Net long term international migration in 2016 was estimated to be plus 248,000, a statistically significant fall of 84,000 on 2015 figures reports the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Immigration was estimated at 588,000 for 2016 with emigration of 339,000. The decrease on 2015 immigration figures of 43,000 was seen as not statistically significant, but the rise in emigration of 40,000 (mainly comprised of EU citizens at 31,000) was statistically significant.
"EU8 citizens have partly driven the changes with a fall in immigration (down 25,000) to 48,000 and a rise in emigration (up 16,000) to 43,000 in 2016 (both statistically significant changes); this resulted in the smallest net migration estimate (+5,000) for the EU8 since joining the EU in 2004" said the ONS.
275,000 immigrated for work, with 180,000 having a definite job to come to (a not statistically significant fall of 33,000 on 2015 figures) and 95,000 came looking for work (a statistically significant fall of 35,000 on 2015).
Long term immigration to study saw a statistically significant fall of 32,000 from 2015 numbers to 136,000.
The number of those emigrating to take up a definite job rose by a statistically significant 17,000 to 116,000 when compared to 2015. The number of non-British people returning home to live rose from 29,000 in 2015 to 52,000 in 2016, with EU citizens being the lion's share of this seeing an increase of 21,000 to 43,000 – about half of these were EU8 citizens.
In the year ending March 2017 a total of 9,634 people were granted asylum or an alternative form of protection and 5,453 people were granted humanitarian protection under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.