OUR biggest cities are thriving, their populations booming thanks to mass net immigration, especially from England and Poland.

Council leaders in both Glasgow and Edinburgh have a good story to tell. Their economies remain relatively vibrant and their universities and businesses more than able to attract both “new Scots” and expats returning home.

But can they keep the existing Scots they already have? Perhaps not. The headline news on the growth of both Glasgow and Edinburgh conceals a little secret: the cities both lose more people to other parts of the country than they attract; technically speaking they suffer net internal emigration.

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Right now more than enough people from the rest of the UK and the rest of the world are relocating to Glasgow and Edinburgh to more than make up for this suburban flight. But with Brexit on the horizon, even if stalled, neither city is taking this for granted.

Both are putting in place schemes to not just lure new residents, but hold on to the ones they have, not least by providing the kind of housing wanted by families with children.

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Glasgow has created a “City Centre Living Strategy” to increase the number of people living there over the next decade or so.

The figures show that both cities are enjoying huge net immigration from all sources - 5390 for Glasgow and 5088 for Edinburgh in 2016/17.

The capital in that year lured 8000 people from outside the UK and another 10,000 from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These numbers, of course, include returning Scottish emigrants.

Read the rest of this article over at our sister site The Herald here