HomeSportsFootballHow sustainable is the new net migration number in the UK?

How sustainable is the new net migration number in the UK?


Official data declares that in 2023, the new net migration number stands at 606,000 – the highest on record for a calendar year. This number includes those who are students, NHS staff, public servants, and Ukrainian refugees.

It was reported that 1.2 million people migrated to the UK, and 557,000 people emigrated from the UK in 2022.

The ‘net migration number’ defines the number of people who have arrived in the UK. The studies on net migration, inherently consider immigration and emigration.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that, out of the 1.2 million people arriving in the UK last year, 925,000 of them were non-EU nationals, in addition to 151,000 EU nationals, and 88,000 British nationals.

“This may reflect the temporary nature of these world events, as well as [the] beginning to see higher numbers of international students emigrate. We will continue to monitor these patterns in the coming months,” the ONS said.

Due to the Russia-Ukraine War escalating last year, and the unrest in Hong Kong, more than 200,000 people from Ukraine and 150,000 Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas had come to the UK. The ONS noted that the figures in 2022 reflect a “unique year”.

Jay Lindop, the director of the Centre for International Migration at the ONS, announced: “The main drivers of the increase were people coming to the UK from non-EU countries for work, study and for humanitarian purposes, including those arriving from Ukraine and Hong Kong.”

Towards the end of the pandemic, the number of international students increased, due to the government’s Graduate Route policy, which allows students to work in the UK for two years after their graduation.

However, the ONS recalled that the majority of students leave the UK at the end of their studies. The ONS also noted that some students that arrived to the UK in 2021, have already left.

The increase in healthcare workers is also due to a government policy which set out to tackle specific shortages in the sector. The policy launched in 2020 and ran until 2022.

A public opinion on the current net migration number.

The most recent net migration number, 606,000, is nearly equivalent to that of the Glasgow population. The Glasgow population currently stands at 635,130. To support the population, the city has nine major hospitals, nearly 150 primary schools, and exactly 298,847.

However, along with the Tory ‘stop the boats’ campaign and Rwanda Bill, the government persistently share their fear towards the net migration number no longer being sustainable for the UK. For instance, the current housing crisis and additional pressure on the NHS, have been deemed an issue by the government.

But, due to the average age of migrants being between the age of 25-64, research suggests that there is less pressure on the NHS and primary/secondary schools.

In 2023, the government announced its plans for reaching the annual target of 300,000 new homes, a target that has been reported as “easily achieved”.

Data also suggests that new 300,000 new homes would ultimately assist with housing 606,000 people – which can be reflected in the precise number of homes that support the Glasgow population (298,847).

Although the net migration has only increased, for instance in 2021 the net migration number was 488,000, the ONS are adamant that the figures will decrease in the near future.

In 2022, the ONS predicted that the long-term migration net number will be, “slowing in growth over the most recent quarters”.

In the House of Commons, Robert Jenrick MP revealed that the net migration figures have “flatlined” since June 2022, according to statistics.

“The government remains committed to reducing overall net migration to sustainable levels… That is a solemn promise we made to the British public in our manifesto, and we are unwavering in our determination to deliver it,” he stated.

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