Rise in UK net migration driven by increase in non-EU nationals arriving to study

Net migration in the UK was around 313,000 in the year to March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.

This is up on 221,000 from the previous year and has been driven by an increase in non-EU nationals arriving in the UK to study.

The latest numbers show net migration has risen to its highest level since March 2016, when the figure was an estimated 326,000.

In the 12-month period to March 2020 around 715,000 people moved to the UK and around 403,000 people left the country, a report published on Thursday said.

Of those coming to the UK, 257,000 were arriving for study, with 458,000 arriving for work, family or other reasons.


Jay Lindop, director of the Centre for International Migration at the ONS, said: "Our best estimate of net migration, using all available data sources, is 313,000 for the year ending March 2020.

"After a period of stability, we were seeing migration levels begin to increase in the past 12 months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic.

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"This was being driven by increases in non-EU student arrivals, mainly from China and India."

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