New ONS UK Immigration Statistics Show Increase in EU Migration to UK

This morning, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published their Migration Statistics Quarterly Report (May 2014) which reveal a rise in the arrival of EU citizens to the UK in the year to December 2013. As voters took to the polls in European and local elections, the ONS revealed some 201,000 EU citizens immigrated to the UK in the year ending December 2013, a “statistically significant” rise on the 158,000 the previous year. Separate data shows a 7% rise in registrations of overseas workers to 603,000 in the year to March 2014. The level of net migration stands at more than twice the government’s target of 100,000 a year.

Summary of ONS Migration Statistics

The Office for National Statistics figures on net migration reveals that:

  • Net long-term migration to the UK was estimated to be 212,000 in the year ending December 2013, not a statistically significant increase from 177,000 the previous year and unchanged from the net migration figure previously reported for the year ending September 2013.
  • Recent patterns of net migration over the last two years show an increase since the lowest estimate of 154,000 (year ending September 2012). However, net migration has continued to be lower than the general level of net migration since 2004.
  • 526,000 people immigrated to the UK in the year ending December 2013, not a statistically significant difference from 498,000 the previous year. 43,000 more EU citizens and 11,000 fewer non-EU citizens immigrated to the UK than in the previous year.
  • 214,000 immigrated for work in the year ending December 2013, a statistically significant increase from 180,000 the previous year. Work remains as the most common reason for immigrating to the UK. Immigration for study (177,000) has remained steady.
  • 125,000 EU citizens immigrated for work in the year ending December 2013, a statistically significant increase from 95,000 the previous year. 62,000 were citizens from EU15 (pre-2004) countries, a statistically significant increase from 49,000 the previous year.

Rise in EU Migration to UK

In particular, the ONS said the number of National Insurance numbers issued to overseas workers rose 7% to 603,000 in the year ending March 2014. It seems that of those, there were significant rises in registrations by workers from four EU countries:

  • Polish registrations were up by 11,000 to 102,000;
  • Italian registrations rose by 9,000 to 42,000;
  • Bulgarian registrations climbed by 7,000 to 18,000; and
  • And Romanian registrations increased by 29,000 to 47,000.

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