22 August 2008
Record UK immigration makes population soar
Recent statistics from the Office for National Statistics show the total population of Britain has reached record levels, reports the Telegraph, and immigration has been the biggest contributor.
Since 2001, the population of the UK has risen by more than 2 million people, to reach 60,975,000 people. Over the past year alone, 605,000 long-term migrants (migrants staying for one year or more) moved to Britain, which is 21 per cent more than the number recorded in 2001. The government has also predicted that British immigrants have added about 6 billion pounds to the economy every year, reports Reuters.
However, according to Reuters, the number of people migrating from Eastern Europe this year is the lowest since 2004. Last year, the applications for a UK work permit from nationals in the eight new EU countries fell from 54,000 to 40,000.
Long-term emigration also reached a record high this year, with 406,000 people leaving the country for longer than a year. Many British nationals are now moving to Australia, Spain, New Zealand and Canada in search of a new lifestyle and different job opportunities.
Jill Rutter, from the Institute of Public Policy Research, said "The challenge in the next few years will be to attract enough migrant workers with the right skills who can drive economic growth in the UK."
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visa and immigration services.
Article by Jessica Bird, UK Visa Bureau.