26 September 2011
The new ONS website was launched on 27 August 2011. When material was moved from the old website to the new website, an error occurred with the transfer of Fig.1.1 from the latest Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, originally published on 25 August 2011.
This error affected the bars in the chart showing net migration for years ending June and September 2010. These were incorrectly shown as 215,000 and should have shown 226,000 and 242,000 respectively. This error may have caused a misleading pattern of net migration during 2010.
The chart has now been corrected. The original publication and all other charts and figures are unaffected.
ONS apologises for any inconvenience caused.
A summary of the quarterly releases of official international migration data. This edition covers those quarterly datasets released on 25 August 2011. It also links to other migration products (including internal migration) released on that date.
Welcome to the new look Migration Statistics Quarterly Report (MSQR). The MSQR series 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).
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's mid-year population estimates. 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. Section 5 of this report includes information on the changes that have been made to the report and the estimates of Long-Term International Migration. Web links are provided at the back of the reports for those who wish to access the underlying datasets. Guidance on comparing data from different sources can be found in the User Information. (115.1 Kb Pdf)
For further information on how ONS migration statistics are used along with information on their fitness for purpose please see the Summary Quality Report for Long Term International Migration Releases (207.4 Kb Pdf) .
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 LTIM and IPS data suggest:
estimated total long-term immigration to the UK in the year to December 2010 was 575,000, similar to the level seen since 2004
estimated total long-term emigration from the UK in the year to December 2010 was 336,000. This has declined since the year to December 2008, when total emigration from the UK was estimated at 427,000
estimated net long-term migration to the UK in the year to December 2010 was 239,000, an increase of 21 per cent on the estimate of 198,000 in the year to December 2009
study remains the most common reason for migrating to the UK since 2009 at 228,000 for the year to December 2010. Just over three quarters (78 per cent) are from outside the EU
estimates of people migrating to the UK for a definite job is at its lowest since March 2004 at 110,000 for the year to December 2010 and has been declining since a peak of 168,000 in 2008
net migration of citizens from A8 countries has increased to 39,000, from 5,000 in the year ending December 2009. This shows a rise from a net emigration of -12,000 seen in the year ending September 2009. This is due to both a rise in immigration from 52,000 to 71,000; and a fall in emigration from 47,000 to 31,000
emigrants leaving the UK for work related reasons is at its lowest for three years at 179,000
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 to 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 to December 2009. The latest figures show that in the year to June 2011 the total number of entry clearance visas issued for work and study was 516,568, little difference to the year to June 2010 (516,676)
in the year to June 2011 a total of 158,180 work-related visas were issued, an increase of 2 per cent on 154,621 in the year to June 2010. The number of visas issued for the purposes of study was 358,388 in the year to June 2011, a fall of 1 per cent on 362,055 in the year to June 2010
668,000 National Insurance numbers were allocated to non-UK nationals in the year to December 2010, an increase of 9 per cent on the year to December 2009. The latest figures show that 705,000 NINos were allocated to non-UK nationals in the year to March 2011, 23 per cent higher than in the year to March 2010
187,000 NINos were allocated to A8 nationals in the year to March 2011, an increase of 24 per cent on the year to March 2010. In the year to March 2011 the number of A8 nationals successfully applying to work as an employee in the UK via the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) was 112,000, no change on the year to March 2010 (112,000)
This section shows the latest available figures from the following sources:
Long term international migration figures in the year to December 2010
Entry clearance visas issued by the Home Office up to June 2011
National insurance number allocations to adult overseas nationals up to March 2011
The provisional estimate of total long-term international immigration to the UK in the year to December 2010 was 575,000. 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 December 2010 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 December 2010 was 239,000, an increase of 21 per cent on the estimate of 198,000 in the year to December 2009. (Figure 1.1)
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 to June 2011 was 516,568, little difference on the year to June 2010 (516,676). (Figure 3.13)
The total number of NINo registrations to adult overseas nationals in the year to March 2011 was 705,000, an increase of 132,000 (23 per cent) on the year to March 2010.
This section contains latest available data of migration to and from the UK by citizenship. It includes data from the International Passenger Survey and National Insurance Number allocations to overseas nationals. For information on differences between LTIM and IPS please see Section 5.
Provisional IPS estimates by citizenship show that in the year to December 2010 the estimated number of British citizens immigrating long term to the UK was 81,000, not statistically significantly different from the estimate of 91,000 in the year to December 2009. The estimated number of British citizens emigrating long term from the UK in the year to December 2010 was 124,000, not statistically significantly different from the estimate of 127,000 in the year to December 2009. (Figure 2.11)
The estimated number of non-British citizens immigrating long term to the UK in the year to December 2010 was 455,000, not statistically significantly different from the estimate of 437,000 in the year to December 2009. The estimated number of non-British citizens emigrating long-term from the UK was 184,000, a decline of 13 per cent on the estimate of 211,000 in the year to December 2009. (Figure 2.12)
In May 2004, eight central and eastern European countries joined the EU with rights to work in the UK. The estimated number of citizens of the A8 countries immigrating long-term to the UK in the year to December 2010 was 71,000, not statistically significantly different from the estimate of 52,000 in the year to December 2009 (note that the small number of A8 migrants in the IPS sample means that a change must be large for it to have sufficient certainty to be regarded as statistically significant). The estimated number of A8 citizens emigrating from the UK in the year to December 2010 was 31,000, a decline of 34 per cent on the estimate of 47,000 in the year to December 2009. (Figure 2.2)
The estimated number of non-EU citizens immigrating long term to the UK in the year to December 2010 was 300,000, not statistically significantly different from the estimate of 292,000 in the year to December 2009. The estimated number of non-EU citizens emigrating from the UK in the year to December 2010 was 93,000, a decline of 15 per cent on the estimate of 109,000 in the year to December 2009. (Figure 2.3)
National Insurance numbers (NINos) 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 2010/11 was 705,000, an increase of 132,000 (23 per cent) on 2009/10.
The proportion of NINos allocated to Accession nationals (that is those of all 12 Accession countries –see Glossary) in 2010/11 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)
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.
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.
Provisional IPS data show that in the year to December 2010 the estimated number of long-term migrants whose main reason for entering the UK was work-related was 188,000, similar to the 182,000 in the year to December 2009 but 21 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 228,000 in the year to December 2010, not statistically significantly different from the estimated 211,000 in the year to December 2009, though long-term immigration to the UK for formal study has trebled over the last decade. (Figure 3.11) Approximately three quarters (78 per cent) are from outside the EU.
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 to June 2011, a total of 158,180 were work-related. This was an increase of 2 per cent on 154,621 in the year to June 2010. These include (Figure 3.12):
30,832 Tier 1 (highly skilled workers) visas or equivalents
66,472 Tier 2 (skilled workers) visas or equivalents
38,409 temporary visas under Tier 5 (youth mobility and temporary workers) or equivalent
724 pre-PBS visas that cannot be allocated to a tier
21,743 work-related visas not covered by the PBS
The data series starts at the year to December 2005. The highest number of entry clearance visas issued for work-related reasons was 249,635 in the year to December 2006. This figure declined gradually to 152,997 in the year to 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 358,388 in the year to June 2011, a decrease of one per cent on 362,055 in the year to June 2010. In the year to 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 to June 2009, but then it increased sharply, peaking at 362,055 in the year to 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 (115.1 Kb Pdf) .
In addition to the visas information the Home Office has released provisional quarterly figures up to June 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 9 per cent higher in Q2 2011 (4,787) compared with Q2 2010 (4,389). (Figure 3.14)
Comparing the year to June 2010 with the year to June 2011, the number of people granted settlement in the UK fell by 8 per cent from 226,084 to 207,824. There were increases in asylum-related grants (up 242 per cent to 9,616) and other grants, including those on a discretionary basis (up 25 per cent to 71,739). Family formation and reunion grants fell by 23 per cent to 56,900 and employment-related grants fell by 25 per cent to 69,569. (Figure 3.15)
This section contains the latest available figures on emigration from the UK by reason. This section is based upon IPS data only, as other sources do not collect detailed information on emigration.
179,000 people emigrated from the UK for work related reasons in the year ending December 2010. This continues to be the main reason given for emigration and accounts for 58 per cent of emigrants. The number of people emigrating for work related reasons reached a peak in the year ending December 2008 when 217,000 persons emigrated for work related reasons, but has since declined in line with total emigration. 60 per cent of those emigrating for work-related reasons have a definite job and the remaining 40 per cent intend to look for work. These proportions have remained consistent over time.
Other migration and population products published on 25 August 2011 include:
local area migration indicators suite (ONS). This is an interactive product bringing together different migration related data sources to allow users to compare indicators of migration at local authority level. In this release more recent data have been provided for some of those indicators already published
the latest information on ONS’s programme to improve migration and population statistics
parents' country of birth: England and Wales, 2009 (ONS). Data on live births in 2009 by country of birth of mother and father
the online internal migration dataset contains a full matrix of migration flows between each 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.
This edition is structured differently from previous editions. The report is now structured according to 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) has been moved to the User Information document. This is so that readers of the MSQR can quickly learn what the latest statistics are telling us about international migration to and from the UK in a concise report. If readers want to know more about how data sources compare or further information, this can be found in the MSQR User Information (115.1 Kb Pdf) .
Statistics that show little change from quarter to quarter have been removed from the quarterly report and will be reported annually (from November). These are statistics on the non-UK born and non-British national residents and moves within the UK. Although these topics will be reported annually, where quarterly data are available, links to these datasets will continue to be included in the 'List of Products' section. The section discussing migration to the UK for work or study will also be reported on annually and may form part of a series of topic-based reports. This work is currently being developed.
The Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) ceased on 30 April 2011 and will no longer be included in this report.
Home Office figures on Removals and Voluntary departures are no longer included. A link to where the latest data can be found is included in the List of Products.
If you have any comments or suggestions on the MSQR then please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The estimates presented from ONS contain final data (to 2009) and provisional data for the year ending December 2010. Final data for 2010 will be published in November 2011. The data are provided from two sources:
International Passenger Survey (IPS) estimates.
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
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. Therefore in this report LTIM figures are provided for overall immigration, emigration and net migration and estimates of migration by citizenship and reason for migrating are based on IPS data.
Patterns of long-term immigration and emigration differ due to a number of factors affecting 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 of the EU applying to work in the UK. Any analysis of migration patterns need 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. (115.1 Kb Pdf)
The A2 are the two countries that joined the EU on 1 January 2007: Bulgaria and Romania.
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.
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.
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’.
The EEA consists of the 27 countries of the EU (see below), plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
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.
The Accession countries are those that joined the EU in either 2004 or 2007. Ten joined in 2004 (the A8, plus Cyprus and Malta), and two joined in 2007 (the A2).
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.
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 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.
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 is an estimate of the margin of error associated with a sample survey.
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.
The following are URL links to the products underlying this report, or otherwise associated with the co-ordinated migration release of 25 August 2011. The department releasing each product is indicated.
Provisional Long-Term International Migration, year ending December 2010 (ONS) - superseded by Long-Term International Migration, 2011
Provisional International Passenger Survey (IPS) estimates of long-term international migration, year ending December 2010 (ONS)
ONS also maintains a summary page with the latest demographic and economic statistics on Polish people in the UK.
The remaining quarterly migration release date in 2011 is Thursday 24 November. The final long-term international migration figures for the calendar year 2010 will also be published on that date.
Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office.
Next publication: 24 November 2011
Issued by: Office for National Statistics, Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport NP10 8XG
Tel: Media Relations Office 0845 604 1858
Emergency on-call: 07867 906553
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).
Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office.
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You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence, write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: email@example.com
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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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