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Recent Changes in Migration Movements and Policies: United Kingdom

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The United Kingdom remains an important destination country for international migration flows as well as experiencing high levels of emigration by its own citizens. In 2006, the estimated number of people arriving to live in the UK for at least a year was 591 000, with an estimated 400 000 people leaving the UK giving a net gain of 191 000. There was a net gain of 71 000 citizens from the Eastern Europe states which joined the EU on 1 May 2004 (A8). The inflows of workers from the A8 countries, which were granted access to the UK labour market, have remained fairly steady since accession. 218 000 citizens of these countries registered under the Worker Registration Scheme between June 2006 and June 2007, in keeping with the annual average for the previous two years. More than two‐thirds of these were Poles, with Lithuanians and Slovaks the next largest groups. Indeed, Poles are now the largest group of foreign citizens, with 406 000 (292 000 working) in 2007. The total number of A8 citizens was 587 000, of whom 409 000 were working, a much higher proportion than among the native‐born.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008


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