Overview:

  • measures internal migration within the UK and England and Wales

  • excludes those who have moved into or out of prisons or the armed forces

  • data sources include the Patient Register (PR), Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), NHS Central Register (NHSCR), Northern Ireland Statistics Research Agency (NISRA) and National Records Scotland (NRS)

Annual estimates of internal migration provide statistics on residential moves between local authorities and regions in England and Wales, as well as moves to or from the rest of the UK (Northern Ireland and Scotland). Estimates are published by local authority, age and sex.

As there is no single system to record population movements within the UK, we derive the internal migration estimates from a range of administrative data. GP registration data has been used since the mid-1970s – however, as young people in particular may not always register with a new GP after they have moved, our current methods also use data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This method provides better estimates of moves for common student ages.

Internal migration estimates are also a component of our population estimates and projections for local authorities and other subnational geographies.

Estimates are used by central and local government for resource allocation and to inform policy decisions. Academia and special interest groups use the estimates as inputs to their own population models. Other users of the data include the media and the general public.

We quality assure the administrative data used for these statistics to ensure that they are suitable for this purpose. To gain further insight on data quality issues and the impact on statistics, please see Quality Assurance of Administrative Data:

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