UK Migration Statistics:
August 2019

The latest official long-term international migration statistics for the UK for the year ending March 2019 has been published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The data paints a broadly similar picture of migration since the 2016 Brexit referendum – with some exceptions. We examine the main findings below.

Net migration

In the year ending March 2019, 612,000 people moved to the UK (immigration) and 385,000 people left the UK (emigration).

Overall, the ONS estimates that 226,000 more people moved to the UK with an intention to stay 12 months or more, than left in the year ending March 2019 (net migration).

EU net migration

EU immigration has continued to fall since 2016.

At 59,000, EU net migration over the last year is now less than a third of its peak level of 219,000 in the year ending March 2015.

Interestingly, 7,000 more EU8 citizens – those from the Central and Eastern European countries who joined the EU in 2004 – left the UK than arrived during the same period.

Non -EU migration

An estimated 219,000 more non-EU citizens moved to the UK than left in the year ending March 2019. The level of non-EU immigration has therefore stabilised over the last year, after a gradual increase since 2013.

Arriving to work or study 

Immigration for work-related reasons has continued to fall since June 2016. It is now at its lowest level since 2013, at 214,000.

The number of EU citizens arriving for work fell to 92,000, which is less than half the level it was at its peak (190,000) in the year ending June 2016. Meanwhile, the number of non-EU citizens arriving for a definite job has increased since 2013 to its highest level, 73,000.

Immigration to the UK for formal study is now the main reason for immigration. At 218,000, this represents the highest level seen since 2011 and coincides with the fact that the number of Sponsored Study (Tier 4) visas granted is also at its highest level since 2011.

The ONS Migration Statistics Quarterly Report: August 2019 can be viewed here.

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