June 20, 2024

Net immigration to Great Britain fell by ten percent

Photo: Pixabay/Rudy and Peter Skitterians

London: Net immigration to Britain fell significantly last year, according to the ONS, the agency for national statistics. According to this, in 2023 around 685,000 more people moved to the UK than immigrated. Current estimates put the figure for 2022 — the previous record — at 764,000.

The decline corresponds to about ten percent. It is still too early to assess whether this is a trend, the ONS said. However, estimates suggest that the number of immigrants is decreasing and the number of emigrants is increasing.

The immigration issue will play a central role in the election campaign for the July 4 general election. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party has pledged to reduce immigration amid a growing housing shortage and a health system under severe pressure.

However, the figure for net immigration to Great Britain varies widely. Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May (2016 to 2019) announced a goal to keep the number below 100,000. According to current statistics, this seems illusory. However, during the pandemic, net immigration temporarily fell to 93,000 in 2020 due to travel restrictions, but then rebounded sharply.

Since the UK left the European Union, the proportion of immigrants from non-EU countries has been increasing. Forty per cent of migrant workers last year came from India or Nigeria, according to ONS figures. The authority recorded increased immigration among people who initially entered Great Britain on student visas. The trend is likely to increase after the government tightened requirements for family reunification of students earlier this year.

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