National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Local Area Migration

Local Area Migration

Last Updated: 30 August 2012


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. For example, the data may be available in a more timely fashion or it may provide accurate information on a specific group of migrants. 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.

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 the strengths and weaknesses of each data source, what each data source indicates, and links are provided for further information. In the past this data and information was presented in the nine local area migration reports. We consulted users on our future outputs in the context of prioritising and streamlining outputs. Combining the nine local area migration reports into one spreadsheet will achieve savings, and will make the data more accessible and provide more flexibility for comparing areas and indicators.

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 is available within the data section on the International Migration page of their website.


Local Area Migration 2011 (Excel 2.1 Mb)

The spreadsheet displays data from 2006–2012 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.

Unfortunately 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.

The age profiles of migrants were available in the local area migration reports but cannot be accessed from the local area migration spreadsheet. They are available within the Total Migration To or From an Area section on this website.

Enquiries and Suggestions

Please contact our Statistics Customer Services if you need any further information.
E-mail: [email protected]

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
E-mail: [email protected]

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