For the first time the annual net migration to the UK has dipped to 323,000 in September – lower than the record level of 336,000 recorded last June, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The drop of 13,000 indicates the flow of EU migrants to work in the UK has reached its peak and now appears to have stabilised after seeing a growing increase for seven successive quarters.
The net migration figure of 323,000 is split between a 172,000 net increase in migrants from within Europe and 191,000 from outside Europe.
However, the annual migration figures as compared to September 2014 saw an increase of 31,000 bringing the figure up to 617,000 annually.
Confirming evidence from the Labour market survey which indicated that the number of EU citizens working in the UK has stabilised over the past nine months, this has been the first fall the ONS has witnessed.
However, Madeleine Sumption of the Oxford University-based Migration Observatory has questioned the fall in numbers and said: “Sustained high levels of net migration raise the question of whether we are experiencing a temporary peak or a ‘new normal’ in the UK. In the long term migration is difficult to predict.”
Facts & Figures
Number of people going to live abroad: 294,000 (down by 29,000)
EU nationals coming to UK for work in the last 12 months: 180,000 (down by 15,000)
59% of all migrants coming to Britain to work have a definite job
Romanians and Bulgarians accounted for the largest increase: 55,000 (up by 15,000)
Number of overseas students: 174,000 (down from 190,000)
Asylum applications in the UK: 38,878 (rise of 20%)
Here & Now 365 Viewpoint
Speaking on the release of the new ONS figures Managing Director, Here & Now 365 Manish Tiwari said: “The latest figures released by the ONS is important for marketers in order to understand the changing demographics of multicultural Britain. We at Here & Now 365 are continuously tracking the population trends to give our clients the latest insights and bespoke solutions to the different ethnic communities.”