Immirgation now five times greater than a decade ago

January 13, 2003

Immigration into the UK is now running at five times the level of 1992.

An analysis of the figures by think-tank MigrationwatchUK shows that even taking into account the Government's recent major downward 'adjustment' of immigration statistics to 'reconcile' them to the latest Census figures (see Note 1) net non-EU foreign immigration has risen from 40,000 in 1992 to almost 200,000 in 2001.

Illegal immigration, generally believed to be substantial, is on top of this.

The following bar chart illustrates the rise over the past decade.

1 The number of asylum seeker dependants is taken from
Table 6.1 of HOSB 09/02
2 These were previously omitted but have been added by
MigrationwatchUK to the interim revised total international
migration estimates published by the Office for National
Statistics on 28 November 2002.

'The numbers themselves are very large indeed. If this flow continues, and it shows every sign of rising still further, the result will be an additional two million foreign population every decade. What is more, the rate of increase should also be ringing alarm bells throughout Whitehall,' said Sir Andrew Green, MigrationwatchUK Chairman.

'The massive increase in work permits from 30,000 to 175,000 a year, the loosening of control on arranged marriages, and the opening of our borders to East European workers in eighteen months time promise further very substantial increases,' he said.

Sir Andrew said 'The government's claim to be managing migration is simply not credible. The reality is that they are progressively losing control of our borders. Their focus seems to be on managing the media, not on managing migration.'

Note 1.
The immigration statistics have been thrown into confusion by the government's response to the census. Despite evidence to the contrary, the government have chosen to assume that the census was correct and have reduced immigration figures over the last ten years to account for nearly one million people missing from the expected total. A last minute addendum to the annual statistics (issued on the same day as the announcement of the "deal" over Sangatte) points to the National Statistics web site which contains the revised figure for foreign non EU net immigration in 2001 as 178,100. Adding the 20,500 dependants who were omitted from the overall immigration statistics brings the total to 196,600. (see for a detailed explanation of this issue under News Desk item: January 2003. More than 100,000 'missing' from immigration statistics... .) It should also be noted that the Home Office have subsequently acknowledged that they did indeed omit the dependants of asylum seekers from the overall immigration numbers as set out in this release.

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