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Fewer people emigrating from the UK, according to latest estimates

ONS estimates of Long-Term International Migration in the year to June 2013

The latest ONS provisional estimates of Long Term International Migration (LTIM) show that net migration was up slightly from 167,000 in the year to June 2012 to 182,000 in the year to June 2013. Changes in net migration over this period were largely a result of falling emigration, which is at its lowest level since 2001. Emigration fell from 349,000 in the year to June 2012 to 320,000 in the year to June 2013. Over the same period, immigration fell from 517,000 to 503,000. 48% of those who arrived to live in the UK in the year to June 2013 were non-EU citizens. Work-related reasons were the most common reason for immigration.

Total long-term international migration estimates, UK, 1964 – 2013

Total long-term international migration estimates, UK, 1964 – 2013
Source: Office for National Statistics

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Who is migrating to the UK?

An estimated 242,000 non-EU citizens arrived to live in the UK in the year to June 2013, accounting for 48% of all immigrants. This compares to 183,000 EU citizens (excluding British) who migrated to the UK in the year ending June 2013. This inflow of EU citizens is higher than the estimate of 158,000 during the previous year and is similar to the figure for the year ending September 2010. Of these citizens, just over 1 in 3 (66,000) were citizens of the countries that joined the EU in May 2004: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, known collectively as the EU8.

Why are people immigrating to the UK?

Work-related reasons are once again the most common reason for immigration, overtaking formal study for the first time since 2009. An estimated 176,000 people arrived to study in the year to June 2013, compared with 197,000 during the previous year. Meanwhile, 202,000 people arrived for work-related reasons in the year to June 2013, a statistically significant increase from 173,000 the previous year. This increase, combined with the slight – but not statistically significant – decline in immigration for study, has caused work-related reasons to replace study as the most common reason for immigration. Of those immigrating for work-related reasons in the year to June 2013, 62% (125,000) came for a definite job and 38% (77,000) came to look for work.

Why are fewer people emigrating from the UK?

Emigration has been steadily declining since its peak of 427,000 in 2008 and reached 320,000 in the year ending June 2013. Emigration is now at its lowest levels since 2001. The decrease in emigration from the year ending June 2012 is spread across the citizenship groups with 12,000 and 17,000 accounted for by British and non-British citizens respectively. Fewer people are emigrating for work-related reasons, which have fallen since the year ending June 2012 by 11,000 to 188,000 in the year ending June 2013. There has also been an equivalent 11,000 decrease in people emigrating for reasons other than the main categories of work, study or accompanying friends or family to 35,000 in the year ending June 2013.

Where are people migrating from?

The top five countries of origin of immigrants to the UK (including what percentage of all immigration to the UK they accounted for) in 2012 were: China (9%), India (8%), Poland (6%), USA (6%) and Australia (6%). 2012 is the first year in which China has been the top country of last residence, replacing India, which was top in 2011. There was a statistically significant decrease in immigration from India from 61,000 in 2011 to 37,000 in 2012.

The USA has replaced Pakistan in the top 5 countries of last residence when compared to 2011, reflecting a statistically significant fall in inflows from Pakistan from 43,000 in 2011 to 19,000 in 2012. Over the last five years, fourth and fifth places in the ranking have fluctuated between Australia, Germany, the USA and Pakistan.

Where are people intending to emigrate to?

The top five countries of destination for emigrants from the UK (including what percentage of all emigration from the UK they accounted for) in 2012 were: Australia (16%), USA (6%), India (6%), China (5%) and France (5%). Australia has been the most popular country of destination for emigrants from the UK since 1996. In 2012, final estimates show that 48,000 emigrants from the UK intended to live in Australia. Of this number, 38,000 were British citizens.

There was a statistically significant decrease in emigration to India between 2011 and 2012, from 23,000 to 17,000. China replaced Poland in the top 5 countries of next residence for 2012 when compared to 2011. Having been the second most common country of next residence for emigrants leaving in 2008, Poland is no longer in the top 5. In fact, there was a statistically significant decrease in the number of people emigrating to Poland, from 20,000 in 2011 to 11,000 in 2012.

Where can I get more information about migration?

These statistics were analysed by the Migration Statistics Unit at ONS. Long-Term International Migration estimates are based largely on data from the International Passenger Survey, carried out by ONS. If you would like to find out more about the latest international migration statistics, you can read the Migration Statistics Quarterly Report or visit our international migration page. If you have any comments or suggestions, we would like to hear them! Please email us at: migstatsunit@ons.gov.uk

Notes

1. A long-term migrant is defined as someone who changes their country of usual residence for a period of at least a year.

2. All LTIM estimates for the year to March 2013 and the year to June 2013 are provisional.


 

Categories: Population, Migration, International Migration
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