Record migration figures point to England-Scotland divide
The difference between the number of people moving to the UK and those emigrating reached an all-time high in 2010, new government figures show.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that even though the number of immigrants to the UK remained steady, at 591,000, the number of people emigrating fell – a trend which provisional figures show has continued into 2011.
Net migration – the difference between the number of people arriving in and leaving the UK – is the figure that the present government is promising to cut to 'tens of thousands' by 2015.
The number of people recorded moving abroad to work was the lowest since 2006, the ONS observed, noting that the difficult state of the world economy was the likely cause.
The main reason for people coming to the UK remains to study, and immigration minister Damian Green said: "A decrease in the number of student and work visas issued compared to a year earlier [shows] that our policies are starting to take effect."
In contrast to Westminster, however, the Scottish parliament wants to keep migration there at its current levels, according to the Financial Times.
Faced with an ageing population, the Scottish government has said: "Alongside our efforts to develop skills at home, we much encourage more Scots to return, and continue to attract the talented people we need to support economic recovery and growth – wherever they may come from."
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