Migration Statistics Quarterly Report: Dec 2016
The Migration Statistics Quarterly Report (MSQR) is a summary of the latest official long-term international migration statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
1. Main points
The reporting period for the International Passenger Survey data in this release is for year ending (YE) June 2016 and therefore these data cover the year prior to the EU Referendum (apart from 1 week). Entry clearance visa, National Insurance number (NINo) and labour market data are available to the end of September 2016 and therefore include 3 months of data following the EU Referendum.
Long-Term International Migration estimates in the YE June 2016 were:
net migration = +335,000 (similar to YE June 2015), comprising +189,000 EU citizens, +196,000 non-EU citizens and -49,000 British citizens
immigration = 650,000, the highest estimate recorded (up 11,000 (not statistically significant) from YE June 2015)
emigration = 315,000 (up 12,000 (not statistically significant) from YE June 2015)
Net migration was similar to the YE March 2016 estimate of +326,000.
In YE June 2016, 284,000 EU citizens immigrated to the UK (the highest estimate recorded), compared with 265,000 in YE June 2015 – this difference was not statistically significant; also 289,000 non-EU citizens immigrated.
Work remains the most common reason for long-term immigration at 311,000 (the highest estimate recorded), compared with 294,000 in YE June 2015 – this difference was not statistically significant; of these, 182,000 had a definite job to go to and 130,000 arrived looking for work (a statistically significant increase from 107,000 the previous year).
There were 629,000 National Insurance number (NINo) registrations by EU nationals and 195,000 by non-EU nationals in YE September 2016; note the NINo data include many short-term migrants and this together with other definitional differences mean they do not provide estimates of trends in Long-Term International Migration. For more information please see our information note of 12 May 2016.
Employment statistics from the Labour Force Survey showed there was an increase of 454,000 in the employed UK labour force in July to September 2016, compared with the same quarter for the previous year; of this 47% can be accounted for by growth in employment for British nationals, 49% by growth in employment for EU nationals with the remaining 4% accounted for by non-EU nationals (these growth figures relate to the number of people in employment rather than the number of jobs and therefore show NET changes in the number of people in employment).
The number of people immigrating for more than 12 months to study was estimated to be 163,000 in total (that is, including EU, non-EU and British citizens) in YE June 2016, a statistically significant reduction of 30,000 from 193,000 in YE June 2015. There were 167,208 non-EU university-sponsored study visa applications in YE September 2016 (down 1% compared with the previous year).
There were 41,280 asylum applications (including dependants) in YE September 2016, the sixth successive annual increase (although the number is less than half the level of the peak in 2002 (103,081)). Applications were lower compared with YE June 2016 (44,323) reflecting a decline in applications for the third quarter of 2016 as compared with the third quarter of 2015 (from 12,311 to 9,268).
In addition, 4,162 people were granted humanitarian protection under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme in the YE September 2016 (4,414 since the scheme began in January 2014).
In 2015, for the first time Romania was the most common country of last residence, making up 10% of all immigrants.
2. Statistician’s quote
"Net migration remains around record levels, but it is stable compared with recent years. Immigration levels are now among the highest estimates recorded - the inflow of EU citizens is also at historically high levels and similar to the inflow of non-EU citizens; there were also increases in the number of asylum seekers and refugees. Immigration of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens continues the upward trend seen over the last few years and in 2015 Romania was the most common country of previous residence. The main reason people are coming to the UK is for work, and there has been a significant increase in people looking for work particularly from the EU.
These long-term international migration figures run to the end of June, so it is too early to say what effect, if any, the EU Referendum has had on long-term international migration. There does not however appear to have been any significant impact during the run-up to the vote."
Nicola White, Head of International Migration Statistics, Office for National Statistics