FROM the preliminary report on Scottish Vital Statistics for 1949, which has just been issued, one fact stands out clearly from the mass of figures published. This fact relates to Scotland's loss by outward migration. Yearly changes in the number of births and deaths are not normally of the first importance. What really matters is the fact that although the births exceeded the deaths by 32,300, the loss by migration was greater than this figure, and therefore our population fell during 1949. We have to go back to the period of acute trade slump between the wars to find an outward overseas migration as great as that in 1949. If this were an isolated indication of the drift away from Scotland it might not be serious, but an examination of the figures indicates that the flow from Scotland has been gathering momentum in recent years. Further, if one looks at England and Wales, it is found that while the movement of migrants has been inward south of the border, it has been outward from Scotland.