Official : Over half a million immigrants entered the UK legally in 12 months

Facts4EU.Org summarises official UK population growth from legal immigration

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2022

UK population has increased by 8 million (13.5%) in just 20 years

In the 1970s, prior to the United Kingdom joining the ‘Common Market’ or ‘EEC’, population growth was relatively flat. It then started rising, and took off after former Prime Minister Tony Blair came to power in 1997.

The annual increases became dramatic following the enlargement of the EU in 2004, when Mr Blair allowed unlimited immigration from the new (and much poorer) countries from Eastern Europe who joined the bloc that year. Immigration then took off again in 2007, when Romania and Bulgaria joined. The UK was one of the very few EU members to grant citizens from those countries immediate entry.

This is the second part of Facts4EU.Org’s look at immigration and the UK’s population. Yesterday we looked purely at immigration from EU nationals. Today we look at the wider picture – overall immigration and the extraordinary growth in the UK’s population.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Legal immigration into the UK and population growth

Latest figures for 12 months to June 2021

1. Legal immigration into the UK

  • Legal immigrants entering : 513,000
  • Legal immigrants leaving : -274,000
  • Net permanent immigration : 239,000

[Source: Office for National Statistics, May 2022.]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2022 - click to enlarge

2. How much has the UK’s population grown in the last 50 years?

Putting aside our usual caveats that neither the Office for National Statistics nor the Government really has a clue about the numbers of people actually in the United Kingdom, below we present the latest official figures on population growth.

  • 1971 : 55.9m
  • 1981 : 56.4m
  • 1991 : 57.4m
  • 2001 : 59.1m
  • 2011 : 63.3m
  • 2020 : 67.1m

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2022 - click to enlarge

[Source: Office for National Statistics, June 2021 (latest data).]

Finally, what percentage of the UK population is still British?

  • In the year ending June 2021, the non-UK-born population was an estimated 9.6 million
  • That’s 14.3% of the total population
  • Put very simply, one in every seven people you see in the street were not born in the UK
  • 62.5% of these have not taken British nationality

India continued to be the most common non-UK country of birth, and Polish remained the most common non-British nationality.

London continued to be the region with the largest estimated proportion of non-UK-born (37%) and non-British (21%) population.


Does immigration matter?

In the 2016 EU Referendum government-backed campaign to remain in the European Union, David Cameron, George Osborne, and all the Remain campaigners made a fatal error. They assumed – in the words of Bill Clinton – “It’s the economy, stupid”.

Well, the economy did not “fall of a cliff”, which is what the Remainers threatened us all with.

Naturally Leave voters did not wish to become poorer as a result of Brexit but the issues went much deeper than that. One of those issues was the control of immigration.

The immigration of EU nationals is just one part of the story of course. In the latest figures we have reported above, almost a third of a million non-EU nationals immigrated into the UK on a permanent basis. Only 81,000 left. That’s a net total of 239,000 – in just one year.

Immigrants have contributed to the UK’s prosperity

There is no doubt that the UK has benefited from its attractiveness to migrants from the EU and around the world.

The key question is whether ordinary people from across the country have seen their housing stock, hospitals, GP practices, schools, other local infrastructure and all local services keep up with the rate of population growth.

We’re sure readers can answer that question for themselves.

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[ Sources: Office for National Statistics | UK Home Office ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Mon 08 Aug 2022

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