Immigration is coming down

“We need to continue to bring immigration down.” Amber Rudd, 7 May 2017

 Latest estimates show immigration at around 596,000 for the year ending September 2016. That’s the lowest recorded level since 2014, but still high by historic standards.

Net migration (the difference between the number of people leaving the UK to live elsewhere and the number arriving to live here) was estimated at around 273,000 for the same period - down from an estimated peak of 336,000 in the year to June 2015.

Further back, the picture is less clear. The figures between 2001 and 2011 are known to have underestimated the number of arrivals.

The figures we do have suggest net migration was around 244,000 in the 12 months to June 2010,. It’s higher now due to an increase in the number of people coming to live in the UK and a decrease in the number departing.

Because EU nationals have the right to come and live and work in the UK past policies have aimed to reduce immigration from outside the EU. But the Migration Observatory from the University of Oxford says that “the measures introduced to reduce non-EU net migration have not succeeded in reducing it significantly”.

The Migration Observatory has suggested that even if immigration from the EU to the UK was significantly reduced following Brexit, it is still likely to be far above the “tens of thousands” target.

Verdict: Immigration is currently estimated at 596,000 for the year ending September 2016, which is the lowest recorded level since 2014. Today’s figures are still at historically high levels.

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