Indians form big chunk of UK immigrants

People from New Commonwealth- mainly India, Pakistan and Africa- made up the biggest proportion of net migration.

india Updated: Oct 21, 2005 21:52 IST

People from India, Pakistan and the African countries constitute the major chunk of immigrants to the UK, according to official figures released on Friday, which also show that immigration is running at record levels with more than 580,000 foreign arrivals last year.

At the same time, a large number of British citizens 360,000 people - have left the country to settle abroad, but the figures do not indicate to which countries they are travelling.

Foreigners coming to Britain will account for the bulk of the increase in population, which is expected to rise from 60 million this year to 67 million in 2031.

Net migration into the country last year was 223,000, about 72,000 more than the figure for the previous year, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

People from the New Commonwealth-- mainly India, Pakistan and the African member states barring South Africa-- made up the biggest proportion of net migration, numbering 113,000.

The number of British citizens leaving the UK to live elsewhere increased to 208,000 in 2004. This is the highest estimated annual outflow of British citizens.

There was a record net inflow of non-British citizens.

There were 342,000 more non-British citizens migrating to the UK than migrating abroad.

Noting that Britain needed migration, a Home Office spokesman said new immigrants bring considerable benefit to the UK "whether contributing to our wealth, our culture or our diversity."

"A large proportion of the number of migrant workers is attributable to the accession of new countries to the EU, which is expected to increase the level of migrant workers entering the UK in the short term."

Immigration will fuel the estimated 7.2 million growth in the population over the next 25 years.

By 2031, the estimated population will be 67 million, compared with 60 million this year.

An estimated 3.1 million, or 43 per cent, of population growth will be driven by the natural increase but 57 per cent, or 4.1 million, will be a result of migrants coming to live here.

First Published: Oct 21, 2005 21:52 IST