Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released new quarterly migration figures in the United Kingdom, revealing that long-term net migration is up yet again, to 323,000 in the year to September 2015. The rise is up 31,000 on the previous years.
Immigration was up 2,000 on the year, while emigration fell 29,000.
The figure reveals a lower net migration figure than the previous declared quarter (to June 2015) though this has not been prompted by immigration – still at over 600,000 – but rather, due to a decrease people leaving the country. Net migration is the total number of people in, minus the total number of people out.
Net migration into the UK hit a record high of 336,000 in the year up to June 2015, representing a 34 per cent increase in the space of a year.
The ONS reports net migration of EU citizens was estimated to be 172,000 (compared with 158,000 in YE September 2014) while non-EU net migration (191,000) was similar to the previous year (188,000).
Around a quarter of a million EU citizens are believed to have immigrated into the UK – a leap of around 11,000 on the year before. The most significant rise is said to be from EU2 countries – Romania and Bulgaria – up 15,000 to 55,000.
Immigration of non-EU citizens saw a decrease from 289,000 to 273,000.
Only just over half of those who immigrated into the United Kingdom had a definite job to go to when they came to the United Kingdom, with the rest looking for work, though the figure for those with a job to go to jumps to two thirds for EU2 countries.
New figures also reveal that there are around two million employed EU nationals in the United Kingdom, over a 10 per cent increase on the same quarter in 2014. Non-EU nationals in employment rose by 38,000 to 1.2 million.
The ONS reports that nearly half of the growth in employment over the last year was accounted for by foreign nationals.
There were also 828,000 National Insurance Number (NINo) registrations to adult overseas nationals in 2015, an increase of 60,000 on the previous year, raising concerns that the methodology behind Britain’s migration figures is not as accurate as the Department for Work and Pensions figures which show actual registrations. The ONS figures are based on the International Passenger Survey, which is believed to be less reliable.
Asylum applications also jumped 20 per cent at the end of the 2015 to a total of 38,878 in three months. This is the fifth successive year in which asylum applications have risen.
The largest number of applications for asylum, including dependants, came from nationals of Eritrea (3,756; +465), followed by Iran (3,694; +1,195), Pakistan (3,254; -722), Sudan (3,014; +1,399) and Syria (2,846; +493). There were an additional 1,194 Syrian nationals granted humanitarian protection under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.