UK migration hits record level of 330,000 in over 12 months | world | Hindustan Times
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UK migration hits record level of 330,000 in over 12 months

world Updated: Aug 27, 2015 17:43 IST

Migrants try to board lorries bound for the United Kingdom from Calais, France in July this year. (Getty images)

Net migration to Britain has hit record levels with the difference between migrants leaving and arriving in Britain rising to 329,000 in the year to March, said officials.

"The net migration figure was a statistically significant increase from 236,000 in year ending March 2014 and is the highest net migration on record," the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Immigration minister James Brokenshire called the figures "deeply disappointing".

Prime Minister David Cameron had vowed to reduce the numbers to less than 100,000 by May of this year.

Some 636,000 people immigrated to Britain over the 12-month period, a rise of 84,000, while 307,000 people emigrated, down 9,000.

The net figure is 9,000 more than the previous record, which was set in the year ending June 2005.

The report found that 269,000 EU citizens had moved to Britain permanently, a "statistically significant" increase of 56,000.

Around 53,000 were Romanian and Bulgarian citizens, almost double the 28,000 in the previous 12 months.

The total net migration figure is equivalent to a city the size of Cardiff, and Britain's foreign-born population has now surpassed eight million for the first time, meaning one in eight residents were born abroad, up from one in 11 in 2014.

There were 25,771 asylum applications in the 12-month period, an increase of 10 percent, with the largest number of applications coming from nationals of Eritrea (3,568), Pakistan (2,302) and Syria (2,204)

Despite the refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa, the figure remains low relative to the peak number of applications -- 84,132 -- in 2002.