Official Data Shows Record Net Migration Drop, Yet Still Hundreds Of Thousands Coming to UK

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20: Protesters and migrant workers hold banners and flags as th
Jack Taylor/Getty

Official new immigration figures show that while net migration to Britain has fallen by the largest amount on record in the last year, the number still remains in the hundreds of thousands.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures published Thursday show 572,000 people came to live in the UK in the year to June 2017  — 80,000 fewer people than in the previous year, when a record-breaking 652,000 arrived.

While migrants from the EU are continuing to arrive, the scale of the influx has diminished, with a reduction in their numbers accounting for over three-quarters of the overall fall.

Nicola White, the head of international migration statistics at the ONS, said that while data shows “statistically significant” decreases to net migration, Britain’s population is still growing as a direct result of immigrant numbers.

“The decline follows historically high levels of immigration and it is too early to say whether this represents a long-term trend,” she added.

“The number of people immigrating for a definite job has remained stable but there has been a 43 per cent decrease in the number of people immigrating to look for work over the last year, especially for EU citizens.”

Earlier this month, the Bank of England said that pay is rising across Britain as the record level of unemployment has forced employers to increase wages to fill gaps in their workforce.

Migration Watch UK Chairman Lord Green of Deddington said the figures mark a “significant and very welcome reduction in net migration”, adding that the new data “points to what could be achieved once the UK regains full control over migration” after Brexit.

He added: “Meanwhile, employers who raise cries of alarm should be reminded that we still have a net inflow of over a hundred thousand from the EU, plus 170,000 from outside the EU and this month’s figures saw a new record of 2.4 million for the number of EU workers in the UK.”


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.