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Statistical bulletin: Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, November 2011 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 24 November 2011 Download PDF

Key Points

  • Final figures for 2010 show that annual net migration to the UK was 252,000, the highest calendar year figure on record.
  • Emigration reached its lowest calendar year figure since 2001 at 339,000 in 2010. Immigration remained steady at 591,000. Declining emigration is the main driver for the increase in net migration.
  • More recent provisional data show net migration was 245,000 for the year ending March 2011. This compares to 222,000 in the year ending March 2010. Immigration remains steady at 582,000 and emigration is at its joint lowest since December 2001 at 336,000 in the year to March 2011 (The year ending June 2005 also had 336,000 people emigrating).
  • Final calendar year figures show that in 2010, there were 238,000 people arriving to study in the UK. This is the highest calendar year figure on record. Provisional figures indicate that this has decreased by approximately 7,000 in the year ending March 2011.
  • Fewer people are emigrating from the UK for work-related reasons. Figures for the year ending March 2011 show that 174,000 emigrants left the UK for work related reasons. This is its lowest for five years and compares to 203,000 in the year to March 2010.

Migration Statistics Quarterly Report

The Migration Statistics Report (MSQR) is a summary of the quarterly releases of official international migration data. This edition covers quarterly datasets released on 24 November 2011. It also includes data and commentary on the final Long-Term International Migration estimates for 2010. Other migration products also released on 24 November are linked within this report.

Introduction

Welcome to this extended version of the MSQR. This edition incorporates final Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) estimates for 2010 in addition to its regular content.

The MSQR brings together statistics on migration that are published quarterly by the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the National Records of Scotland (NRS). Provisional estimates of LTIM and from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) are included for the year ending March 2011, to provide the latest estimates available.

There is significant interest in migration statistics both nationally and internationally and there is a need to understand how moves impact on society and the economy. Migration estimates are a fundamental component of ONS’ population estimates and population projections. These are used by central and local government and the health sector for planning and monitoring service delivery, resource allocation and managing the economy.

The quarterly reports provide key messages from the latest data available on migration. The latest LTIM figures are provisional and allow a comparison of recent migration patterns on a quarterly basis. However, these are subject to change and final calendar year LTIM estimates are considered to provide a more reliable picture of migration and allow for annual comparisons over time.   

Section 7 of this report includes further information on understanding the Long-Term International Migration estimates. Web links are provided at the relevant sections for those who wish to access the underlying datasets. Guidance on comparing data from different sources can be found in the User Information (141.1 Kb Pdf) .

For further information on how ONS migration statistics are used along with information on their fitness for purpose please see the Quality and Methodology Information (QMI) for Long-Term International Migration Releases. This document has replaced the Summary Quality Report.

Summary Statistics

The Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) and International Passenger Survey (IPS) datasets use the UN definition of a long-term international migrant being someone who moves from their country of previous residence for a period of at least a year.

The latest provisional data for the year ending March 2011 suggest:

  • Estimated total long-term immigration to the UK in the year to March 2011 was 582,000, similar to the level in 2004.

  • Estimated total long-term emigration from the UK in the year to March 2011 was 336,000. This has declined since a peak in the year to December 2008, when total emigration from the UK was estimated at 427,000 and is now the lowest since the year to December 2001 when it was 309,000. The year to June 2005 also saw 336,000 people emigrating from the UK.

  • Estimated provisional total long-term net migration was 245,000 in the year to March 2011. This compares with 222,000 in the year to March 2010 and is lower than the peak of 255,000 seen in the year to September 2010. 

  • Provisional figures for the year ending March 2011 suggest people emigrating from the UK for work-related reasons is at its lowest since the year to March 2006 at 174,000. This compares to 203,000 in the year to March 2010.

The final LTIM estimates for 2010 show

  • Estimated net long-term migration to the UK in 2010 was 252,000, this compares to 198,000 in 2009. This is above the previous high figure of 245,000 in 2004 and is now the highest calendar year estimate on record (although mid year data show that in the year to June 2005, net migration reached 260,000).

  • Study remains the most common reason for migrating to the UK and reached a record high in 2010 at 238,000, although not significantly different from 211,000 in 2009.

  • Net migration of citizens of A8 countries has increased to 49,000 in 2010, from 16,000 in 2009. This is due to both a rise in immigration from 68,000 to 86,000; and a fall in emigration from 52,000 to 37,000.

  • Final LTIM figures for 2010 show that immigration to the UK of non-EU citizens was 322,000 in 2010 compared to 303,000 in 2009. Emigration of non-EU citizens decreased from 119,000 in 2009 to 104,000 in 2010. This resulted in an increase in net migration of non-EU citizens from 184,000 in 2009 to 218,000 in 2010.

Further information on these data is available in Section 5 of this report.

The latest data on applications to live, work and study in the UK, which can also include people intending to stay in the UK for less than a year, show:

  • In the year ending December 2010 the overall number of entry clearance visas issued for work and study was 495,499, less than a one per cent decrease on 496,769 in the year ending December 2009. The latest figures show that in the year ending September 2011 the total number of entry clearance visas issued for work and study was 494,600, a 4 per cent decrease on the year ending September 2010 (516,415).

  • In the year ending September 2011 a total of 151,935 work-related visas were issued, a decrease of 6 per cent on 161,029 in the year ending September 2010. The number of visas issued for the purpose of study was 342,665 in the year ending September 2011, a fall of 4 per cent on 355,386 in the year ending September 2010.

  •  689,000 NINos were allocated to non-UK nationals in the year to June 2011, 14 per cent higher than in the year to June 2010.

  • 181,000 NINos were allocated to A8 nationals in the year to June 2011, an increase of 15 per cent on the year to June 2010.

1. What are the latest total figures of international migration?

This section shows the latest available figures from the following sources:

1. Provisional long-term international migration figures in the year to March 2011.

2. Final long-term international migration figures for 2010.

3. Entry clearance visas issued by the Home Office up to September 2011.

4. National insurance number allocations to adult overseas nationals up to June 2011.

1.1 Latest provisional long-term international migration figures (year to March 2011)

The provisional estimate of total long-term international immigration to the UK in the year to March 2011 was 582,000. This level has been broadly maintained since 2004. (Figure 1.1)

The provisional estimate of total long-term emigration from the UK in the year to March 2011 was 336,000. This continues the decline since the year to December 2008, when total emigration from the UK was estimated at 427,000. (Figure 1.1)

The provisional estimate of net long-term migration to the UK in the year to March 2011 was 245,000. This compares to 222,000 in the year to March 2010 and the recent peak of 255,000 in the year ending September 2010. (Figure 1.1) The highest figure for net migration was in the year to June 2005 (260,000).

Figure 1.1: Total long-term international migration estimates, UK, 2001–2011

Total long-term international migration estimates, UK, 2001–2011
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 11 are provisional
  2. Up to YE Dec 09, data are only available at six month intervals

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1.2 Final Estimates of Long-Term International Migration 2010

The figures presented in section 1.1 show the latest available provisional figures, which allow a timely comparison of recent migration patterns on a quarterly basis. However, these are subject to change and final LTIM estimates are considered to provide a more reliable picture of migration and allow the best comparisons over time.  

Figure 1.2: Total annual long-term international migration estimates, UK, 1991–2010

Total annual long-term international migration estimates, UK, 1991–2010
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. The 2001-2007 estimates were revised in November 2009 following changes to source data. Therefore they may not agree with estimates published prior to this date

Download chart


Figure 1.2 shows that since 1991

  • Long-term immigration to the UK has remained relatively stable since 2004 following a steady rise from 1993. Final figures estimate that 591,000 people immigrated to the UK in 2010.

  • Long-term emigration from the UK has recently declined from a peak of 427,000 in 2008 to 339,000 in 2010. However, despite this recent decrease, annual patterns of emigration show a general increase since 1998.

  • Net migration has varied since 1991 showing an increase in 1998 that remained relatively unchanged until 2004 when there was a further increase to 245,000. Since then net migration has fluctuated around 200,000 driven by rises and falls in emigration. However, latest final LTIM estimates show net migration at 252,000. This is the highest calendar year estimate on record for net migration, although it is lower than the mid-year estimate of 260,000 for the year ending June 2005. Emigration seems to be the main driver in net migration for both of these periods.

For further information on emigration, please see 'Emigration - A Short Story'.

1.3 Entry clearance visas

Different nationalities have different visa requirements for entering and staying in the UK:

  • European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals do not require a visa to come to the UK

  • For over 100 other nationalities, covering three-quarters of the world population, a visa is required for entry to the UK for any purpose or for any length of stay

  • For all remaining nationalities a visa is required for those wanting to come to the UK for over six months, or for work

The total number of entry clearance visas for work and study issued in the year ending September 2011 was 494,600, a four per cent decrease on the year ending September 2010 (516,415). (Figure 3.13)

1.4 National Insurance Number allocations to adult overseas nationals up to June 2011

The total number of NINo registrations to adult overseas nationals in the year to June 2011 was 689,000, an increase of 84,000 (14 per cent) on the year to June 2010.

1.5 Non-UK born and non-British national residents

Estimates of the population by country of birth and nationality are derived from the Annual Population Survey (APS), which is a household survey that covers the whole of the UK. The figures for the year ending March 2011 show that 88.2 per cent of the UK population were UK born and 92.6 per cent were British nationals. (Figure 1.3) This compares with estimates of 88.6 per cent of UK born and 92.9 per cent of British nationals in the year to March 2010.

India is the most common non-UK country of birth for UK residents. In the year to March 2011, 693,000 UK residents were born in India. This compares to 669,000 the year previously.

In the year to March 2011, the most common non-British nationality was Polish (576,000 residents). This compares to 531,000 in the year ending March 2010.

Figure 1.3: UK residents by non-UK country of birth and by non-British country of nationality: estimates for year to March 2011; top five (including 95 per cent confidence intervals)

95% CI (+/-)
thousands thousands
Non-UK country of birth Estimate CI   Non-British country of nationality Estimate CI
India 693 36   Poland 576 33
Poland 550 32   Republic of Ireland 356 26
Pakistan 433 28   India 332 25
Republic of Ireland 406 28   Pakistan 155 17
Germany 297 24   United States of America 140 16

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. As these values are survey estimates they will be subject to sampling variability. Quality measures are published with the dataset

  2. CI = confidence intervals. A definition is provided in the Glossary

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2. Who is migrating to and from the UK? Migration by citizenship

This section contains latest available data of migration to and from the UK by citizenship. It includes data from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) and National Insurance Number allocations to overseas nationals.  The latest available data are from the International Passenger Survey for the year ending March 2011. Final estimates of Long-term International Migration (LTIM) for 2010 are also provided. For information on differences between LTIM and IPS please see Section 7.

2.1 British and non-British citizens

Provisional IPS estimates by citizenship show that in the year to March 2011 the estimated number of British citizens immigrating long-term to the UK was 85,000, not a statistically significant difference from the estimate of 89,000 in the year to March 2010. The estimated number of British citizens emigrating long-term from the UK in the year to March 2011 was 130,000, not statistically significantly different from the estimate of 119,000 in the year to March 2010. (Figure 2.11)

Figure 2.11: IPS long-term international migration estimates of British citizens, UK, 2000–2011

IPS long-term international migration estimates of British citizens, UK, 2000–2011
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 11 are provisional
  2. The relative standard errors for the latest immigration and emigration estimates for British citizens are 7 per cent and 4 per cent respectively (please see Glossary for more information on standard errors)

Download chart

 

The estimated number of non-British citizens immigrating long-term to the UK in the year to March 2011 was 458,000, not a statistically significant difference from the estimate of 464,000 in the year to March 2010. The estimated number of non-British citizens emigrating long-term from the UK was 178,000, a decline of 18 per cent on the estimate of 216,000 in the year to March 2010. (Figure 2.12)

Figure 2.12: IPS long-term international migration estimates of non-British citizens, UK, 2000–2011

IPS long-term international migration estimates of non-British citizens, UK, 2000–2011
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 11 are provisional
  2. The relative standard errors for the latest immigration and emigration estimates for non-British citizens are 3 per cent and 4 per cent respectively (please see Glossary for more information on standard errors)

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Final LTIM figures for 2010 show that the decline in emigration since 2008 occurs in several citizenship groups. British emigration has fallen from 173,000 in 2008 to 136,000 in 2010. Emigration of other EU citizens has fallen from 134,000 to 99,000. Non-EU emigration has fallen from 121,000 to 104,000.

2.2 A8 citizens

In May 2004, eight central and eastern European countries (referred to as A8 or EU Accession countries) joined the EU with rights to work in the UK. The estimated number of citizens from these countries immigrating long-term to the UK in the year to March 2011 was 69,000, not significantly different from the estimate of 58,000 in the year to March 2010.  The estimated number of A8 citizens emigrating from the UK in the year to March 2011 was 32,000, a decline of 30 per cent on the estimate of 46,000 in the year to March 2010 (Figure 2.2).

Figure 2.2: IPS long-term international migration estimates of A8 citizens, UK, 2004–2011

IPS long-term international migration estimates of A8 citizens, UK, 2004–2011
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

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Final LTIM figures for 2010 show that 86,000 A8 citizens migrated to the UK compared with 68,000 in 2009. In terms of emigration, 37,000 left the UK in 2010 compared to 52,000 in 2009. Hence, net migration of A8 citizens increased from 16,000 to 49,000 from 2009 to 2010.

2.3 Non-EU citizens

The estimated number of non-EU citizens immigrating long-term to the UK in the year to March 2011 was 307,000, not a statistically significant difference from the estimate of 313,000 in the year to March 2010. The estimated number of non-EU citizens emigrating from the UK in the year to March 2011 was 93,000, a decline of 15 per cent on the estimate of 109,000 in the year to March 2010. (Figure 2.3).

Figure 2.3: IPS long-term international migration estimates of non-EU Citizens, UK, 2000–2011

IPS long-term international migration estimates of non-EU Citizens, UK, 2000–2011
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 11 are provisional
  2. The relative standard errors for the latest immigration and emigration estimates for non-EU citizens are 3 per cent and 4 per cent respectively (please see Glossary for more information on standard errors)

Download chart


Final LTIM figures for 2010 show that Non-EU immigration has risen from 303,000 in 2009 to 322,000 in 2010. It remains lower than the peak of 370,000 seen in 2004. Net migration of Non-EU citizens was 218,000 in 2010, compared to 184 000 in 2009 and is the highest net figure since 2006 (which was also 218,000).

2.4 National Insurance number allocation statistics – all citizens

National Insurance numbers are compulsory for people wishing to work in the UK, whether short-term or long-term. NINo allocation statistics give an approximation of the uptake of work by non-UK nationals.

The total number of NINo registrations to adult overseas nationals in the year to June 2011 was 689,000, an increase of 84,000 (14 per cent) on the year to June 2010.

The proportion of NINos allocated to EU accession nationals (that is those of all 12 EU accession countries – see Glossary) in the year to June 2011 is 32 per cent. Accession nationals accounted for 46 per cent of all allocations to adult overseas nationals when the figures peaked in the year to December 2007. (Figure 2.4).

Figure 2.4: National Insurance number allocations to adult overseas nationals by world area of origin, UK, 2004–2011

National Insurance number allocations to adult overseas nationals by world area of origin, UK, 2004–2011
Source: Work and Pensions

Notes:

  1. EU Accession countries here refers to the A8, the A2, Cyprus and Malta (see Glossary). This definition applies to the full time series

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Note that the number of non-UK nationals who have been allocated NINos is not the same as the number of non-UK nationals working in the UK. This is because people who have been allocated NINos may subsequently have left the UK, or they may still be in the UK but have ceased to be in employment. Additionally, people with NINos can leave the UK and then return and take up employment without re-registering.

3. Why are people migrating to and from the UK?

This section contains the latest available figures on immigration to the UK by reason. These are available from a number of sources. However, it is important to note that each source covers a different group of people – for example the IPS long-term migration estimates only cover people intending to stay in the UK for at least 12 months, whereas other sources also include short-term immigrants. In addition the IPS covers all immigrants, whereas other sources only cover immigrants of specific nationalities.

More information on comparing data sources is available in the User Information (141.1 Kb Pdf) .

Provisional IPS data show that in the year to March 2011 the estimated number of long-term migrants whose main reason for entering the UK was work-related was 186,000, similar to the 185,000 in the year to March 2010 but 22 per cent lower than the peak of 239,000 in the year to June 2008. (Figure 3.11)

The estimated number of long-term migrants whose main reason for entering the UK was formal study was 229,000 in the year to March 2011. This is not a statistically significant difference from the estimated 237,000 in the year to March 2010, but it is statistically significantly lower than the peak of 248,000 arriving to study in the year to September 2010.

Figure 3.11: IPS long-term international migration estimates of immigration to the UK, by main reason for migration, 2000–2011

IPS long-term international migration estimates of immigration to the UK, by main reason for migration, 2000–2011
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 11 are provisional
  2. The relative standard errors for the latest estimates are 5 per cent for work-related, 7 per cent for accompany/join, 4 per cent for formal study, 12 per cent for other and 14 per cent for no reason stated. Please see Glossary for more information on standard errors

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Final LTIM figures for 2010 show that formal study continued to be the most commonly stated reason for immigration since in over-took work-related reasons in 2009. In 2010, 238,000 people migated to the UK to study. This compares to 211,000 in 2009 and 175,000 in 2008.

Numbers of immigrants arriving with a definite job have been declining since a peak of 171,000 in 2007 to 122,000 in 2010. However, there has been an increase in the numbers of immigrants intending to look for work from 64,000 in 2009 to 81,000 in 2010.

Information on employment by country of birth and nationality can be found in the latest Labour Market Statistical Bulletin.

Entry clearance visas

Excluding visitor and transit visas, most entry clearance visas are issued under the Points Based System (PBS) for work (Tiers 1, 2 and 5) and study (Tier 4). Further information on the different tiers of the PBS is available in the Glossary. Entry clearance visas also include those for family reasons.

Of the entry clearance visas issued in the year ending September 2011, a total of 151,935 were work-related. This was a decrease of six per cent on 161,029 in the year ending September 2010. These include (Figure 3.12):

  • 26,016 Tier 1 (highly skilled workers) visas or equivalents

  • 66,054 Tier 2 (skilled workers) visas or equivalents

  • 37,849 temporary visas under Tier 5 (youth mobility and temporary workers) or equivalent 754 pre-PBS visas that cannot be allocated to a tier

  • 21,262 work-related visas not covered by the PBS

The data series starts at the year ending December 2005. The highest number of entry clearance visas issued for work-related reasons was 249,635 in the year ending December 2006. This figure declined gradually to 152,997 in the year ending March 2010 and has since remained at a similar level.

The number of entry clearance visas issued for the purposes of study, including Tier 4 (students) and student visitors, was 342,665 in the year ending September 2011, a decrease of four per cent on 355,386 in the year ending September 2010. In the year ending December 2005 a total of 207,419 visas were issued for the purposes of study. This figure increased gradually at first, reaching 267,875 in the year ending June 2009, but then it increased sharply, peaking at 362,055 in the year ending June 2010, a rise of 35 per cent on a year earlier. (Figure 3.13)

For information on comparing entry clearance data to IPS data on reasons for migration please refer to the User Information (141.1 Kb Pdf) .

Figure 3.12: UK entry clearance visas issued, including dependants, by reason (excluding visitor and transit visas), 2005–2011

UK entry clearance visas issued, including dependants, by reason (excluding visitor and transit visas), 2005–2011
Source: Home Office

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Home Office Source

Figure 3.13: UK entry clearance visas issued, including dependants, for work purposes, 2005–2011

UK entry clearance visas issued, including dependants, for work purposes, 2005–2011
Source: Home Office

Notes:

  1. Figures relate to visas issued rather than actual arrivals – i.e. they indicate intentions to come to the UK, which may not have been fulfilled and a range of permitted lengths of stay, including those for less than a year
  2. These statistics are based on management information from the UK Border Agency and are not subject to the detailed checks that apply to National Statistics
  3. Visas issued for study and some work-related visas, together with other visa types such as EEA family permits and some dependants wishing to join or accompany other immigrants, allow temporary entry clearance and require the individual to renew the visa before it expires should they wish to stay longer
  4. Some visas issued for work (under Tiers 1 and 2 and the pre-PBS equivalents) and some family visas allow an applicant to make an application for 'indefinite leave to remain' after a specified period. A number of other entry clearance visas, including some family visas, permit a person to stay in the UK indefinitely
  5. ‘Other permit free employment (pre-PBS)’ refers to those visas that have been superseded by the PBS Tier and cannot be allocated to an equivalent PBS category
  6. ‘Other work-related non-PBS’ are visas that are outside the rules of PBS such as domestic workers in private households

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Home Office Source

The latest Home Office briefings on immigration by Work, Study, Family and EEA are available.

In addition to the visas information, the Home Office has released provisional quarterly figures up to September 2011 on applications for asylum and grants of settlement. The settlement figures relate only to those people who are subject to immigration control and do not cover moves by EEA and Swiss nationals.

Asylum figures in this section relate to individual quarters rather than the rolling years used elsewhere in this report.

The number of applications for asylum, excluding dependants, was nine per cent higher in Q3 2011 (4,912) compared with Q3 2010 (4,486) (Figure 3.14) 

Figure 3.14: Applications for asylum in the UK, excluding dependants, 2004–2011

Applications for asylum in the UK, excluding dependants, 2004–2011
Source: Home Office

Notes:

  1. Figures from 2010 onwards are provisional and subject to change

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Home Office Source

Comparing the year to September 2010 with the year to September 2011, the number of people granted settlement in the UK fell by 25 per cent from 241,586 to 180,131. Family formation and reunion grants fell by 30 per cent to 52,652, employment-related grants fell by 22 per cent to 68,984 and other grants, including those on a discretionary basis fell by 37 per cent to 47,121. There was an increase in asylum-related grants (up 238 per cent to 11,374). (Figure 3.15)

Figure 3.15: Grants of settlement, excluding EEA and Swiss nationals, 2005–2011

Grants of settlement, excluding EEA and Swiss nationals, 2005–2011
Source: Home Office

Notes:

  1. Figures from YE Mar 10 onwards are provisional and subject to change
  2. Romanians and Bulgarians are excluded from Q1 2007 onwards
  3. Changes in policy affect settlement trends. For further details see the User Guide to Home Office Immigration Statistics. This is available on the same webpage as the Immigration Statistics publication (see list of products)
  4. ‘Others’ includes people granted indefinite leave outside the immigration rules under measures aimed at clearing the backlog of unresolved cases, and grants where the category is unknown

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Home Office Source

3.2 People emigrating from the UK

This section contains the latest available figures on emigration from the UK by reason.

Work related reasons continue to be the main reasons given for emigration and account for 56 per cent of emigrants. 174,000 people emigrated from the UK for work related reasons in the year ending March 2011, which is lower than the 203,000 who emigrated in the year ending March 2010. The number of people emigrating for work related reasons reached a peak in the year ending September 2009 when 218,000 persons emigrated for work related reasons, but has since declined in line with total emigration. 59 per cent of those emigrating for work related reasons have a definite job and the remaining 41 per cent intend to look for work. These proportions have remained constant over time.

 

Figure 3.2: IPS long-term international migration estimates of emigration from the UK, by main reason, 2000–2011

IPS long-term international migration estimates of emigration from the UK, by main reason, 2000–2011
Source: International Passenger Survey (IPS) - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Figures for YE Mar 11 are provisional
  2. The relative standard errors for the latest estimates are 4 per cent for work-related, 8 per cent for accompany/join, 14 per cent for formal study, 9 per cent for other and 10 per cent for no reason stated. Please see Glossary for more information on standard errors
  3. It should be noted that reasons for emigration will not necessarily match reasons for intended immigration. For example, someone arriving for study may then leave the UK after their course for work related reasons

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Final LTIM estimates show that in 2010 the most commonly stated reason for emigrating from the UK was a definite job for a third of emigrants. In 2010, 114,000 emigrants left the UK with a definite job to go to compared with 75,000 who were looking for work. In 2008 the highest numbers of emigrants with a definite job stood at 136,000.

Formal study was given as the main reason for emigrating by 29,000 emigrants in 2010. This compares to 23,000 people who emigrated for formal study in 2009. 

4. Where are people migrating to?

This new section (for November’s publication only) contains information on where people are migrating to. It includes final LTIM data of migration by UK area, country of origin for immigrants and country of destination for emigrants.

4.1 Migration by UK Area

The Annual Population Survey and data from the Northern Ireland Statistical Research Agency are used with the International Passenger Survey to provide estimates of international migration into and out of areas within the UK. Of the constituent countries of the UK, the majority of immigrants arrive to live in England. In 2010, 517,000 immigrants arrived to live in England, which is 87.5 per cent of the total 591,000 immigrants to the UK. The relevant proportions of immigrants arriving in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are 2.5 per cent, 8 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. Within England, 161,000 immigrants are in London, which makes up 31 per cent of total immigration to England. These patterns are similar to those in 2009.

In 2010 the South East (79,000) and East (55,000) regions had the largest numbers of immigrants outside London, closely followed by the North West (52,000).

Similarly to immigration, England also had the largest number of emigrants in 2010. 297,000 people emigrated from England to countries outside the UK, which is 87.5 per cent of all emigrants from the UK. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland had 3 per cent, 6 per cent and 3.5 per cent of emigrants from the UK respectively. 

In 2010 England had a net migration of 220,000. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland had net migrations of 4,000, 28,000 and zero.

4.2 Where did migrants to the UK previously live?

International Passenger Survey estimates show that immigrants arrive to the UK from many different countries. The top five countries of origin for 2010 are India (11.9 per cent of all immigrants), Pakistan (5.8 per cent), Poland (5.4 per cent), Australia (5.2 per cent) and China (5.2 per cent). Prior to 2010 Pakistan was not in the top five countries of origin since 2007. Over the last five years, fourth and fifth places in the ranking have fluctuated between Australia, Germany, USA, Pakistan and China (Figure 4.2).

Figure 4.2 Immigration from most common countries of last residence for 2010, shown for 2006 - 2010

Immigration from most common countries of last residence for 2010, shown for 2006 - 2010
Source: Office for National Statistics

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4.3 Where do emigrants from the UK intend to live?

Australia remains the most popular country of destination for emigrants from the UK. In 2010, final LTIM estimates show that 39,000 emigrants from the UK intended to live in Australia, lower than the estimate of 56,000 emigrants seen in both 2008 and 2009. This reflects the decrease in emigration from the UK. Poland was the second most common destination in 2008 at 50,000, but now shares third place with France with 18,000 emigrants leaving the UK in 2010 (Figure 4.3).

4.3 Emigration to most common destinations of next residence for 2010, shown for 2006 - 2010

Emigration to most common destinations of next residence for 2010, shown for 2006 - 2010
Source: Office for National Statistics

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5. Summary of Other Releases

Other migration and population products published on 24 November 2011 include:

  • A short story on emigration

  • The online internal migration dataset contains a full matrix of migration flows between each UK country/region, and is available for every quarter since the year to June 2002. Data for earlier years are available on request

Links to these products are included in the list of products

6. Changes to the Migration Statistics Quarterly Report

In August 2011 the MSQR was structured differently from previous editions and followed the questions

What do the latest figures show?

Who is migrating?

Why are people migrating to and from the UK?

The supporting information (such as comparisons of sources) moved to the User Information (141.1 Kb Pdf) document.

Statistics that changed little from quarter to quarter were removed from the quarterly report. These are statistics on the non-UK born and non-British national residents and moves within the UK. Where quarterly data are available, links to these datasets will continue to be included in the ‘List of Products’ section.

November’s MSQR is an extended version as it incorporates the available tables from the final Long-Term International Migration estimates for the previous calendar year. It includes information from final LTIM for 2010 and a ‘Where’ section, on where people are migrating to within the UK (UK area) and where people intend to emigrate to.

Internal migration within the UK is now reported separately. The latest statistical bulletin on internal migration was published on 26 September 2011.

Links to the latest reports and datasets on internal migration will continue to be provided in the ‘List of Products’ section.

The Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) ceased on 30 April 2011 and is no longer included in this report.

Home Office figures on Removals and Voluntary departures are no longer included but latest data are available here.

If you have any comments or suggestions on the MSQR then please send them to migstatsunit@ons.gov.uk.

7. Understanding Long-Term International Migration and provisional estimates

The estimates presented by ONS contain final data (for 2010) and provisional data for the year ending March 2011. Final data for 2011 will be published in November 2012. The data are provided from two sources:

  1. International Passenger Survey (IPS) estimates.

  2. Long-Term Estimates of International Migration (LTIM).

To create LTIM the IPS estimates are adjusted to take account of:

  • people whose length of stay changes from their original intentions

  • additional information on international migration to and from Northern Ireland

  • asylum seekers

The IPS estimates provide further detail than is available from LTIM. However, where LTIM figures are available, they are considered to provide a more complete estimate of migration.

Provisional figures allow for a timely comparison of recent migration patterns on a quarterly basis. However, these are subject to change. The final LTIM estimates are considered to provide a more reliable picture of migration and allow for annual comparisons over time. 

Patterns of long-term immigration and emigration differ due to a number of factors that affect particular nationalities including: visa requirements, economic factors and government policies. For example, different visa restrictions apply to different nationalities. The latest visa restrictions affect those citizens outside the EU applying to work in the UK. Any analysis of migration patterns needs to consider these factors when identifying and explaining key messages. Further guidance on comparing different data sources can be found in the MSQR User Information (141.1 Kb Pdf) .

8. Glossary

A2

The A2 are the two countries that joined the EU on 1 January 2007: Bulgaria and Romania.

A8

The A8 are the eight central and eastern European countries that joined the EU on 1 May 2004: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. The A8 does not include the two other countries that joined on that date: Cyprus and Malta. A8 nationals previously had restrictions on their rights to work and were required to register under the Worker Registration Scheme, but since 1 May 2011 A8 nationals now have the same rights as other workers from the EU and EEA.

Citizenship

This is the term used in the International Passenger Survey (IPS) to define the country for which a migrant is a passport holder. This refers specifically to the passport being used to enter / leave the UK at the time of interview. It does not refer to any other passport(s) which migrants of multiple citizenship may hold.

More generally a British citizen is someone with citizenship usually through a connection with the UK: birth, adoption, descent, registration, or naturalisation. British citizens have the right of abode in the UK.

Confidence interval

This is the range within which the true value of a population parameter lies with known probability. For example the 95 per cent confidence interval represents the range in which there are 19 chances out of 20 that the true figure would fall (had all migrants been surveyed). The uppermost and lowermost values of the confidence interval are termed ‘confidence limits’.

European Economic Area (EEA)

The EEA consists of the 27 countries of the EU (see below), plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

European Union (EU)

The EU consists of 27 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

European Union (EU) Accession countries

The Accession countries are those that joined the EU in either 2004 or 2007. 10 joined in 2004 (the A8, plus Cyprus and Malta), and 2 joined in 2007 (the A2).

Grant of settlement

A grant of settlement is a grant of indefinite leave to enter (on arrival) or indefinite leave to remain (after entry) to a non-EEA national.

International Passenger Survey (IPS)

The International Passenger Survey (IPS) is a survey of a random sample of passengers entering and leaving the UK by air, sea or the Channel Tunnel. Over a quarter of a million face-to-face interviews are carried out each year. The IPS is carried out by ONS.

Nationality

Nationality is often used interchangeably with citizenship, and some datasets refer to ‘nationals’ of a country rather than ‘citizens’. Different datasets have different ways of establishing someone’s nationality. The APS, which underlies the population estimates by nationality, simply asks people ‘what is your nationality?’ However, the IPS, WRS, NINo and entry clearance visa data are based on people’s passports. For asylum statistics the nationality is as stated on the ‘Case Information Database’. This will usually be based on documentary evidence, but sometimes asylum seekers arrive in the UK without any such documentation.

Points Based System (PBS)

The PBS is a rationalisation of immigration control processes for people coming into the UK for the purposes of work or study who are not EEA or Swiss nationals. Entries are classed into five tiers. Tier 1 is for highly skilled workers. Tier 2 is for skilled workers with a job offer. Tier 3 is low skilled workers – this entry route is currently suspended. Tier 4 is for students and Tier 5 is for youth mobility and temporary workers.

Standard error

Standard error is an estimate of the margin of error associated with a sample survey.

Worker Registration Scheme (WRS)

The WRS closed on 30 April 2011; it was a scheme with which A8 nationals were required to register if they wished to take up employment in the UK. Self-employed workers did not need to register with the WRS.

9. List of Products

The following are URL links to the products underlying this report, or otherwise associated with the co-ordinated migration release of 24 November 2011. The department releasing each product is indicated

The user information sheet (141.1 Kb Pdf) includes guidance on comparing the data sources, and quality information.

Quality and Methodology Information (QMI) for Long-Term International Migration Releases

Quarterly releases on 24 November 2011:

1. Immigration Statistics July-September 2011 (Home Office)

2. National Insurance Number (NINo) Allocations to Adult Overseas Nationals to June 2011 (DWP)

3. Provisional Long-Term International Migration, year ending March 2011 (ONS) - superseded by Long-Term International Migration, 2011

4. Provisional International Passenger Survey (IPS) estimates of long-term international migration, year ending March 2011 (ONS)

5.  Population by country of birth and nationality from the Annual Population Survey: April 2010 to March 2011 (ONS) (250.5 Kb Excel sheet)

6. Population by country of birth and nationality from the Annual Population Survey (for Scottish council areas): April 2010 to March 2011 (NRS)

7 . Internal migration within the UK during the year ending March 2011 (ONS) (266.9 Kb ZIP)

8. Migration Statistics Improvement Programme: Quarterly Update (ONS)

Other releases on 24 November 2011:

Long-Term International Migration 2010 (ONS) - superseded by Long-Term International Migration, 2011

A Short Story on Emigration (ONS)

Published on 16 November 2011:

Labour Market Statistics November 2011 (ONS). This includes estimates of the number of people in employment in the UK by country of birth and nationality.

Published on 26 October 2011:

2010-based national population projections - principal projection and key variants

Published on 30 June 2011:

 Annual Mid-year Population Estimates 2010

10. Future releases

The quarterly migration release dates in 2012 are:

Thursday 23 February

Thursday 24 May

Thursday 30 August

Thursday 29 November.

The final long-term international migration figures for the calendar year 2011 will be published in November 2012

Publication Orders

To obtain a print version of this publication, contact Dandy Booksellers, tel: 020 7624 2993

Suppliers of ONS hard copy publications

Background notes

  1.  Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the media office.

  2. Issued by: Office for National Statistics, Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport NP10 8XG

  3. Next publication: 23 February 2012

  4. Statististical contact / queries:
    Name Sarah Crofts
    Tel Migration Statistics Unit (general enquiries)  +44 (0)1329 444097
    Email migstatsunit@ons.gsi.gov.uk

  5. The Migration Statistics Quarterly Report is produced in partnership with the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

    It also incorporates data supplied by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

  6. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

    © Crown copyright 2011

  7. 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.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Sarah Crofts +44 (0)1329 444097 ONS Migration Statistics Unit migstatsunit@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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