The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that net flow of long term migrants into the UK was 182,000 for the year ending June 2013. This, says the ONS, is a 'not statistically significant difference' from the previous year's 167,000.
The ONS also said that 503,000 migrants entered the country over the same period.
Commenting on the figures the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, said that The government's approach to bringing migration under control has been branded a "complete failure".
"The fact that we still have net migration going up, EU migration going up and immigration into the UK still running at over half a million people per year is a damning indictment of this government's failed approach to immigration." He said.
"This is before they plan to open the doors to Bulgaria and Romania next year. If the government were serious about bringing immigration into the UK under control, they would not allow total unrestricted access from Bulgaria and Romania from 1st January next year."
Some figures from around the web and from the ONS:
• UK population 63.23 million
• Fertility rate of 1.98 births per female
• Population growth rate 0.8% per annum
• 503,000 people came into the country (0.796% of the population) in the year to June 2013
• 0.5% of the population left the country (320,000) over the same period
• Net immigration to June 2013 was 182,000 long-term migrants (about 0.29% of the whole population)
Whichever way you look at these figures the overall impact in numbers does not seem to be a lot.
However, another way of looking at this (and it applies as much to any other country as it does to the UK), is that there is an annual 'turnover' in population. That is to say that people come and people go but, unlike a company with staff turnover, the UK has not got full control over the situation.
But how do you measure this turnover? Is it based on the amount of people coming in, those leaving or the overall effect?
If you are looking purely at the numbers then it is just an arithmetic exercise. Just as it is when looking at the economics. But when considering the cultural impact then it becomes much more difficult – hence governments lauding the 'diversity' etc.
When assessing it culturally (such as religion, language and attitude to law) surely you then need to look at the numbers coming in and going out compared to the population as a whole. This is because the people going out take their 'culture' with them and those coming in bring theirs here.
On that basis, in percentage terms there is a 'cultural turnover' of (503,000 + 320,000) / 63.23 million, which equals 1.3 percent 'cultural turnover' last year- a very rough attempt I'm sure you'll appreciate. But it could be those sorts of numbers every year.
Now once again that does not sound an insurmountable problem until you look at how the numbers are concentrated and not spread out evenly across the country. This may well be the bone of contention where some communities are concerned. Something to bear in mind should another large influx take place (over which our government has little or no control).