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UK net immigration hits 500,000 in the year to June

The sharp increase in immigration to the UK is driven by the growing number of non-EU citizens.

Net immigration to the UK has hit a record high of 500,000, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), following a series of “unprecedented global events” including the war in Ukraine and the end of lockdown restrictions.

It is estimated that around 504,000 more people left the UK in the 12 months to June 2022, up sharply from 173,000 in the year to June 2021.

Other factors contributing to the surge include the resettlement of Afghan refugees, new visa routes for British nationals from Hong Kong, and students arriving from outside the European Union.

A total of 1.1 million people are likely to migrate to the UK in the year to June, the majority (704,000) from outside the EU.

In contrast, an estimated 560,000 people emigrated from the UK during the same period, almost half of them (275,000) returning to the EU.

This imbalance means that far more non-EU nationals are likely to arrive in the UK in the next 12 months than will leave the UK, whereas the opposite is true for EU nationals, who will arrive More and more people are leaving the country.

pattern change

Jay Lindop, Deputy Director, ONS, International Migration Center, said:

“These include the end of lockdown restrictions in the UK, the first full period after the transition from the EU, the war in Ukraine, the resettlement of Afghans and new visa routes for British nationals in Hong Kong. All of this contributes to record levels of or long-term immigration that we have seen.

“Migration from non-EU countries, especially students, is driving this rise. increased.

“However, there has also been a significant increase in the number of people who migrate for various other reasons. This includes not only family reasons, but also those arriving for humanitarian protection, such as those coming from Ukraine. will be

“The many independent factors contributing to migration at this time mean it is too early to say whether this situation will persist.”


Concern about the impact of immigration was one of the major factors in the UK’s decision to leave the EU in 2016, when then-Prime Minister David Cameron repeatedly pledged to keep net immigration below 100,000 a year. Did.

2015’s all-time high for net migration was just over 330,000.

Another figure released by the British government on Thursday said 33,029 people were detected arriving across the Channel by small boat between January and September this year, 61% of them between July and September. arrived during the summer.

August saw more small boat arrivals than any other month since the data were collected.

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