News story

New figures show net migration is decreasing

Immigration is at its lowest levels since 2001, while the number of skilled workers and university students coming to the UK is up.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Crowd of people
Migration is down

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that net migration is now at its lowest level for a decade, falling from 242,000 in the year to September 2011 to 153,000 in the year to September 2012.

Fall in net migration

An infographic on migration
Migration is down

The independent Office for National Statistics suggests this has been driven, in the most recent period, by a decline in the number of people coming to the UK.

There was a 5% increase in sponsored student visa applications for the university sector as well as a 5% increase in visas issued to skilled workers. Other significant figures include:

• 10% increase in study visas issued for Chinese nationals in the year to March 2013

• 6% increase in student visitor visas in the year to March 2013

• fall in overall number of visas (excluding visitors and transit) by 6% in year ending March 2013, the lowest 12 month total for which comparable data is available

We’ve cut out abuse

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said:

The figures show that we have cut out abuse while encouraging the brightest and best migrants who will contribute to economic growth.

We have made substantial inroads in cutting immigration and now have a more selective system that works in our national interest. Looking forward, our Immigration Bill will reduce the pull factors to this country and make it easier to remove people with no right to be here.

An infographic on migration
How we are reducing net migration

Find out more about migration statistics.

Published 23 May 2013