Net migration of European citizens to the United Kingdom is at its lowest level in four years at 101,000, the UK National Statistics Office (ONS) said on Monday.
This drop is explained by a 4% drop in the number of European citizens who moving to the United Kingdom and, conversely, a rise of almost 19% in the number of those who left the country, between 2016 and 2017.
In March 2013, at its lowest, the difference between the number of European citizens moving to and from the UK was 95,000, according to official figures. In 2017, 240,000 European citizens settled in the United Kingdom, down from 250,000 in 2016, a figure that has been declining since the British voted to leave the European Union in June 2016.
At the same time, in 2017, 139,000 European Union citizens left the UK, a record number according to the ONS. In 2016, that number was 117,000.
“The estimate of the number of European citizens arriving in the UK to look for work continued to decline last year and the number of people coming to the UK for a specific job remained stable,” the organisation said.
Overall, the net migration of the United Kingdom is, however, increasing to around 282,000 last year. “These latest figures show that migration has continued to add to the British population. Net migration has fallen to record levels in 2015 and early 2016 and has been fairly stable since then, “said Nicola White, Director of International Migration at ONS.
“Immigration has remained globally stable at 630,000, and emigration has been steadily increasing since 2015 and is currently around 350,000.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May said at the end of 2016 that she wanted to reduce net migration to tens of thousands of people a year.