...By Larry John for TDPel Media.
Official statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that net migration to the UK has reached a record high.
Data released on Thursday shows that an estimated 606,000 more individuals moved to the UK than left in the 12 months leading up to December.
This figure represents an increase from the 504,000 net migrants recorded in the 12 months to June of the previous year.
The ONS attributes the relatively high levels of immigration over the past 18 months to various factors.
These include individuals arriving in the UK from non-EU countries for employment, educational pursuits, and humanitarian reasons.
Notably, migrants from Ukraine and Hong Kong have contributed to the influx.
According to the ONS, the unprecedented events of 2022 and the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions have contributed to the record levels of net migration.
The director of the Centre for International Migration at the ONS, Jay Lindop, highlighted that the number of individuals arriving via humanitarian routes has increased during the 12-month period under consideration.
Lindop also mentioned that the inclusion of asylum seekers in the estimates reveals that approximately one in twelve non-EU migrants enter the UK through this route.
Lindop further explained that there are indications of changing factors behind the high levels of migration.
As lockdown restrictions eased in 2021, there was a significant rise in the number of students arriving in the UK.
However, recent data suggests that many of these students have now left the country, resulting in a decrease in the overall proportion of non-EU immigration for educational purposes in 2022.
On the other hand, arrivals through humanitarian routes have seen an increase over the 12-month period.
Additionally, recent evidence suggests a slowdown in immigration in recent months, which may indicate the temporary nature of these events.
The record levels of net migration to the UK highlight the complex dynamics influenced by global events and changing circumstances, contributing to the evolving landscape of immigration patterns.