Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), revealed that net migration – the difference between migrants leaving and coming to the UK – rose to 212,000 in the year to September 2013, from 154,000 during the preceding 12 months. It now seems that Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May’s pledge to cut net immigration to below 100,000 a year has been undermined. The Home Office’s data tables containing immigration statistics can be viewed here.
Rise in Net Migration: What the Figures Show
The Office for National Statistics figures on net migration reveals that:
- There was an estimated net flow of 212,000 long-term migrants to the UK in the year ending September 2013, a statistically significant increase from 154,000 in the previous year;
- 532,000 people immigrated to the UK in the year ending September 2013, not a statistically significant difference from 497,000 the previous year;
- 60,000 more EU citizens and 25,000 fewer non-EU citizens immigrated to the UK than the previous year;
- 320,000 emigrants left the UK in the year ending September 2013. This is not a statistically significant difference from the 343,000 in the previous year. 12,000 fewer British citizens, 6,000 fewer EU citizens and 5,000 fewer non-EU citizens emigrated; and
- 209,000 EU citizens immigrated in the year ending September 2013, a statistically significant increase from 149,000 the previous year. 40,000 more EU citizens arrived for work than the previous year, another statistically significant increase.
Increase in Grants of Tier 2 Work Visas & Student Visas
ONS figures reveal that in 2013 there were increases in grants of work visas (visas (+9,750, including + 4,777 short term skilled workers) and of study visas (+9,024, with increased applications for the university sector) granted to migrants from outside the EEA.
Despite these figures, it seems that the number of people arriving from non-EU states fell significantly to 244,000 in the period, down from 269,000 the previous year. The ONS said this was due to fewer New Commonwealth citizens – such as those from India – migrating to the UK for formal study.
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