26 May 2017
Net migration to the UK was estimated to be 248,000 in 2016 - a fall of 84,000 from 2015, figures show.
The Office for National Statistics said the change was driven by “a statistically significant” increase of 40,000 people leaving the country. These were mostly EU citizens - 117,000 emigrated, up 31,000 from 2015. Net migration is the difference between people coming to the UK for more than a year, and the number of people leaving the UK for a year or more.
The ONS report for 2016 includes six months of data following the EU referendum. Its figures for the year estimated immigration at 588,000, with emigration of 339,000. The difference between the two gives the total for net migration. In 2016, the total number of people moving to the UK was made up of 264,000 non-EU citizens, 250,000 EU citizens and 74,000 British citizens. The ONS figures are the last official migration data before next month’s general election. The Conservatives’ aim since 2010 has been to reduce net migration to “the tens of thousands”.