More People Migrating to Britain than Leaving it

03 December 2015

According to the latest migration figures, from the beginning of 2015, more people have immigrated to Britain rather than left it. The number currently stands at 330,000 making the yearly net migration 84,000. The rise in numbers is attributed to a decrease in emigration rates; fewer people are leaving the country and more people are moving in.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the rate of emigration has risen by 20,000 compared to 2014 and besides British emigrants, this trend is also apparent for others in the EU along with non-EU citizens albeit in smaller numbers. 105,000 emigrated up June last year but that number fell this year to 85,000 marking the smallest emigration rate by non-EU citizens in years.

Even though British nationals made up 43% of those emigrating from the country, as of last year, those numbers have fallen by 7,000. This rate is well below emigration rates back in 2012 when 150,000+ British nationals chose to move out of the country. On the other hand, more EU citizens are deciding to stay in Britain if recent figures are analysed.

Officials have declared employment as the main motivation why fewer people are deciding against leaving the country; 57% (approximately 170,000) cited this as their main reason for staying which is a slight reduction from the previous year when 180,000 British nationals chose to leave the country to find work. Similarly, the number of non-EU members citing work as a reason for leaving the country has decreased from 40,000 to the previous year to 29,000 in 2015.

Those who returned to their home country to live are mostly EU citizens (approximately 18,000) rather than non-EU members (which are approximately 10,000 in number). This marks a major decrease in emigrants compared to numbers in 2008 when a massive 62,000 left the country to escape the economic crash at the time.

According to statistics, the almost 33,000 people leaving the UK each year do so either to live in their own countries or were graduating students. However, emigration has stabilised somewhat in the wake of the recovering economy and also because nearby competitors have not been as competitive as they used to be.

The fall in emigration is attributed to the strength of the UK labour market compared to other countries in the EU that do not boast a robust employment system. In simpler terms, it is considered easier to get a job and keep it in the country compared to other EU member states.

The strong labour market has motivated large swathes of immigrants to immigrate to the UK and its increasing strength is constantly urging the indigenous to remain and build a life on home soil. With an influx of skilled workers, Britain is well on its way to come out of the immigration crisis with a robust and sustainable economy.

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