‘Now that net migration is falling and we face the coming challenge of Brexit, we find ourselves once again facing a major demographic challenge,’ says The David Hume Institute
EU migration to Scotland has to some extent offset the effects of an ageing population and one of the lowest birth rates in the developed world, says the paper by The David Hume Institute, titled ‘Wealth of the nation: Who will do the jobs?’. But overseas immigration, already lower than to England, has dropped sharply in recent years.
“Now that net migration is falling and we face the coming challenge of Brexit, we find ourselves once again facing a major demographic challenge,” the authors write.
By 2041, Scotland’s pensionable-age population is projected to increase by 265,000, while the working-age population is seen rising only by 38,000, according to National Records of Scotland. Net migration from overseas, or inflows minus outflows, is forecast to decline substantially in the next few years.
The report says part of the solution will come from future technological change and from encouraging more people of working age to enter the labour market.
“But even together these will not be enough to cover expected shortages. Immigration must, therefore, be a priority,” it notes.