We are an independent, voluntary, non political body which is concerned about the present scale of immigration into the UK.

Recent Briefing Papers

The impact of immigration on population growth
26th November 2014


1. The impact of immigration on the size of the UK population is substantially greater than is generally realised. Between 2001 and 2012 inclusive, 57% of population growth has been described as due to net migration, 43% to natural increase (the excess of births over deaths). However, that substantially understates the demographic power of migration. Much of that natural increase came from immigrant parents. If that immigrant contribution to natural increase is included, then the total contribution of migration to UK population growth over the period from 2001 to 2012 was between 83% and 85%.

Read the Full Briefing Paper

International Students in the UK – the facts of the case
31st October 2014

1. There is no limit to the number of genuine international students who can come to the UK to study. An unlimited number can also stay on and work so long as they can find graduate level work paying £20,000 a year.

2. Students are counted in the UK’s net migration statistics, as they are in our main competitor countries - the USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. These competitors also report students in separate administrative visa statistics, as does the UK.

Read the Full Briefing Paper

Recent Press Releases

Prime Minister's Speech on EU Migration
28th November 2014

Commenting on the Prime Minister's speech this morning, Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:

"We welcome the Prime Minister’s speech in which he reaffirmed his commitment to a net migration target. Without measures taken so far, net migration would undoubtedly be even higher than its present level.

Read the Full Press Release

The impact of immigration on population growth
26th November 2014

New calculations by Migration Watch UK in a paper published today (attached) show that net migration has accounted for about 84% of the UK’s population increase over the past decade.

The official publications of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) state that, on average, 57 per cent of UK population increase since 2001 has been due to net migration with the remainder resulting from the excess of births over deaths – the “natural increase”. On the face of it, this is correct.

However, the ONS figure substantially understates the demographic power of migration. Much of that natural increase came from immigrant parents. Thus, if a couple arrived last year and then had a family, their children would not be counted as part of the immigrant contribution to population growth although they clearly are. (This calculation is, of course, about numbers, not citizenship or identity).

Read the Full Press Release

Recent Press Articles

Higher Education is in the rudest of health, so why suggest otherwise?
22nd November 2014

By Sir Andrew Green
Chairman of Migration Watch UK
Conservativehome Blog, 22 November, 2014 

The UK is one of the most attractive countries in the world to come to study. But if you listened only to Mark Field, the Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, you might be forgiven for being concerned about the future of British Higher Education.

Read the Full Press Article


Net migration nearly quadrupled from 48,000 in 1997 to 185,000 in 2003. Once the East Europeans had been granted free movement in 2004 it peaked at 320,000 in the year ending June 2005. Net foreign migration between 1997 and 2010 totalled nearly 4 million, two thirds of it non EU.

In 2013 over half a million migrants arrived in Britain, more than the total population of Bradford. In the same year 314,000 migrants left so net migration was 212,000.

We must build a new home every seven minutes for new migrants for the next 20 years or so.

England (not the UK) is the second most crowded country in Europe, after the Netherlands, excluding island and city states.

The UK population is projected to grow by over 9 million (9.4m) in just 25 years’ time, increasing from 64 million in 2013 to 73 million by 2039. Of this increase, about two thirds is projected to be due to future migrants and their children - the equivalent of the current populations of Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bristol, Cardiff, Newcastle, Belfast and Aberdeen.

To keep the population of the UK below 70 million, net migration must be reduced to around 40,000 a year. It would then peak in mid-century at just under 70 million (about 69.7 million).

Revised July 2014

  • “One spectacular mistake in which I participated (not alone) was in lifting the transitional restrictions on the Eastern European states like Poland and Hungary which joined the EU in mid-2004. Other existing EU members, notably France and Germany, decided to stick to the general rule which prevented migrants from these new states from working until 2011. Thorough research by the Home Office suggested that the impact of this benevolence would in any event be 'relatively small, at between 5,000 and 13,000 immigrants per year up to 2010'. Events proved these forecasts worthless. Net migration reached close to a quarter of a million at its peak in 2010. Lots of red faces, mine included.”

    Jack Straw, the Labour MP for Blackburn and former Home Secretary, speaking to his local newspaper about the 2004 Accession of the A8 to Europe and Labour’s decision not to impose transitional controls on workers from these countries. The Home Office forecast that just 13,000 would move to Britain. The current population of A8 nationals in the UK is over one million. (November 2013)

  • Helen Boaden, Director, Radio and until recently Director, BBC News, accepts that when she came into her role in September 2004 there had been a problem in the BBC’s coverage of immigration. She was aware, she told us, of a “deep liberal bias” in the way that the BBC approached the topic, and specifically that press releases coming from Migration Watch were not always taken as seriously as they might have been.

    Helen Boaden’s Evidence to BBC’s Prebble Review (July 2013)

  • People didn't believe the authorities knew what they were doing and there's a very good reason for that - they didn't.

    Phil Woolas, Immigration Minister, reported in The Sun (21 October, 2008)

  • I have made this point many times before but can we please stop saying that Migration Watch forecasts are wrong. I have pointed out before that Migration Watch assumptions are often below the Government Actuarys Department high migration variant.

    An internal Home Office email they were obliged to release to MigrationWatch (29 July, 2003)

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