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Video podcast - International migration to and from the UK, year ending March 2014

Released: 28 August 2014

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 Slide 1

This is a short video looking at patterns of long-term international migration to and from the United Kingdom, presenting the latest provisional estimates for the year ending March 2014.

Slide 2

This first chart shows patterns of immigration (that’s migrants arriving in to the UK for a period of 12 months or more), emigration (that’s migrants leaving the UK for 12 months or more), and net migration (the difference between immigration and emigration).

Immigration rose sharply during the late 1990s and continued to increase following EU accession in 2004. The latest provisional estimate showed that 560,000 migrants moved to the UK in the year ending March 2014.

Emigration has remained broadly steady over the last 40 years, albeit with a slight rise in the last 10 years reflecting rising immigration. The latest provisional estimate shows that 316,000 migrants emigrated from the UK in the year ending March 2014.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, net migration was at a relatively low level, but rose sharply after 1997. The latest provisional estimates show net migration was 243,000 for the year ending March 2014, a statistically significant increase from 175,000 in the previous year.

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 between 2004-2007.

Please note that net migration estimates for the UK between 2001 and 2011 have been revised in light of the results of the 2011 Census. The Census showed that net migration had been underestimated during the decade, and so the revised net migration estimates are higher than those published previously.

Slide 3

This chart shows how the patterns of migration vary between EU citizens (not including British citizens) and non-EU citizens. Net migration of EU citizens was 131,000 in the year ending March 2014, a statistically significant increase from 95,000 in the previous year. This increase has been driven by increased levels of immigration and steady emigration.

Net migration of non-EU citizens was 162,000 in the year ending March 2014. Net migration of non-EU citizens has been declining since 2011, although latest estimates suggest this recent decline may have ended.

Slide 4

The two main reasons why migrants come to live in the UK are for work and study. Traditionally work has been the most common reason for migration, although study overtook work between 2009 and 2012. In the year ending March 2014, 228,000 migrants arrived for work, a statistically significant increase from 190,000 in the previous year. There were an estimated 177,000 migrants arriving to study. The other reasons for migration have remained fairly steady, as shown by the graph, apart from a statistically significant increase in the number of migrants arriving to accompany/join others to 83,000 [Click] in the year ending March 2014 from 59,000 in the previous year.

Slide 5

Let’s look at EU migration in more detail. The latest estimates from the International Passenger Survey show that in the year ending March 2014, 107,000 EU15 citizens, 60,000 EU8 citizens and 28,000 EU2 citizens migrated to the UK. Immigration of EU15 and EU2 citizens have shown a statistically significant increase relative to the previous year, whilst immigration of EU8 citizens has remained relatively steady compared to the previous year. 64% of migrants from the EU15 arrived for work, compared to 72% of migrants from the EU8 and 79% of migrants from the EU2. 

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

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    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

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