Skip to content

Video podcast - International migration to and from the UK, year ending September 2013

Released: 27 February 2014

Also in this release

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 September 2013.

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 early 2000s, reaching a peak of 596,000 in 2006. The latest provisional estimate showed that 532,000 migrants moved to the UK in the year ending September 2013.

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 320,000 migrants emigrated from the UK in the year ending September 2013.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, net migration was at a relatively low level,  but rose sharply after 1997. Latest provisional estimates show net migration was 212,000 for the year ending September 2013. This was an increase from 154,000 in the previous year. This means that the estimated increase is likely to reflect a real change in migration patterns.

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 reached a record high of 131,000 in the year ending September 2013, driven by increased levels of immigration and steady emigration.

By contrast net migration of non-EU citizens fell to 141,000 in the year ending September 2013, due to falling immigration alongside steady emigration.

Rising EU net migration and falling non-EU net migration means that these figures are now closer than they have been at any point over the last 30 years.

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 September 2013, 218,000 migrants arrived for work compared to 176,000 migrants arriving to study. The other reasons for migration have remained fairly steady.

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 September 2013, 103,000 EU15 citizens, 65,000 EU8 citizens and 24,000 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. 6 in every 10 migrants from the EU15 arrived for work, compared to 7 in every 10 migrants from the EU8 and the EU2 arriving for work.

Slide 6

Every person who works in the UK requires a National Insurance Number, or NINO for short. The most common overseas nationality whose citizens had the most new NINo numbers allocated to them in 2013 was Poland, followed by Spain and Italy. These nationalities saw a rise in NINo registrations of 39%, 36% and 66% respectively relative to the number of registrations in 2012.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

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

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.