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Statistics Reveal Increase in Net Migration

The latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that net long-term migration to the UK (immigration less emigration) rose to 318,000 during 2014. This was apparently just below the previous peak (320,000 in the year ending June 2005) and a statistically significant increase from 209,000 in 2013.

Looking at the figures in more detail, they reveal that 641,000 people immigrated to the UK in 2014, up from 526,000 in 2013. There were statistically significant increases for immigration of EU (non-British) citizens (up 67,000 to 268,000) and non-EU citizens (up 42,000 to 290,000). An estimated 323,000 people emigrated from the UK in 2014. Overall emigration levels have been relatively stable since 2010.

The figures also show that:

  • 284,000 people immigrated for work in 2014, an increase of 70,000 compared with 2013, continuing the rise since the middle of 2012.
  • In 2014, work-related visas granted (main applicants) rose 11,007 (or 10%) to 119,883, including a 6,842 (15%) increase for skilled work.
  • Immigration for study increased from 177,000 to 193,000 in 2014, but this change was not statistically significant. Over the same period, visa applications to study at a UK university (main applicants) rose by 0.3% to 168,562.
  • The number of immigrants arriving to accompany or join others showed a statistically significant increase, from 71,000 to 91,000 in 2014.
  • 46,000 Romanian and Bulgarian (EU2) citizens immigrated to the UK in 2014, up from 23,000 in the previous 12 months. Of these, 35,000 were coming for work, a statistically significant increase of 19,000 compared with 2013. The latest estimates reflect the first full year since EU2 working restrictions ended on 1st January 2014.
  • There were 25,020 asylum applications (main applicants) in the year ending March 2015, an increase of 5% compared with the previous 12 months. The number of applications remains low relative to the peak number of applications in 2002 (84,132). The largest number of applications for asylum came from nationals of Eritrea (3,552), followed by Pakistan (2,421) and Syria (2,222).

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