The Office for National Statistics has released a report showing that the gap between the number of people coming to live in the UK for at least one year and the number of people leaving has decreased to 48,000, the lowest figure since 2003.
The report reveals not only a decrease in the number of people choosing the UK to live and work but also an increase in the number of EU migrants who have decided to return to their countries of origin. The BBC reports 151,000 people left in the past 12 months alone.
Between 2015 and 2016, the net migration levels went higher than 200,000 considering EU countries only. This year until June, the net migration levels were as low as 212,000 overall, considering both EU and non-EU countries.
The most significant decrease is in the number of people coming to UK to work from Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. These eight countries joined the EU in 2004.
Even though fewer people are choosing Britain to work, the people coming to the UK to study are increasing. This is the main reason behind the rise of non-EU migrants.
Overall, migration levels have been quite stable during the last three years and the number or people coming to Britain from the EU is still higher than the number of people leaving the UK, but the decrease of net migration within EU countries is significant.
Words: Catarina Joele | Photo: Josh Sorenson / Unsplash