UK among best countries for migrants, OECD report reveals

06 Jul 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The UK is one of the most attractive countries in the world for migrants, according to a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Researchers found that migrants are more likely to have a job in the UK than their British-born counterparts and the proportion of immigrants in the UK with degrees has doubled in six years to almost 50 per cent. Luxembourg, Australia, Canada and New Zealand were the only countries with higher proportions of immigrants with degrees.

Migrants living in the UK are among the most likely to start their own businesses. Around 16 per cent of migrants to the UK set up their own enterprises, second only to Canada, and ahead of the US, where the figure is 11 per cent.

The report also found the children of poor migrants are more likely to perform well at school in Britain than most other countries. Poorer children who were born in the UK to immigrant parents were 19 points ahead when measured by international literacy scales than working class children born to native British parents.

However, the OECD also found that immigrants living in the UK are more likely to live in poor conditions than the British born population. A quarter live in poverty and around a fifth were housed in over-crowded accommodation.

The latest statistics show that migration to the UK is at a 10-year high with 318,000 more people arriving in 2014 than leaving.

Prime Minister David Cameron is aiming to persuade countries such as Poland and Romania to limit the number of their nationals migrating to the UK by pointing out they are losing the brightest and most talented workers, which will harm their own economies in the long term.