Some Impacts Of Very High Immigration – Factsheet For The United Kingdom


Current Affairs, Economics, Education, Employment, Environment, Health, Housing, Office for National Statistics, Population, Visas/Work Permits

1. Net migration into the UK from overseas stands at 240,000 (year to September 2019 – see ONS bulletin). EU net migration has fallen by about 100,000 since 2016 but still stands at 64,000 more people coming than leaving. Non-EU net migration to the UK is the highest since 2004, and gross non-EU immigration is the highest on record, with 379,000 long-term migrants arriving in a year (more than the population of Coventry).

2. Skilled work visa grants are at the highest level on record (113,000 in 2019), while family and study visa levels and asylum grants have all risen. There were 760,000 National Insurance Numbers registered by adult overseas nationals in 2019 – see DWP summary.

Immigration-driven population growth

3. Over 80% of UK population growth since 2001 was the result of immigration, directly or indirectly. So immigration adds roughly one million to our population every three years (see our paper) – nearly equal to the population of Birmingham. If immigration levels remain at around the average of the past five years, the population is projected to grow past 70 million by the end of the 2020s. Nearly 3/4 of the public say the UK is already crowded and nearly 2/3 see rapid population growth on this scale as a major concern (Deltapoll, 2019).

The Housing Crisis

4. Most of the public (54%) see immigration as the chief cause of the housing crisis (Opinium, 2017). Immigration drove up house prices in England by a fifth between 1991 and 2016 (UK Government, April 2018). We will need to build one home every six minutes just to cope with current levels of immigration to England (ONS household projections).

Public Opinion

5. 30 million people (about six in ten of the public) want to see immigration reduced (for more, see our paper). One poll found that 73% of the public want a substantial reduction (Deltapoll, 2018). This included a majority of Remain voters and 18-24 year olds. 68% of the public say that immigration puts pressure on public services (Ipsos, 2019), while 58% say that immigration places too much pressure on these amenities. More than 75% say illegal immigration is a serious problem facing the country (Project28, 2018).

Pressure on the NHS and Schools

6. There is an average of one new registration by someone from overseas with a GP every minute of the day in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (NHS Digital statistics). Meanwhile, the secondary school population is projected to increase by more than 400,000 by 2027, in part due to the baby boom fuelled by high immigration. More than 28% of births are now to non-UK born mothers (ONS).

The Economy and Jobs

7. Despite what is often claimed, immigration is a substantial cost to the taxpayer. Over the period 1995-2011, it resulted in a net fiscal loss of at least £115 billion (UCL study, 2014). A 2018 Migration Advisory Committee report revealed that immigration cost a total of £4.3 billion in 2016/17. There are around four million UK-born people who are not working but either would like to work or would like more hours (see our paper on underemployment).

12th March 2020

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