Real impact of migration 'concealed' in Government figures…

March 22, 2004

The Government has been accused of concealing the true impact of immigration on our future population growth.

Government population projections, published in December, claimed that three million, or just over 50%, of the projected population increase in the UK between 2002 and 2031 of 5.6 million would be due to immigration.

But further analysis of the Government's statistics by think-tank Migrationwatch has revealed that even these figures understate the real position by a significant margin and, in fact, the true proportion should be 85%.

And if net immigration continues at present levels, the proportion of our population growth due to future immigrants and their descendants will rise to 89% of a total of 7.6 million by 2031, two million more than the Government's principal projection.

In describing their projection, the Government claimed that, out of a total population rise of 5.6 million by 2031, there would be some three million immigrants - but they only included first generation migrants. Children and grand children of these migrants were counted in the natural population increase and hence not attributed to the effect of migration.

'It is unacceptable that the Government should manipulate the figures in this way so as to conceal the true impact of immigration from public view,' said Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch UK.Clearly if the first generation of migrants had not arrived on our shores, their descendants would not add to our population.

'It is therefore entirely logical that descendants be included in population forecasts as being due to immigration, not to the natural increase of the existing population.If the Government are ever to regain public trust about immigration, they must make a start by being honest as to its true scale.'

Sir Andrew said, 'The Government has no coherent policy on immigration. They have triggered by far the highest immigration in our history without informing the British people, still less consulting them. Fundamental errors of this kind, and the revelations of the past few weeks, will do little to reassure the public that this crucial matter is remotely under control.

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