Forget today’s immigration statistics – the true number is much higher

HMRC issued over 1 million National Insurance numbers to non-UK adults last year

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2023

Facts4EU.Org lifts the lid on a hidden scandal within the immigration crisis

Today’s release of immigration numbers by the Office for National Statistics will cause uproar – and quite rightly. However these numbers only tell part of the story.

In 2017 Brexit Facts4EU.Org was the first to break the news about the number of National Insurance numbers that were being issued to non-UK adults, contrasting this with the much lower immigration figures being reported by Theresa May’s Home Office at the time.

In short, there was no way for the Home Office to explain why its numbers were so much lower than the number of non-UK people getting the right to work by receiving an NI number.

We have now obtained the latest figures and today we update our previous research and bring readers some shocking facts.

Firstly, why are NI registrations (NINos) important?

In order to work legally in the United Kingdom or receive benefits you need a National Insurance number, issued by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Our summary contains statistics on National Insurance numbers (NINos) allocated to adult non-UK overseas nationals, covering the period from January 2020 to December 2022.

These DWP/HMRC statistics show a count, by nationality, of the number of NINos registered to adult non-UK nationals, irrespective of the length of stay in the UK. The statistics are not a count of annual migration or the number of adult nationals currently residing in the UK. The statistics only show the nationality of the individual at the point of registration.

Tip of the iceberg?

It is vital to understand that the numbers we are reporting DO NOT include dependents of those applying, unless they are applying for benefits. In other words someone could register and that person’s income could then be supporting a large family.

Importantly the numbers we are reporting do not include those working in ‘the black economy’, who don’t pay taxes.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

The highest number of non-UK National Insurance registrations (NINos) in history

  • Last year saw the highest number of NINos registered to adult overseas nationals annually
  • The figure exceeded 1 million NINos registered
  • This compares with 602,000 registrations in 2021 and 320,000 in 2020
  • The majority of registrations last year were to non-EU nationals at 892,488 (85%)
  • This compares to 146,382 (14%) to EU nationals
  • Amazingly, 168,418 NINos were granted to nationals from Sub-Saharan Africa
  • The remaining 16,415 were – bizarrely – given to ‘unknown nationalities’

[Sources: The Dept for Work and Pensions (DWP). Data used is from the Migrant Worker Scan (MWS) sourced from HMRC National Insurance and PAYE service (NPS).]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2023 - click to enlarge

EU free movement ends, Rest of World free movement grows

It is important to note the differing restrictions to NINo applications for EU and non-EU nationals during the Covid-19 pandemic. Registrations from non-EU nationals were less severely impacted, as postal applications were reinstated from late April to May 2020, whereas EU nationals could not apply until the latter part of 2020 as a result of Covid-19 restrictions disrupting face-to-face services.

Prior to this, since 2005 NINo registrations from EU nationalities were almost always in the majority.

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A number of things have contributed to these changing trends, in particular the transition of the UK leaving the EU. EU nationals have been subject to visa restrictions which will obviously have impacted numbers of EU nationals registering. In addition, the UK providing ongoing support for Ukrainian and Hong Kong nationals and others requiring protection have contributed to the increase of registrations from non-EU nationals.

One interesting statistic came out of our research. The percentage of non-UK Nationals represented by the EU27 applying for NINos in 2018 was 66%. By last year this had fallen to 15%.

The Top 10 nationalities given NINos to work in the UK in 2022

  1. India : 257,153
  2. Ukraine : 103,134
  3. Nigeria : 102,412
  4. Pakistan : 53,919
  5. China : 36,478
  6. Romania : 35,962
  7. Bangladesh : 27,311
  8. Hong Kong : 25,367
  9. Zimbabwe : 18,041
  10. United States : 16,528


At the time of writing (3am Thursday morning) we do not yet have the latest ONS figures for immigration. Yes, when they are released today’s numbers will be bad, but they will fail to explain the massive rise in the number of National Insurance registrations from foreign nationals.

With each household comprising of at least 2.5 people, the numbers above suggest that the immigration figures are out of control. We have consistently stated over the past seven years that the Facts4EU.Org team does not believe the official population statistics, nor the official immigration statistics. We stand by this.

Yesterday the Prime Minister, writing in the Daily Telegraph, announced that the government is ending the right of dependents of some classes of students to enter the UK. Whilst this is welcome we must say this is tinkering at the edges.

Only definitive caps on all the various categories of would-be immigrants will have any chance of reducing the explosion in numbers we have been witnessing. Unless Rishi Sunak gets a grip on this fast, then he “will be toast”, as Jacob Rees-Mogg put it when defending him at the recent Conservative conference.

This not about xenophobia or racism

It is a simple fact that the country cannot support such a massive rise in its population without a correspondingly huge investment in the extra services required. For decades the United Kingdom saw a gentle flow of net immigration. Then along came “Call Me Tony” Blair and the rot set in. The numbers rocketed. He was followed by the likes of David Cameron and Nick Clegg, with Theresa May as Home Secretary.

This issue is becoming a powder keg across the country. HMG would do well to wake up, smell the coffee, and act hard and fast.

Let's face it, you're not going to get information like this from the BBC, Sky News, or ITN

Reports like the one above take far longer to research, write and produce than many people realise. If they were easy, readers would see other organisations also producing these daily. However, there’s little point in the Facts4EU.Org team working long hours, seven days-a-week, if we lack the resources to promote them effectively – to the public, to MPs, and to the media. This is where you come in, dear reader.

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[ Sources: HMRC | DWP ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Thurs 25 May 2023

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