Migration statistics: Seventh Report of Session 2013-14, Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral Evidence - House of Commons Papers (Paperback)

by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Public Administration Select Committee, Bernard Jenkin

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Current sources of migration statistics were established at a time when levels of migration were much lower than they are today and are no longer adequate. In the year to June 2012, immigration was estimated at 515,000. Emigration was estimated at 352,000. Net migration, the difference between immigration and emigration, was estimated at 163,000. Annual estimates of immigration, emigration and net migration are primarily based on a sample of around 5,000 per year migrants identified through the International Passenger Survey, which is a survey of people travelling through UK air and sea ports. These are subject to a large margin of error and do not provide sufficient detail to judge properly the social and economic consequences of migration and the effects of immigration policy. The Government aims "to reduce net migration from the hundreds of thousands back down to the tens of thousands" by the end of the current Parliament. In the period 2006 to 2010, estimates of net inward migration averaged 209,000 a year. So the Government's target in practice only needs to be roughly halved in order for the Government to achieve its aim. Office of National Statistics (ONS) and Home Office data are incompatible in several respects and some aspects of official migration statistics could be considerably improved if the Home Office and ONS properly recorded and linked the data they already gather. But a full and accurate statistical account of migration to and from the UK also requires the ONS to develop new sources of migration statistics

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