The United Kingdom has been a popular destination for immigrants from various other countries in the world. The civilized society and the protection given to the immigrants by the UK laws are what attract the immigrants. Since the beginning of the 2000s, the nation has seen a surge in the number of immigrants, till the pandemic changed the trend. The capital city of London is the prime location for immigrants. The main city is crowded with immigrants who have come in search of jobs or better education.
Immigration to the UK became popular around the 1900s when the net migration rose to 163,000 in 1999 from a negative 13000 in 1992. In 2004, the European Union (EU) was expanded increasing the immigration rate by 15% in the following two years. While both men and women immigrants were entering the country, 54% of them were females. Immigration was on a constant till 2010, and then from 2010 to 2012, there was a sudden fall in the net migration rates. The reason behind the fall in numbers was the Conservative Party’s policies. The policies were planned in a way to put restrictions on immigrants who came to the UK for work, study, or for family. The goal of the political party was to reduce migration to only a few thousand every year.
From 2013 onwards the trend changed again, owing to the recovery of the UK’s economy from a crisis that opened up multiple job opportunities. Around 2016, UK again saw a fall in the immigration rates, this time due to an increase in emigration. Even then the net immigration was a positive number. As reported by the National Statistics Department, in 2019 the immigrant population was 9.5 million, coming up from 5.3 million during the expansion of the EU. Today, UK has a population of 66.8 million people of which 14% are foreign-born. In 2020, the immigration rates have been affected due to the travel restrictions imposed for the pandemic.
Facts related to UK Immigration
According to a study conducted in 2019, it has been found that the majority of the immigrants in the UK are above 25 and below 65 years old. In this age range, 70% were found to be people from other nations while only 48% were natives. There are very few children or retired immigrants in the UK. This study shows that most migrants are in the working-age, which indicates job hunt as the reason for immigration in the UK.
Surprisingly, most immigrants in the UK are from non-EU nations. The ones coming from the European Union form just one-third of the total immigrant population. Out of 9.5 million immigrants, the immigrants from EU nations form 3.6 million and the remaining 5.9 million are from non-EU countries. This trend is quite opposite in other European countries like Germany and Ireland where the immigrants from EU nations are much more in number than non-EU.
Some parts of the UK are more preferred by the immigrants than the others. London is the favorite destination for immigrants in the UK. From the data collected in 2019, nearly half of the immigrant population was found in London and South East. Out of the 9.5 million immigrants in the UK, 2.6 million are in London alone. They make up about 40% of London’s inner-city population.
After the expansion of the European Union in 2004, there was a surge in the immigrant numbers. 10% of these immigrants were from India. Even in 2019, the Indians are the most common immigrants in the UK, followed by the people of Poland and Pakistan. Currently, there are 1.4 million immigrants of Indian ancestry living in the United Kingdom.
In 2019, a study revealed that about 49% of the non-EU immigrants are in the UK for family reasons. Only 21% come in search of work. It is exactly the opposite for the immigrants from EU nations. Most of them move to the UK for work. The ones entering the nation on family visas are more likely to become permanent residents when compared to people who come for work or education. It implies a good percentage of the UK’s permanent population is made of foreigners.
Unlike the USA and Canada, immigrants were not very welcome in England. Many politicians used the term “swarms” to refer to a large number of immigrants. They strongly believed that immigrants are a threat to the law and order of the nation. The British media used the term Mass to mean immigration from 2006 to 2015. Immigrants were also thought to be stealing job opportunities from the British people, which is a major reason for the attitude people had towards them. However, over time things have changed for the better and the UK laws are there to protect immigrants.
Immigration has brought in people from different cultures and ethnic groups to the UK, reflecting a diverse society. The heterogeneity rate is the highest, equaling that of Denmark. The diversity is mainly from the people coming from India, Poland, and Pakistan.
The UK not only welcomes immigrants but also ranks in the top 10 list of emigration rates. In the year 2020, around 403,000 UK people left the nation to go and live in other countries. In 2015, the count of emigrants was 4.9 million. The UK is the only country to be on this list among all nations in Wst Europe. Another interesting fact is that more than 20% of the emigrant population from the UK are found in non-EU nations. This is opposite to the emigrant nature of other EU nations.