous year.
Immigration from overseas was much higher than migration from England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Over the course of the year, 42,200 overseas migrants, including asylum seekers, arrived in Scotland and 29,500 left Scotland to go overseas. The net inflow of 12,700 migrants is higher than the previous year's 7,300.
The migration statistics were derived from the International Passenger Survey, which has a higher risk of error than internal resident statistics. Only those who were expected to stay in Scotland for more than one year were counted. Seasonal migrant workers and other migrant categories were not included in the statistics.
While the population of Scotland has been rising, the long term trend is considered worrisome. Fewer people are having children and the population increases seen in the last few years are believed to be temporary, as most workers, especially from Easter Europe, are expected to go home eventually.
The Scottish Executive has put in place measures to try and alleviate future population problems, such as the Fresh Talent initiative, designed to keep young skilled labor to the area by allowing non-European Economic Area students of Scottish educational institutions to remain in Scotland for two years after graduation.
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