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In 2022 around 1.2 million people migrated to the UK and 557,000 migrated out of it, leaving net migration (the amount which migration adds to the population) of around 606,000. This was the highest level of immigration and net migration ever recorded in estimates made by the Office for National Statistics.

The high level of immigration in 2022 was partly the result of several unique events in 2022, namely the arrival of Ukrainian refugees and British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status holders from Hong Kong. There has also been an increase in the number of people migrated to the UK for study, with them making up 47% of non-EU arrivals in 2021 and 39% of arrivals in 2022.

Net migration to the UK has averaged over 200,000 in each year since the turn of the twenty-first century. Prior to that it was considerably lower and was often negative (more people leaving the UK than coming in), adding or subtracting a few tens-of-thousands of people to the population each year.

According to past ONS estimates, net migration accounted for around 60% of population growth between 2001 and 2020.

This debate pack provides information on immigration and population growth and further reading material.


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