The Migration Statistics Quarterly Report (August 2014) on long-term immigration, published yesterday, appears to crush Coalition government hopes of a significant net drop in immigration in time for the next election.
Net migration was up to 243k in the year ending March 2014, a 39% increase on previous year’s 175k. Emigration was fairly stable, so the increase is down to migration to the country (exactly the figure focussed on by the government and media in recent debate).
Key Figures (reproduced from the ONS website)
- Net long-term migration to the UK was estimated to be 243,000 in the year ending March 2014, a statistically significant increase from 175,000 in the previous 12 months.
- While net migration has increased since the most recent low of 154,000 in the year ending September 2012, it remains below the peak of 320,000 in the year ending June 2005.
- 560,000 people immigrated to the UK in the year ending March 2014, a statistically significant increase from 492,000 in the previous 12 months. Two-thirds of the increase is accounted for by immigration of EU citizens (up 44,000 to 214,000).
- An estimated 316,000 people emigrated from the UK in the year ending March 2014. Long-term emigration has been relatively stable since 2010.
- 28,000 EU2 (Romanian and Bulgarian) citizens immigrated to the UK in the year ending March 2014, a statistically significant increase from 12,000 in the previous 12 months.
- There was a statistically significant increase in immigration for work (up 38,000 to 228,000), driven by increases for EU15 and EU2 citizens. Estimated employment of EU citizens was 17% higher in April to June 2014, compared to the same quarter in 2013.
- Immigration for study remained stable (177,000) in the year ending March 2014. Study visas granted in year ending June 2014 rose 7%, reflecting higher levels of university-sponsored applications (applications for other education sectors fell).
- 265,000 non-EU citizens immigrated to the UK in the year ending March 2014. This ends a steady decline since the recent peak of 334,000 in 2011.
- Work and study visas granted rose 10% (+14,799) and 7% (+13,885) respectively in the year ending June 2014, compared to the previous year, following a decline since 2011. The increase in work visas was largely accounted for by skilled work (+11,744).
- There were 23,479 asylum applications (main applicants) in the year ending June 2014, similar to the previous 12 months (23,523), but low relative to the 2002 peak (84,132).