Migration Statistics Quarterly Report: February 2019

A summary of the latest official long-term international migration statistics for the UK for the year ending September 2018 published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Data from the Home Office and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are also included.

Net migration continues to add to the population of the UK as an estimated 283,000 more people moved to the UK with an intention to stay 12 months or more than left in the year ending September 2018. Over the year, 627,000 people moved to the UK (immigration) and 345,000 people left the UK (emigration).

Our analysis of the available data suggests that net migration, immigration and emigration figures have remained broadly stable overall since the end of 2016. However, there are different patterns for EU and non-EU migration:

  • non-EU net migration was the highest since 2004; this follows a gradual increase in immigration of non-EU citizens over the past five years for both work and study

  • the number of EU citizens coming to the UK continues to add to the population; however, EU net migration has fallen to a level last seen in 2009 due mainly to a decrease in EU immigration

  • more EU8 citizens, those from the Central and Eastern European countries, left the UK than arrived, as the numbers arriving fell and the numbers leaving increased; this recent pattern for EU8 citizens differs to those from all other EU countries, where we have continued to see more people arriving than leaving

We also see different patterns when exploring reasons for migration:

  • immigration to the UK for work has fallen to its lowest level since 2014; this follows a fall in the number of EU citizens arriving to work

  • the overall number of people arriving in the UK to study has increased, with non-EU student immigration at its highest level since 2011


Long-term international migration data from the ONS are largely based on a survey. It is not possible to survey all people coming to and leaving the UK, so these statistics are estimates based on a sample, not precise figures. It is best to use all available data sources and review longer time series to assess migration trends.

For full details visit Office for National Statistics


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