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Eastern European migration to the UK: full facts revealed | Immigration Matters

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In an interesting piece in the Guardian, Gordon Brown’s ‘bigot’ gaffe has further highlighted immigration from Eastern Europe in the general election campaign.

The Guardian reveals the data you need to understand the debate.

Gordon Brown might be attempting to shift the focus from bigotgate to the economy today, but the whole Gillian Duffy affair has yet again shone a light on an issue bubbling under in this general election: immigration.

We wanted to get some definitive datasets together on the issue so you can make your own mind up – but with the facts at the base.

The spreadsheet below contains the key information on migration – and the Eastern European migrants.

Here’s what we have:

Total numbers of people coming into the UK and leaving

Since the year 2000. It shows that 518,000 People came into the UK in the year to end June 2009 – down by 3% on the previous year. 317,000 people left the UK in the same year. Of that number coming in, 68,000 were from Eastern Europe (the A8 Accession countries), 58,000 left – the difference between the two (the migration balance) being 10,000.

SOURCE: ONS

Worker registrations by Eastern Europeans

Workers from the Accession countries have to register in the UK and the figures here show a decrease in recent years. In 2009, there were 106,390 applications accepted – down from 158,545 the year before. In total, there have been 703,620 applications accepted since 2006.

Workers from Romania and Bulgaria have a separate process – 20,180 workers applied for seasonal agricultural employment in 2009, up from 16,460 the year before.

SOURCE: Home Office

UK population by country of birth

Poland is now the second highest in this table (behind India) with 503,000 people. In 2004 it wasn’t in the top 60.

SOURCE: ONS

UK employment by country of birth and nationality

This shows that although numbers of Eastern Europeans have grown in the UK, they still form a compratively small part of the workforce: 472,000 workers (or 1.63% of the workforce) by the end of 2009, compared to 13,000 (0.05% of workforce) at the end of 1997, the year Labour came to power.

The full data is below.  

SOURCE: ONS

Download data  

Source: The Guardian

See also:

Gordon Brown calls pensioner questioning his immigration policies a ‘bigoted woman’

Nick Clegg defends amnesty policy

Clegg’s amnesty policy challenged in election TV debate

Liberal Democrat want amnesty for illegal immigrants, but will it work?

Immigration question kicks off TV election debate

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