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 March 2020 totalled 313,000 - the highest in four years and approaching the all-time record of 331,000 in the year to March 2015.
  • Total long-term immigration by those of all citizenships (715,000), and total immigration by non-UK citizens (633,000) were both at the highest levels ever recorded.
  • Net migration to the UK from outside the EU nearly tripled since the year to March 2013 (when it was 106,000) to its highest level ever - 316,000.
  • Net migration to the UK from the EU has fallen, from 219,000 in the year to March 2015, to 58,000 in the most recent year.
  • There was a net departure of 61,000 British citizens to other countries.
  • 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 March 2020 was 313,000.

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

Figure 1: Net migration from overseas to the UK, 1975 - year to March 2020

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 58,000 compared to 316,000 from outside the EU.

Table 1: Latest migration estimates, year ending March 2020

All Citizenships British Non-British EU Non-EU
Immigration 715,000 83,000 633,000 195,000 437,000
Emigration 403,000 144,000 259,000 137,000 121,000
Net Migration 313,000 -61,000 374,000 58,000 316,000

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:


Or

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 date of the next release has yet to be confirmed.

Check back here for an update.



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