Thursday, February 23, 2017

Immigration to UK falling post-Brexit

UK net migration dropped by 49,000 to 273,000 in the year to September 2016. Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures reveal.

This is the first time in two years that the net migration figure - the difference between the number of people arriving and leaving the UK - had dropped below 300,000.

Overall immigration to the UK is estimated to be 596,000 – made up of 268,000 EU citizens, 257,000 non-EU citizens and 71,000 British citizens.

Whilst EU immigration from several countries fell, record numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians - 74,000 – came to live in the UK.

Around 323,000 people may have left the UK, slightly up on the previous year by 26,000.

The levers are estimated include 128,000 British citizens, 103,000 EU citizens and 93,000 non-EU citizens, although exact figures for legal and illegal immigration in the UK are almost impossible to calculate.

In summary, the overall number of people arriving to work in the UK is about the same as previous years. The UK has jobs and low skilled work, while other EU countries, such as Romania, Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece all have high levels of unemployment, especially for the youth.

Over 16,000 EU citizens were granted UK citizenship last year, indicating that despite Brexit many Europeans want to remain living in Britain.

Meanwhile, property prices in London and the south east of England have reached levels beyond the means of young first time buyers, many of whom have become long-term renters or are living at home with their parents well into their 30's. Home ownership levels are falling.

The UK is still an attractive place to work, start a business and buy property – no restrictions on foreign buyers - a vibrant mortgage market with record low interest rates.

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