Net migration to UK in 2010 at record high

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Annual net migration to the UK in 2010 was 252,000 – the highest calendar year figure on record, figures show.

The data from the Office for National Statistics showed immigration remained steady at 591,000 but there was a drop in the number of people leaving the UK.

Provisional data from the ONS for the 12 months to the end of March suggest net migration has since fallen slightly to 245,000.

The government has pledged to cut net migration to tens of thousands by 2015.

The figures show the emigration of British citizens was at its lowest since 1998 at 136,000.

Education remains the most common reason for people migrating to the UK.

Provisional data shows 342,000 students arrived in the year to September 2011, slightly down on the previous 12 months.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said the figures showed the government was right to take “swift action to overhaul the immigration system”.

Mr Green said: “Latest quarterly figures show a decrease in the number of student and work visas issued compared to a year earlier – an early sign that our policies are starting to take effect.

“The latest net migration figures are also encouraging, showing a fall since the recent peak in September 2010, but we are clear there is much more to be done.

“That’s why I will be announcing reforms to settlement and the family route which will help bring net migration down from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands over the course of this Parliament.”

source BBC © 2011

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