Estimates show net migration to UK slowing
India and Pakistan are among the top five non-EU nationalities for immigration flows into the UK
Non-EU immigration to the UK was estimated to be around 968,000 for the year ending June 2023 (REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska/File Photo)
NET migration to the UK hit a record high of 745,000 in 2022 but provisional estimates for the year ending June 2023 indicated a ‘slowing’ of the trend.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday (23) said net migration – the difference between the number of people leaving Britain and those arriving – for last year was higher than previously thought.
It revised upwards by 139,000 from the previous record figure of 606,000 for 2022, released in May, citing “unexpected patterns” in the behaviour of migrants.
The ONS added that its estimate for the year to June 2023 was lower at 672,000.
“While it is too early to say if this is the start of a new downward trend, these more recent estimates indicate a slowing of immigration coupled with increasing emigration,” it said.
Home secretary James Cleverly said the number through to June “is not showing a significant increase from last year’s figures and is largely in line with our own immigration statistics.”
In 2021, net migration was 488,000.
In the 12-month period ending June this year, the provisional estimate of long-term immigration was 1.18 million, an estimated increase of 102,000 compared with the figure a year ago.
“Provisional estimates provide an early indication that the relatively high levels of immigration are starting to fall,” the ONS said.
Non-EU immigration was estimated to be around 968,000 for the year ending June 2023, an increase of 120,000 compared to the previous year and this group accounted for 82 per cent of total immigration.
The top five non-EU nationalities for immigration flows into the UK during the period were Indian (253,000), Nigerian (141,000), Chinese (89,000), Pakistani (55,000) and Ukrainian (35,000).
Prime minister Rishi Sunak has long described regular immigration levels as “too high”.
His Conservative government has repeatedly promised that by leaving the EU and ending the free movement of people from member states, the UK could “take back control” of its borders.
On top of the record number, Sunak is struggling to cut the number of irregular arrivals crossing the Channel from northern France on small boats.
More than 28,000 have undertaken the dangerous crossing this year.