British government statistics show that net arrivals from the European Union are at their lowest since 2014, but this has not stopped rising immigration from the rest of the world continuing to push the United Kingdom’s population upward.
An estimated 273,000 more people moved to the United Kingdom as long-term migrants — those intended to stay longer than a year — than emigrated in the year to June 2018, the latest batch of immigration figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal.
Despite net EU arrivals — the difference between those arriving and leaving — falling to the lowest level since 2012, this group still yielded an overall positive figure in the ONS statistics, with approximately 74,000 more European Union citizens arriving than leaving during the period.
Far larger were arrivals from the rest of the world, which are at their highest level since 2014, with net addition of 248,000.
Overall, the net-positive levels of immigration, which despite coming below the recent 2016 peak, are still running at historically high levels. The ONS revealed that the foreign-born population of the United Kingdom now stands at 9.4 million and that arrivals from Romania in recent years have been one of the largest drivers of growth in that total.
In the context of the United Kingdom, 9.4 million people is near equivalent to one in seven of all people in the country being first-generation migrants and is similar to the combined populations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Jay Lindop, Director of the Centre for International Migration at the ONS, said of the figures: “Net migration continues to add to the population and has remained fairly stable since its peak in 2016, with around 270,000 more people coming to the UK than leaving in the year ending June 2018.
“However, there are different patterns for EU and non-EU migration. Due to increasing numbers arriving for work and study, non-EU net migration is now at the highest level since 2004. In contrast, EU net migration, while still adding to the population as a whole, is at the lowest since 2012.”
Speaking out over the figures, Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said the continued high levels of migration was a demonstration of the failure of the Government, saying:
The Conservative Party, which has ruled the UK either in coalition or in minority since 2010, has promised to cut net immigration to the tens of thousands level in three consecutive general elections, but has so far not made any progress in achieving that aim.
Because those promises were made and the government is anticipated to sign the UN Migration Compact in December, a document that will ease migratory flows and is anticipated to drive migrant numbers up, Migration Watch branded the government “hypocritical” in November.
The latest ONS figures follow a 2018 study which claimed that immigration had driven 82 per cent of all population growth in the United Kingdom this century so far, noting both the high levels of arrivals and higher-than-average birthrates attributed to migrant parents once they arrive in the country. In 2017, a third of all babies born in the United Kingdom had a foreign-born parent.
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