Scotlands History

English immigration

For hundreds of years, English-born immigrants have formed a significant part of the population of Scotland. From the 1920s they have became the largest immigrant group but immigration from England has been largely ignored by historians.

In 'Being English in Scotland' Murray Watson notes that 'the arrival of English-born migrants into Scotland has often generated impassioned and irrational reactions...' In the 1960s the term 'white settler' came into use to describe the stereotype of an English-born migrant that moved from a big city to a remote rural area - in particular the Highlands and Islands. In reality the majority of English-born immigrants settled in Scotland's urban central belt.

There are many stereotypes and myths about English-born migrants to Scotland. People move north of the border for all sorts of reasons and it should be noted that the 2001 Census showed that nearly twice as many people born in Scotland lived in England as English-born immigrants in Scotland. In total 8.1% of the population of Scotland in 2001 were born in England.

  • word Scotland engraved on stone

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