By Stephen Palmer – Record numbers of foreign students and asylum seekers have seen Scotland’s population grow to its highest level for 33 years, a fact the Scottish “National” Party has described as “excellent”.
The country’s population now stands at 5.22 million after an influx of an official figure of 46,100 immigrants last year, the most since 1977.
The figures from the National Records of Scotland reported that there was a net migration of 3,400 from the United Kingdom, while the rest of the influx was due to those coming from overseas.
Scotland’s population has risen by 159,000 in the last decade, and last year’s increase is the highest since immigration figures were first recorded in 1991.
The largest net increases in immigrant population were recorded in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee. The statistics conclude that Scotland’s population has increased by 3.1 per cent since 2001, with immigration being the main reason.
Migrants have poured into Scotland since the expansion of the EU in 2004, and the number of people living in the country who were born abroad has increased by more than half in five years, to 312,000.
Migration Watch chairman Sir Andrew Green said Scotland’s population had been expected to rise by seven per cent over the next 25 years, but the new figures suggest this rate will double.
An SNP spokesman commended Scotland’s soaring immigration numbers, saying: “These are excellent figures, which mean a growing population will help fuel our economic recovery.”
After the SNP abolished tuition fees, the number of EU students in Scotland has risen to 15,930, almost double the figure a decade ago.
The government’s report echoes the warnings on the British National Party’s Scottish Parliament election leaflets, delivered last month, in which the Party stated that:
“Floods of East Europeans can, from 1st May, come to Scotland, sign on and each grab £250+ a week in benefits and housing. We say that local people should have the money and homes.”
Only the British National Party will oppose immigration into Scotland and fight to keep Scotland Scottish.