Thursday, February 23, 2017

UK net migration drops but immigration from Romania and Bulgaria soars to record levels

UK net migration fell 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.

Anglicising the figures, BBC Home Affairs Correspondent, Dominic Casciani, said:

“Net migration is down. But while the net decrease looks substantial, nobody can say for sure what's triggered the change because these quarterly figures could have been influenced by a string of short-term factors.

“For a start, there appears to have been a rise in emigration - and when that goes up, net migration can come down.

“Secondly, some of the change could be down to seasonal fluctuations in student numbers.

“Thirdly, although there were significant departures by people from some parts of Eastern Europe, the number coming from poorer Romania and Bulgaria went up.”

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

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

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

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