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Latest quarterly migration statistics

The Office for National Statistics has published its Migration Statistics Quarterly Report for May 2013.

  1. statistics show that:
  • There was a net flow of 153,000 migrants to the UK in the year ending September 2012, which is significantly lower than the net flow of 242,000 in the year ending September 2011.
  • There was a decrease in the number of citizens immigrating to the UK from New Commonwealth countries.
  • 190,000 migrants arrived to study in the year to September 2012, which is significantly lower than 246,000 in the previous year. Study remains the most common reason stated for migrating to the UK.
  • There was a significant decrease in the number of migrants arriving whose main reason was to accompany or join others.
  • Excluding visitor and transit visas, the number of visas issued fell 6% to 499,780 in the year ending March 2013 (compared with 529,905 in the previous 12 months), the lowest 12-monthly total recorded using comparable data available from 2005.
  • In the year to March 2013, there were 206,814 visas issued for the purpose of study (excluding student visitors), a fall of 9% compared with the previous 12 months.

According to the IPPR, the decline in net migration is in large part being driven by falling numbers of international students, which comes at considerable economic cost to the UK at a time when the country can ill afford it.

Sarah Mulley, Associate Director at IPPR, said:

“Falling student numbers will not help the Government meet its target in the medium term. Because most students stay in the UK only for a short time, reduced immigration now will mean reduced emigration in the future, which by 2015 could partially reverse the falls in net migration we are seeing now. “

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