A fresh look at immigration statistics

04 Aug 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Research by Bloomberg and The Huffington Post is aiming to dispel some of the myths about immigration in the UK.

The Huffington Post has put together a list of points it says shows there is a major divide between what many British people believe about immigration and the reality of the situation.

It said that the majority of British workers are actually UK-born, at just over 26 million, with 4.9 million workers hailing from outside of the UK. It also pointed to the fact 13 per cent of the UK’s population was born overseas, rather than the 21 per cent most people believed when polled by Ipsos Mori at the start of the year.

Almost 16 per cent of the workforce is foreign-born, with around 60 per cent of these from outside the European Union. Fewer than four per cent came from Romania and Bulgaria. Chinese and Indian people are most likely to come to the UK to work.

The popular belief that more foreign workers come to the UK than any other EU nation was also shown to be unfounded. The UK is actually the second most popular destination for immigrant workers after Germany, which had the highest level in both 2012 and 2013.

The main reason cited by immigrants coming to the UK was to work, followed by study, then joining someone already in Britain, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Around two-thirds of those coming to the UK for work already have employment offers from businesses in the UK. This rubs against the British Social Attitudes Survey, published last year, which found that 24 per cent of Britons believed welfare was the main reasons people wanted to come to the UK. In fact, 93 per cent of people claiming benefits had UK nationalities.