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Its falling already. Migration to the UK fell last year, and emigration is up.

Less people are entering the UK and more are leaving, finds the latest data from the ONS. In total, net migration to the UK was 248,000 in 2016, 84,000 less than the year before.

Immigration to the UK was estimated at 588,000, emigration 339,000.

Drilling down. Immigration from the EU8 fell by 25,000 to 48,000 and emigration to the EU8 increased by 16,000 to 43,000.

To re-phrase, more people left the UK to go to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary (EU8) than the in the year before.

Of the people who did enter the UK, for 275,000 people, work was the main reason. And of this number 180,000 had a definite job.

This table tells the story in more detail:

Net migration (immigration minus emigration) in thousands source ONS
20152016Change
Total332248-84
British-40-60-20
EU184133-51
Asia189175-14
Rest of the world6149-12
The ONS said “Long-term international migration estimates show that the estimated number of British citizens immigrating to the UK was 74,000 in 2016 compared with 84,000 in 2015. These numbers include British citizens returning to the UK after living abroad for a year or more; and British citizens who were born abroad and may be coming to the UK for the first time.”

Looking at immigrants who came to the UK to study: the total number was 136,000, down 32,000 from the year before. 70 per cent of those immigrating to study for more than 12 months were non-EU citizens, 24 per cent were EU citizens and five per cent were British citizens. Of non-EU students, 37 per cent were from China, seven per cent from the US, six per cent India, four per cent from Hong Kong, and four per cent from Saudi Arabia. 42 per cent were from other non-EU countries.

Looking at the UK labour market, the ONS said that “of the total in employment in January to March 2017, 88.9 per cent were British nationals, 7.3 per cent were EU nationals and 3.9 per cent non-EU nationals. These compare with 89.4 per cent, 6.8 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively, in January to March 2016.

“The growth in overall employment over the last year was 385,000. Of this, 46 per cent can be accounted for by growth in employment for British nationals, 45 per cent by growth in employment for EU nationals with the remaining nine per cent accounted for by non-EU nationals.”