Understanding migrant populations

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Co-financed by the European Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals

4. Understanding migrant populations

4.3 Understanding fluctuating populations

This section of the guidance has looked at the range of information that is available in relation to migration and migration trends.  However, there are limitations on how far this can be used to provide accurate information on short term population changes and fluctuations, particularly at the local level.  

NRS does publish some statistics at sub-Scotland geographies that might help to gain an understanding of local population fluctuations.

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You can find out more about the types of statistics that are available at sub-Scotland level from NRS.

You can also access a range of working papers and briefing papers relating to population change on the ESRC Centre for Population Change website.

4.3.1 Origin Destination Statistics

Origin destination statistics can also provide information on the movement and flow of people, albeit at a UK level.  Origin destination statistics are census data that deal with the movement and flow of people; either as migration (from their address one year prior to the census) or travel to work or study (from their current address to their workplace address or place of study). 

These flows can be cross tabulated by other variables of interest (for example, method of travel).  Much of the origin destination data from the 2011 Census is published at the UK level, providing flows for usual residents of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  

Some background information from NRS on the availability of workplace flow is available here, whilst a list detailing all Origin Destination tables available across the UK can be found here

Case study

Since 2006, the Research and Information team at Aberdeen City Council has produced annual briefing papers on migrant workers in Aberdeen City and Shire. The purpose of these papers is to inform council services and community planning partners, and to assist with policy development and service delivery. This briefing paper gives an indication of the scale of the inflow of migrant workers to the area. It looks at a range of factors: for example, the countries of origin of migrant workers; registrations in Aberdeen City and Shire compared with other parts of Scotland and several other key characteristics.

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The Roma Matrix is a European project that aims to combat racism towards Roma and to increase integration through a programme of action across Europe.  As part of the integration work, Glasgow City Council commissioned a mapping exercise which provides an evidence base to build an understanding of the numbers, the localities and the needs of the Roma population living in Scotland.  You can download the report here.