As part of the release of official population estimates for the UK to June 2020, we have also set out what the experimental estimates are for international migration for the same period. They make use of estimates from the International Passenger Survey to February 2020 and modelled migration estimates from March to June 2020. The estimates largely reflect what were used in our early population indicators but there are some differences explained in the methodology paper as part of our official population estimates release.Back to table of contents
Recent engagement with users and experts has helped steer the future development of migration statistics. Our work is a collaborative effort across government, both in terms of data and analysis.
There continues to be a need for migration estimates to feed into an overall population statistics system. Feedback has encouraged and challenged us to look beyond replicating what we’ve published historically and exploit the opportunities administrative data sources can provide.
Our Admin-Based Migration Estimates (ABMEs) report highlighted how migration statistics could be produced using administrative data. The method is based on actual behaviours, which means waiting before a person has moved to the UK or left the UK for at least 12 months. Therefore, there will be time lags before we could use these sources in isolation. We have also identified gaps that are harder to measure, such as students, children and UK citizens.
Going forward, the future development of ABMEs will be supported by statistical modelling. This will build on the development of our previous modelling research published in April 2021 and our ABMEs research, with a greater focus on the use of Registration and Population Interaction Database (RAPID) data. This will make these statistics timelier and improve coverage. ABMEs will also allow insightful analysis on subpopulations of migrants, including migrant workers, students and families and dependents.
Bringing this all together our future outputs are expected to be:
Autumn 2021, Population of the UK by country of birth and nationality: year ending December 2020. This is subject to progress made on reweighting the Labour Force Survey.
Autumn 2021, our research plans and progress taking into account user feedback and data source strengths.
Autumn 2021, ABMEs supported by statistical modelling for Quarter 3 (July to Sept) and Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) of 2020, building on methods used previously.
Early 2022, ABMEs supported by statistical modelling for Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) and Quarter 2 (Apr to June) of 2021. Further improvements to modelling methods including the use of more granular administrative information in RAPID and Home Office data.
Early 2022, a methods paper outlining our approach to ABMEs with statistical modelling and how this feeds into a transformed population system. It will make use of the best sources available as well as initial proposals for a revisions policy.
Contact details for this Article
Telephone: +44 (0)1329 444661