Migration to United Kingdom

Migration to The United Kingdom

About 70% of the population increase between the 2001 and 2011 censuses was due to foreign-born immigration. 7.5 million People (11.9 percent of the population at the time) were born abroad, although the census gives no indication of their immigration status or intended length of stay. Provisional figures show that in 2013, 526,000 people arrived to live in the UK whilst 314,000 left, meaning that net inward migration was 212,000. The number of people immigrating to the UK increased between 2012 and 2013 by 28,000, whereas the number emigrating fell by 7,000.

From April 2013 to April 2014, a total of 560,000 immigrants were estimated to have arrived in the UK, including 81,000 British citizens and 214,000 from other parts of the EU. An estimated 317,000 people left, including 131,000 British citizens and 83,000 other EU citizens. The top countries represented in terms of arrivals were: China, India, Poland, the United States, and Australia.

In 2014, approximately 125,800 foreign citizens were naturalized as British citizens. This figure fell from around 208,000 in 2013, which was the highest since 1962 when records began. Between 2009 and 2013, the average number of people granted British citizenship per year was 195,800. The main countries of the previous nationality of those naturalised in 2014 were India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, South Africa, Poland and Somalia. The British government can also grant settlement to foreign nationals, which confers on them permanent residence in the UK, without granting them British citizenship. Grants of the settlement are made on the basis of various factors, including employment, family formation and reunification, and asylum (including to deal with backlogs of asylum cases). The total number of grants of the settlement was approximately 154,700 in 2013, compared to 241,200 in 2010 and 129,800 in 2012.

In comparison, migration to and from Central and Eastern Europe has increased since 2004 with the accession to the European Union of eight Central and Eastern European states, since there is free movement of labour within the EU. In 2008, the UK government began phasing in a new points-based immigration system for people from outside of the European Economic Area.

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