Net Migration Statistics

  • According to the latest estimates by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), net migration from overseas to the UK in the year ending September 2019 totalled 240,000.
  • The level of non-British net migration into the UK is at its highest level – 313,000 – since 2016.
  • Net migration from the EU has fallen, from 165,000 in the year to September 2016 to 64,000 in the most recent year.
  • Net migration from outside the EU has risen gradually since 2013, and is now at its highest level – 250,000 - since 2004. Gross inflow from outside the EU is the highest on record – 379,000. Non-EU emigration has remained at roughly similar levels.
  • The net departure of British citizens from the UK is at the highest level - 73,000 in one year - since 2012.
  • If you are interested in finding out more about net migration to the UK, you can create your own graph of net migration by citizenship such as UK, EU, non-EU. Click here to create your own graph.

Migration statistics can be used to estimate the flow of migrants in and out of the UK and to estimate the number of migrants living in the UK (the stock). One estimate of the flow of migrants is the United Nations definition of a migrant; someone who moves to another country for at least 12 months.

The Office for National Statistics produce estimates of international migration based on the International Passenger Survey, a survey of passengers arriving and departing the UK. Someone arriving to the UK intending to stay for 12 months or more is an immigrant and someone departing the UK for 12 months or more is an emigrant. The migration figures are also adjusted to include asylum seekers. Net migration is the number of immigrants minus the number of emigrants.

The headline net migration figure for the UK is updated quarterly. The latest estimate released is that total net migration to the UK in the year ending September 2019 was 240,000.

The graph below shows how current levels of net migration compare to previous years levels.

Figure 1: Annual net migration from overseas to the UK from 1975 until year ending September 2019

Migration by Citizenship

5. The International Passenger Survey records the nationality of those interviewed so estimates of migration by citizenship can be produced. Table 1 below shows a breakdown of the latest figures.

More British citizens leave the country than arrive. EU net migration is currently 64,000 compared to 250,000 from outside the EU.

Table 1: Latest migration estimates, year ending September 2019

All Citizenships British Non-British EU Non-EU
Immigration 642,000 67,000 575,000 196,000 379,000
Emigration 402,000 140,000 262,000 133,000 129,000
Net Migration 240,000 -73,000 313,000 64,000 250,000

Further breakdown of the data gives estimates for Western Europe (EU14), Eastern Europe (EU8) and the EU2 – Romania and Bulgaria, as well as more detail for non-EU migration. The level of migration from various regions has changed over time.

Create your own graph of immigration, emigration and net migration for a particular citizenship grouping. The data covers from 1991 to the latest figures (data starts at 2004 for EU8 and 2007 for EU2):

Select Citizenship:


Create your own graph which compares migration of different citizenship groupings. The data covers 1991 to the latest figures (data starts at 2004 for EU8 and 2007 for EU2):

Select Up To 3 Citizenships

Select Immigration, Emigration Or Net Migration:

Citizenship groupings

The EU14 grouping includes citizens of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

The EU8 grouping includes citizens of Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The EU2 grouping includes citizens of Bulgaria and Romania

Further Information

The ONS produce extensive material on the methodology and accuracy of their Long Term International Migration estimates, including a user guide that covers frequently asked questions (see here).

Next Statistics Release

The next statistics will be published on Thursday 21 May 2020.

Check back here for an update.

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