UK

Latest UK migration statistics: The key numbers

Here are the key numbers in the latest migration figures from the Office for National Statistics:

– Estimated net migration to the UK in the year to June 2023 stood at a provisional total of 672,000, up 11% from 607,000 in the previous 12 months.

However, this is below the estimate of 745,000 for the 12 months to December 2022, which is a record high.

Net migration is the difference between the number of people arriving and leaving the country.

A total of 1,180,000 people are estimated to have arrived in the UK in the year to June 2023, while 508,000 are likely to have left – a difference of 672,000.

– Net migration levels have varied sharply in recent years.

In the years immediately before the Covid-19 pandemic, net migration was on a downwards trend, with estimates of 276,000 for 2018 and 184,000 for 2019.

The figure fell further in 2020 to 93,000, when restrictions introduced during the Covid pandemic limited travel and movement.

POLITICS Migrants
POLITICS Migrants (PA Graphics)

It then rose to 466,000 in the year to December 2021, before jumping to a record 745,000 in the year to December 2022.

The most recent estimate of 672,000, for the 12 months to June 2023, suggests net migration may have peaked.

“While it’s too early to say if this is the start of a new downward trend, these more recent estimates indicate a slowing of immigration coupled with increasing emigration,” according to Emma Rourke, ONS deputy national statistician.

– The rise in long-term net migration since 2021 has been driven by an increase in immigration from outside the European Union, including people arriving on resettlement schemes from places such as Ukraine and Hong Kong, as well as an increase in non-EU students and workers.

Of the 1.18 million people estimated to have immigrated to the UK in the year to June, 968,000 were non-EU nationals, up from 848,000 in the previous 12 months; 129,000 were from the EU, up from 121,000; and 84,000 were British nationals, down from 108,000.

– By contrast, more EU nationals emigrated from the UK in the year to June (215,000) than non-EU nationals (200,000) and British nationals (93,000).

– More EU nationals left the UK in the year to June (215,000) than arrived (129,000), meaning net migration was negative for this group (-86,000).

The same was true for British nationals, with 93,000 leaving and 84,000 arriving, giving a net migration figure of -10,000.

The pattern was different for non-EU nationals, with far more arriving (968,000) than leaving (200,000), giving a net migration figure of 768,000.

– The main driver of the jump in non-EU immigration in the latest figures is the number of migrants coming to the UK for work.

This stood at an estimated 322,000 in the year to June, 33% of the total, up from 198,000 in the previous 12 months.

The ONS said the figure of 322,000 is split fairly evenly between main applicants and their dependants, such as family members.

Health and care work visas were the most common type of work visa on which dependants came to the UK.

– People arriving on study-related visas accounted for the largest proportion (39%) of long-term immigration of non-EU nationals last year, at 378,000 people, up slightly from 320,000 in the previous 12 months.

The ONS said that while historic evidence shows more than 80% of students typically left the UK within five years, analysis of recent groups suggests more are staying for longer and then moving on to work visas.

– People coming to the UK on humanitarian routes, such as the Ukraine and Hong Kong schemes, accounted for 9% of non-EU immigration in the year to June at 83,000 people, down from 157,000 in the previous 12 months.

– The remainder of the non-EU total was made up of people arriving for asylum (9%) at 90,000, up year-on-year from 75,000; family visas (7%) at 70,000, down from 61,000; and for other reasons (3%) at 25,000, down from 37,000.

– An estimated 33,000 Ukrainian nationals came to the UK in the year to June as part of the Ukraine schemes, compared with 80,000 in the previous 12 months, along with 47,000 people who arrived under the scheme for British nationals overseas and their families from Hong Kong (down from 57,000).

A further 3,000 people are estimated to have arrived under schemes for resettled refugees, including those who have come from Afghanistan, down year-on-year from 20,000.