Strategic approaches to migration

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

3. Strategic approaches to migration

3.4 Coping with large scale migration

Migration can bring significant benefits.  However, it occurs unevenly across Scotland.  Some parts of Scotland have seen large scale migration of people from other parts of the world.  Some small neighbourhoods and areas have received a high number of new migrants, because of the initial attractions of their area.  

Some areas see more immigration than others, for example due to:

  • some areas having affordable housing, or employment opportunities, or other factors which attract high levels of immigration – which can present challenges managing migration levels; 
  • local authorities participating in UK Government schemes to support vulnerable migrants, refugees and asylum seekers; 
  • some areas having strong traditions as initial settlement areas for people arriving from other countries; 
  • some places having a wide range of cultural and religious services and social networks which attract people from other countries; 
  • some places having facilities or places which bring people in from other countries temporarily, such as universities and army barracks, which can lead to more permanent residency.

While immigration enhances diversity and enables population growth, some areas can be under significant pressure due to the level of immigration to their area.

Case study

Govanhill has always been a popular area for people coming to Glasgow to settle. The population has regularly changed and diversified as people from outside Glasgow choose to live there - people from the Highlands of Scotland; from Ireland; Jewish people fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe; people from the Punjab and other parts of the Indian sub continent; and, most recently, Roma from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria. This has resulted in Govanhill having probably the most ethnically diverse population in Scotland. In 2010, around 40% of the population of Govanhill was made up of minority ethnic people. Its population has risen by almost 15 per cent between 2001 and 2010, while in one small part of Govanhill (one datazone), the population has grown by 46 per cent. This substantial population growth is not matched by a growth in the number of residential properties.

Figures from schools in Govanhill show that there are 57 different languages spoken by their pupils. English is the home language of just 4 per cent of pupils in Annette Street Primary.

In Govanhill, there are serious issues with housing – including poor condition private properties and severe overcrowding. There are also some concerns about how to balance the needs of newly arrived and more established communities. However, there are active community organisations with a strong commitment to support communities, and public sector organisations are working in partnership to try to address the challenges. Work has also been undertaken to involve communities in management of the neighbourhood, which is summarised in this report.

Find out more...

There is lots of useful research about the impact of immigration on different neighbourhoods across the UK.