Mail immigration deception

Statistics in today's Daily Mail on immigration are deceiving and misleading. They fail to show that net migration has fallen to its lowest level in nearly six years.

The Daily Mail are at it again. A headline in today’s paper screams, “The growing rate of open-door migration: Number of new arrivals has surged by 50% under Labour.” But, as ever, the facts do not stack up.

The Mail story says:

“Whitehall statistics show that in [2001], 370,000 non-British nationals arrived. That rose to 416,000 the following year and, by 2006, had reached 510,000.

“In 2007, it fell back slightly to 502,000  –  but this was still an increase of 30 per cent on 2001.

“For net foreign immigration  –  the number of non-British citizens arriving, versus the number leaving  –  the figures are more dramatic.

“In 2001, it stood at 221,000  –  but by 2007 it had reached 333,000  –  up by 50 per cent. This is the size of the increase in the foreign-born population of the UK.”

But as this table – taken from the Office of National Statistics recent publication, “Migration Statistics Quarterly Report: August 2009” – shows, net migration of non-British citizens barely went above 300,000 and has fallen to 204,000 in the year to December 2008 – the lowest for nearly six years and only 32 per cent above 2001 levels. Immigration can only be said to go above 500,000 if immigration by British citizens is included.

The report says:

“The estimated number of non-British citizens immigrating to the UK in the year to December 2008 was 441,000, compared with 456,000 in the year to December 2007. The estimated number of non-British citizens emigrating from the UK was 237,000, a rise of 50 per cent on the 158,000 in the year to December 2007 (Figure 1.3). Approximately half of this rise in emigration of non-British citizens was caused by the rise in emigration of A8 citizens (Figure 1.4).

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