- Small boat arrivals rose by 1.6 times in 2022 compared with 2021 and by 153 times compared with 2018.
- There have been nearly 140,000 illegal entry attempts in past five years (around 60% by small boat, 24% by illegal lorry and container entry and the remainder by air)
- Nearly seven in ten of those arriving in the past five years are young adult men between the ages of 18 and 39
- There was a 1,409% increase in Albanians arriving by boat in the past year, a 501% increase in Afghan arrivals and a 237% increase in ‘nationality not recorded’.
- Of the 83,236 people that arrived in the UK on small boats between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2022, 7% (6,210 people) were referred to the government under modern slavery legislation.
- 83% of small boat migrants who lodged an asylum claim (2018-2022) are still awaiting a decision
- Less than 1,000 people who came via small boat were refused asylum in five years. This is in complete contrast to the tough rhetoric of government ministers over the years as the crisis was worsened.
- The number of returns of small boat migrants to safe countries is tiny. There have been only 21 enforced removals of asylum claimants on inadmissibility grounds despite tens of thousands of people arriving illegally and 90% of them claiming asylum.
The figures show that 54,090 people attempted to enter illegally in 2022, and 45,755 of these by small boat.
The boat figures are an increase of 1.6 times on the number of people that arrived via the route in 2021. The first graph below is a Home Office depiction of the increase in illegal immigration attempts since 2018.
In total, 137,661 people have been recorded coming here illegally in the past five years (2018-2022) – see pie chart below.
The graph below shows the increase in arrivals by small boat by different nationality.
The number of Albanians arriving in 2022 was 12,300, up from 815 in 2021. The number of Afghans arriving in 2022 was 8,633, up from 1,437 in 2021.
A total of 57,337 people who arrived via small boat since 2018 are young men between the ages of 18 and 39 (68% of 85,000 in total).
In 2022, 90% (40,302 of 44,666 arrivals) claimed asylum or were recorded as a dependant on an asylum application. However, small boat arrivals accounted for less than half (45%) of the total number of people claiming asylum in the UK in 2022.
Less than 1,000 people who came via small boat were refused asylum in five years. This is in complete contrast to the tough rhetoric of government ministers over the years as the crisis was worsened.
Albanians accounted for just over half (55%) of total small boat referrals to the UK’s modern slavery adjudication scheme during 2022.