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UK migration: Net migration from outside EU hits 'highest level'

UK migration: Net migration from outside EU hits 'highest level'

  • 21 May 2020
Image copyright Reuters

Net migration to the UK from countries outside the European Union has risen to its highest level for 45 years, the Office for National Statistics says.

Figures show an estimated 282,000 more non-EU citizens came to the UK than left in 2019, the highest since the information was first gathered in 1975.

The ONS says a rise in students from China and India has driven this.

In contrast, the number of people arriving from EU countries for work has "steadily fallen".

  • EU net migration to UK at lowest for 16 years

Jay Lindop, director of the Centre for International Migration at the ONS, said: "Overall migration levels have remained broadly stable in recent years, but new patterns have emerged for EU and non-EU migrants since 2016.

"For the year ending December 2019, non-EU migration was at the highest level we have seen, driven by a rise in students from China and India, while the number of people arriving from EU countries for work has steadily fallen.

"We know the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on travel since December and new analysis today shows how international travel to and from the UK has decreased in recent months."