Refugee onward migration and the changing ethnic geography of Scotland

Duncan Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The 2011 Census showed that Scotland's population had increased and part of this increase is due to inward migration. Among the in-migrants, there has been a significant increase in the proportion of black and minority ethnic people living in Scotland, notably those with a ‘black’ ethnicity. So, the ethnic geography of Scotland is changing and this appears to be due in part to significant numbers of asylum seekers and refugees who have been housed in Glasgow in recent years. This paper reports on two research studies carried out with refugees to explore their decision-making processes and the reasons why many have opted to stay in Scotland. Among the important factors identified are education (with children settled in schools), the availability of housing, a sense of loyalty to cities like Glasgow for accepting them, and the absence of obvious onward destinations. Some onward migration has taken place, but the numbers who have chosen to remain have had an important effect on the ethnic make-up of the country. The paper seeks to extend our understanding of the long-term implications of refugee decision-making for Scotland's ethnic geography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalScottish Geographical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Scotland's population
  • refugees
  • asylum-seeker dispersal
  • onward migration
  • Glasgow


Dive into the research topics of 'Refugee onward migration and the changing ethnic geography of Scotland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this