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Coming or going? How Scottish independence could affect migration



IMAGE: This graph depicts immigration overseas to Scotland. view more

Credit: Population, Space and Place

In light of the upcoming referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country, researchers present a set of predictions of the possible effects on internal and international migration.

If Scotland declares independence, international immigration will remain the most uncertain flow. However, if large inflows occur, they are likely to be balanced by emigration from Scotland. Migration between Scotland and the rest of the UK is expected to remain at similar levels to the present, irrespective of the outcome of the 2014 independence referendum.

"International and internal migration, with their inherent uncertainty, pose a challenge for policymakers, regardless of the constitutional circumstances after the independence referendum," said Dr. Arkadiusz Winiowski, lead author of the Population, Space and Place article. "All decisions and policies regarding future migration flows in Scotland will need to take large uncertainty of predicted migration into account."


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