Estimates released by the UK’s Office of National Statistics today show that 650,000 people immigrated into the country in the year up to June 2016 and 315,000 left , making the total net migration figure 335,000. The figure is almost exactly the same as the previous year, 336,000.
284,000 EU citizens immigrated to the UK (the highest estimate recorded) and 289,000 non-EU citizens. Of those leaving, approximately 127,000 are estimated to be British, 95,000 EU and 83,000 non-EU.
Nicola White, Head of International Migration Statistics at the ONS said:
“Net migration remains around record levels, but it is stable compared with recent years. Immigration levels are now among the highest estimates recorded – the inflow of EU citizens is also at historically high levels and similar to the inflow of non-EU citizens; there were also increases in the number of asylum seekers and refugees. Immigration of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens continues the upward trend seen over the last few years and in 2015 Romania was the most common country of previous residence. The main reason people are coming to the UK is for work, and there has been a significant increase in people looking for work particularly from the EU.”
163,000 people immigrated to study for more than one year. In the year ending in September 2016, there were a little over 41,000 asylum applications and 4,126 people were “granted humanitarian protection under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme” (4,414 in total since the scheme began in January 2014).
In a statement to the media, Population Matters said:
“More people means more pressure on everything, from buses to butterflies. Our birth rate in the UK is higher than most EU countries and net migration in addition means a national challenge of simple numbers. Currently, twice as many people are born in the UK than increase our population through immigration – we need to start facing up to the challenges posed by both of those factors.
“There’s a global environmental challenge too. By default, people emigrating in pursuit of a better life usually end up consuming more and producing more carbon emissions – the same is true of British emigrants, most of whom end up in places such as the US and Australia. Economic development where it’s needed, lower consumption where it isn’t and having smaller families everywhere will reduce the pressures that drive migration and will give our country and our planet some breathing room.”