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U.K. Net Migration Projections Raised 29 Percent by ONS

  1. Immigration Blog
  2. U.K. Net Migration Projections Raised 29 Percent by ONS

Net annual international migration in the U.K. expected to be 315,000 from year ending June 2028, up from previous projection of 245,000

Net international migration in the U.K. from the middle of 2028 will be 29 percent higher than previously forecast and help raise the country’s population by 9.9 percent in the 15 years to mid-2036.

Net international migration will be 315,000 a year from the year ending June 2028, higher than the 245,000 assumed in the previous forecast, the Office of National Statistics said in a statement on 30 January. This will help add 6.1 million people to the U.K.’s population between the time of the last census in mid-2021 until mid-2036.

Overall U.K. population will climb to 73.7 million by the middle of 2036 from 67 million estimated in mid-2021, according to the statement. This includes 541,000 more births than deaths during the period.

By mid-2026, U.K.’s population is projected to reach 70 million, "faster than in the 2020-based projections released in January 2023 with the projected increase mainly resulting from international migration," according to the statement. The projections use the latest provisional estimates of international migration for the year ending June 2023, which will be revised as more data become available.

The projections provide an estimate of the future population of the U.K. and its constituent countries and are widely used in planning, economic and fiscal forecasts, health, education and pensions. The Office for National Statistics produces these projections for the U.K. and its constituent countries usually every two years.

ONS said the new net international migration figure was arrived at after reviewing expert advisory feedback and its own research and based on an average of 10 years of historical international migration data until mid-2023. This led to the long-term assumption of 315,000 net migration from the year ending mid-2028, an increase from the previous assumption of 245,000 net migration released last January.

The U.K. government has announced a series of measures over the last year to curb net migration, which climbed to a record 745,000 in 2022, about three times the annual average before the pandemic. Curbing the inflow of foreigners is a key election plank of the ruling Conservative Party.

The changes have included scrapping dependant visas for care workers, increasing the threshold salary to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa to £38,700 from £26,200 and disallowing foreign students not involved in research to bring in dependants from January 1, 2024.

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