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commentary 22 Jun 2017

Migration Observatory wins ESRC prize

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has awarded the Migration Observatory the prize for Outstanding Impact in Society

commentary 21 Jun 2017

Brexodus? Migration and uncertainty after the EU referendum

ible. This commentary looks at what we know about migration to and from the UK since the EU referendum.

press release 25 May 2017

Net migration falls, with lowest net migration from EU8 since they joined the EU – but “tens of thousands” target still a long way off.

New net migration data show a sharp rise in emigration by EU8 nationals and a fall in immigration from the EU8 countries

commentary 24 May 2017

Number 10 – the biggest number in the UK’s migration debate

This commentary outlines the migration related policies presented by the three main national UK parties in their manifestos for the 2017 general election

commentary 04 May 2017

The net migration target and the 2017 election

This commentary commentary explores the net migration target in relation to the upcoming 2017 general election

commentary 21 Apr 2017

Pounded? Currency devaluation and migration to and from the UK

This commentary examines the ways in which the devaluation of the pound after the EU-referendum can affect migration to the UK.

commentary 22 Mar 2017

Article 50: Shades of grey, or black and white?

Provides key data and links to importance pieces in anticipation of Article 50 being triggered

commentary 23 Feb 2017

What to look for in the quarterly migration statistics after the referendum

Understanding the datasets that will inform the post-referendum debate on migration.

press release 01 Dec 2016

Increase in permanent residence grants after the referendum is just the tip of the iceberg

Grants of permanent residence to EEA citizens doubled over the past year.

press release 07 Nov 2016

“Control” and the EU: British national newspapers and the framing of migration since 2006

Over the past decade, British newspapers focussed more on the scale of immigration, EU migration and the need for “control”.

press release 25 Aug 2016

Poland now the top country of birth for migrants in the UK

New data show net migration to the UK relatively stable before the EU referendum.

commentary 03 Aug 2016

Here today, gone tomorrow? The status of EU citizens already living in the UK

What will happen to the over 3 million EU citizens living in the UK?

press release 03 Aug 2016

Government faces a formidable task registering over 3 million EU citizens already living in the UK

The existing application process gives an indication of some of the issues the government may face post-Brexit.

press release 13 Jul 2016

New analysis of language learners and international students in the UK education system

New publications illustrating how migration has shaped the composition of school and university students over the past two decades

commentary 09 Jun 2016

What would UK immigration policy look like after Brexit? (Pre-referendum)

It is not possible to know exactly how a vote to leave the EU would affect migration to the UK.

press release 09 Jun 2016

Migration Observatory reviews potential post-Brexit immigration policies (Pre-referendum)

The Migration Observatory has published a review of unresolved questions about future migration policies following the EU referendum.

press release 26 May 2016

New data show continued high net migration but provide little guidance on implications of Brexit

Official migration statistics released before the EU referendum show that net migration to the UK stood at 333,000 in 2015.

press release 12 May 2016

Long-term migration estimates fail to capture short-term migration trends

Long-term migration estimates fail to capture a range of potentially important changes in migration trends.

press release 06 May 2016

Agriculture, hospitality and retail would be most affected by cuts to EU migration (Pre-referendum)

Employers in different sectors of the UK economy could be affected in very different ways if measures were introduced to restrict the jobs that EU migrant workers can occupy following a vote for the UK to leave the EU.

press release 04 May 2016

New guide to data on EU migrants’ use of welfare benefits (Pre-referendum)

A comprehensive guide to data on EU migrants and welfare has been published to inform the public debate in the run-up to the EU referendum.

commentary 13 Apr 2016

Pulling power: Why are EU citizens migrating to the UK? (Pre-referendum)

What makes the UK such an attractive destination for migrants?

press release 13 Apr 2016

Spain, Italy and Portugal join Poland, Romania and Hungary as key countries driving the growth of the UK’s EU migrant population (Pre-referendum)

Three crisis-hit Eurozone countries rank alongside eastern European accession countries as the EU member states whose UK-resident populations have grown the most between 2011 and 2015.

commentary 10 Mar 2016

Project unclear: Uncertainty, Brexit and migration (Pre-referendum)

The outcomes of Brexit are uncertain and fall into two categories: policy and the impacts of policy.

press release 10 Mar 2016

We cannot know how migration would affect the UK after Brexit

It is not possible to estimate the economic impacts of post-Brexit migration with any confidence.

press release 25 Feb 2016

A new normal? Net migration levels off, but remains at record high levels

New data show that annual net migration to the UK stood at 323,000 in the year to September 2015, which means net migration has now exceeded 300,000 for almost two years.

press release 27 Jan 2016

Women and young families less likely to meet the current threshold for family migration

A majority (55%) of British women and people under 30 (53%) are excluded from bringing a spouse or family member from outside the EU to live with them in the UK.

press release 26 Nov 2015

Net migration continues at record levels: asylum applications rise but remain the smallest component

Net migration to the UK remains at record levels, standing at 336,000 in the year ending June 2015.

commentary 24 Nov 2015

Too many? Too few? Too difficult? How should the UK think about how many refugees to take?

How should the UK decide how many refugees to take? One of the reasons this has been such a difficult question is that there are many different lenses through which it can be viewed.

press release 27 Aug 2015

Net migration to the UK reaches highest level recorded

Net migration to the UK reached a record 330,000 in the year ending March 2015 and the size of the foreign-born population reached 8,277,000.

commentary 25 Aug 2015

Round numbers and records: What do headline statistics tell us about migration?

The number of UK residents who were born abroad is likely to exceed 8 million for the first time in 2014.

commentary 16 Jul 2015

Recent trends in EU nationals born inside and outside the EU

Recent trends and in EU migration and the countries of birth of EU migrants living in the UK.

press release 16 Jul 2015

EU citizens bring higher skills if they are born outside the EU, new analysis finds

EU citizens living in the UK are more likely to be working in high-skilled jobs if they were born outside of the EU.

press release 26 Jun 2015

Changes to the international migrant population of Northern Ireland 2001-2011

A comprehensive census analysis of the population of Northern Ireland born outside the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (RoI).

commentary 25 Jun 2015

International students and the net migration target: Should students be taken out?

Where do students fit in the immigration system, what do we know about how they contribute to net migration, and what would it mean to 'take them out' of the net migration target.

press release 21 May 2015

Net migration figures close to highest ever levels set backdrop to EU referendum debate and a squeeze on skilled labour recruitment

New data from the ONS highlight the continued difficulty the government will face in any attempt to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands.

commentary 14 May 2015

Skilled migrants and a tight cap

The return of the Conservative Party to government has a number of interesting ramifications for migration, including an EU referendum and the continuation of the net migration target.

commentary 16 Apr 2015

State of the nation: The immigration numbers game

How has the state of immigration changed in the UK over the past five years?

commentary 29 Mar 2015

Recent migrant workers in the UK labour market: What has changed in the last five years?

One way to get a picture of how migration has been changing over a period of several years is to look at the numbers and characteristics of 'recent migrant workers' (RMWs) who arrived in the UK within the past five years.

press release 06 Mar 2015

Major new analysis of regional migrant populations of England

This new analysis is the result of a statistical exercise to provide a more up to date estimate of the migrant populations of local areas in England than the 2011 Census.

commentary 27 Feb 2015

Net migration, the genie and the bottle: Where next for the net migration target?

How did net migration become the measure by which the government’s immigration policy is judged?

press release 26 Feb 2015

UK net migration reaches highest level since 2005 as economic success challenges efforts to reduce immigration

Success in stimulating economic growth and job creation appears to be a key factor in undermining efforts to reduce net migration.

commentary 17 Feb 2015

Migration and security: Navigating the risks

Security is a persistent theme in immigration debates, particularly after media coverage of crimes perpetrated by migrants or members of distinct diaspora communities, or acts of terrorism involving these groups.

commentary 30 Dec 2014

Romanians and Bulgarians coming to the UK in 2014: Influx or exaggeration?

A year after labour market controls on A2 migrants came to an end, what do we know about what has actually happened?

press release 30 Dec 2014

Quarter of a million Romanians and Bulgarians are now in the UK, but most arrived before 2014

Analysis shows that the end of 'transitional controls' on A2 migrants has not so far caused a sharp rise in numbers.

commentary 27 Nov 2014

Missing the net migration target

Today’s net migration estimate is further confirmation that the net migration target will be missed.

press release 27 Nov 2014

It has been clear since 2011 that net migration target was unlikely to be hit

It has been clear for more than three years that government policies alone were not enough to hit the “tens of thousands” net migration target.

commentary 17 Nov 2014

Love and money: How immigration policy discriminates between families

The minimum income restriction has important indirect effects across gender, ethnicity, education, age and place of residence.

commentary 28 Oct 2014

What do we know about EU migration to the UK?

What do we know about these EU migrants who are now at the centre of political discussion in the UK?

commentary 24 Oct 2014

Calais and clandestine migration into the UK: Concerns and context

This commentary considers four key aspects of the Calais situation: the background, definitions of 'illegal' immigrants and asylum seekers, existing data and the role of policies.

commentary 01 Sep 2014

Hard Evidence: are migrants good for the economy?

Economic estimates are important, but limited in that they cannot resolve important judgements about the type of society people want.

press release 28 Aug 2014

Sharp net migration increase as UK economy recovers faster than other EU members

New figures from the ONS show that net migration to the UK in the year ending March 2014 stood at 243,000, its highest level since 2011.

press release 18 Aug 2014

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves? UK national newspaper depictions of Romanians and Bulgarians analysed

British tabloid newspapers repeatedly associated Romanians - but not Bulgarians - with criminality and anti-social behaviour during 2012-2013.

press release 03 Jul 2014

A “Balloon Effect”? – Fall in Highly Skilled Recent Migrant Workers in the UK, but Numbers from Europe have Increased

There has been a decline of 28% in the number of highly-skilled recent migrant workers in the UK since 2007.

commentary 24 Jun 2014

The Scottish diaspora and Scottish independence

In the last two centuries, Scotland’s population change has been characterised more by emigration than by immigration.

press release 12 Jun 2014

Changes to the migrant population of Yorkshire and the Humber 2001-2011

A complete profile of the migrant population in Yorkshire and the Humber shows that the area’s foreign-born population has increased by nearly 80% in the last decade.

commentary 15 May 2014

Migration and citizenship in an independent Scotland

When the Scottish government released its White Paper outlining what an independent Scotland might look like, migration policy was a small but essential element of it.

commentary 14 May 2014

It’s too early to know whether the number of Romanians and Bulgarians will rise or fall in 2014

Bold claims about how little effect the lifting of labour market restrictions will have on the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK over the next year are premature.

press release 14 May 2014

New data on Romanians and Bulgarians in the UK is valuable first step but does not answer key questions

The number of A2 migrants employed in the UK increased by more than 28,000 compared to the same period last year but decreased after 1 January.

commentary 12 May 2014

A2 migration to Britain after transitional restrictions: The first piece of evidence

New data will provide the first evidence about the number of A2 workers in the UK after the lifting of the restrictions.

press release 01 May 2014

Definitive data shows more than 1m UK-born migrants in other EU countries, but 2.6m EU migrants in the UK

Census data from across the EU shows more than 1 million UK-born people living in other EU countries, less than half the number of EU-born people residing in the UK in the same period.

press release 10 Apr 2014

Net migration exceeded 200,000 every year from 2004-2011, ONS concludes

A new report from the ONS has concluded that net migration estimates from 2001-2011 were considerably higher than earlier estimates showed.

commentary 02 Apr 2014

Who counts as a migrant in Scotland?

Who actually counts as a migrant in Scotland? And will that change if Scotland votes for independence?

commentary 06 Mar 2014

Conflict or consensus? Does a new government report on labour market impacts of immigration contradict the MAC?

Are the conclusions of the Home Office/BIS report very different to those of the MAC report?

press release 04 Mar 2014

Newidiadau ym mhoblogaeth fudol Cymru 2001-2011

Arsyllfa Ymfudo Prifysgol Rhydychen yn rhyddhau dadansoddiad cynhwysfawr o’r cyfrifiad yng nghyswllt ymfudwyr yng Nghymru

press release 04 Mar 2014

Changes to the migrant population of Wales 2001-2011

Oxford University’s Migration Observatory releases comprehensive census analysis of migrants in Wales.

press release 27 Feb 2014

Increases in net migration make achievement of government target look unlikely

New figures released today by the ONS show that net migration increased by 58,000, to 212,000

commentary 21 Feb 2014

Costs and ‘Benefits’: Benefits tourism, what does it mean?

Who actually counts as a 'benefit tourist' or a 'health tourist', and how much do they cost the UK?

press release 21 Feb 2014

Transitional controls had little impact on Romanians’ and Bulgarians’ access to UK benefits

Most Romanian and Bulgarian (A2) nationals working in the UK before 2014 had full access to the welfare state despite “transitional controls” designed, in part, to limit access to it.

press release 10 Feb 2014

Public opinion toward immigration in Scotland as it prepares for the referendum on independence

Scotland has significantly lower levels of concern about immigration than England and Wales, but views on the subject are strongly associated with voting intentions in the referendum.

press release 09 Feb 2014

Changes to the migrant population of the North West of England 2001-2011

Oxford University’s Migration Observatory releases comprehensive census analysis of the region.

commentary 17 Dec 2013

Jumping the gun: Wait for the facts before estimating Romanian and Bulgarian migration

There is a lack of official estimates about how many migrants from Romania and Bulgaria may arrive in the UK, and it will be several months before any official data shows the actual level of migration from these countries.

commentary 02 Dec 2013

The relative and the real: A decade of migration in Scotland

There are several different ways of characterising the change that has happened in Scotland, all of which are accurate, but all of which may elicit different responses to the change.

press release 02 Dec 2013

Changes to the migrant population of Scotland 2001-2011

Scotland’s foreign-born population increased by 93% between 2001 and 2011 – a bigger proportional increase than England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

press release 28 Nov 2013

Net migration rises, creating challenges for Government target

New ONS data shows that estimated net migration increased to 182,000 in the year to June 2013 from 167,000 in the same period last year.

press release 25 Nov 2013

Changes to the migrant population of the North East of England 2001-2011

Oxford University’s Migration Observatory releases comprehensive census analysis of the region.

press release 13 Oct 2013

Changes to the migrant population of the South West of England

The South West has one of the smallest foreign-born populations of any of the 10 regions of England and Wales.

press release 09 Oct 2013

Changes to the migrant population of the South East of England 2001-2011

The South East has the largest proportion of foreign-born residents (12.1%) of any of England and Wales’ ten regions after London.

commentary 13 Sep 2013

Bordering on confusion: International migration and implications for Scottish independence

Outlines the differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK in migration policy, dynamics and attitudes, and considers the implications of migration issues for Scottish independence.

press release 13 Sep 2013

Immigration, independence and differences with neighbours…

Significant questions remain unanswered about how Scottish immigration policy will work after the independence referendum - irrespective of the outcome of the vote.

press release 09 Sep 2013

Changes to the migrant population of the East of England 2001-2011

The East of England now has the third largest migrant population of the ten regions of England and Wales, rising from fourth place in 2001

commentary 29 Aug 2013

Untangling the net: Understanding why migrants come and go

A particular challenge for the government is that declining emigration – which fell by more than 20,000 – is the primary cause of the recent increase in net migration.

press release 29 Aug 2013

Net migration is up after five quarters of decline

New data shows that net migration for the year ending December 2012 is estimated to have been 176,000 – an increase of 23,000 from the previous quarter.

press release 15 Aug 2013

Changes to the migrant population of the West Midlands 2001-2011

The West Midlands migrant population has increased by almost 60% since 2001, with the third largest proportion of foreign-born residents.

press release 08 Aug 2013

Migrants in the newspapers: An influx of illegal, failed, economic terrorists?

Analysis of more than 40 million words used by British national newspapers to describe immigration and migrants over the past three years.

commentary 14 Jul 2013

Pulling students out of the net: Should they be excluded from the net migration target?

International students make the single biggest contribution to non-EU immigration to the UK, and have been a key focus of policies aimed at reducing overall net migration.

press release 04 Jul 2013

Changes to the migrant population of the East Midlands 2001-2011

The East Midlands migrant population has increased by nearly 80%, but still has a smaller than average proportion of migrants.

commentary 23 May 2013

The halfway point: Net migration has fallen, but can the government hit its target?

Public opinion and commentators have been sceptical about the chances of the net migration target being reached.

press release 23 May 2013

Exceeding expectations: Net migration decreases faster than government projections

New ONS data show the lowest net migration for a decade, significantly exceeding the government’s projected impact of its own policy changes.

commentary 24 Apr 2013

Evidence and values – the UK migration debate 2011-2013

Since migration policy ultimately rests on value judgments as well as costs and benefits, the evidence base may be a crucial underpinning for the debate, but will never be the whole story.

commentary 13 Apr 2013

Migration Observatory: Independent and Evidence-Based

The Observatory is, and will remain, committed to independent analysis of data relating to immigration and other migration issues affecting the UK.

press release 28 Feb 2013

Progress toward net migration target; most difficult part still to come

The government is more than halfway toward its goal of reducing net migration to its ‘tens of thousands’ net migration target.

press release 15 Feb 2013

Guesstimates won’t help the UK prepare for Romanian and Bulgarian migration

It is impossible to predict the number of A2 migrants who will come to the UK when they gain full access to the EU labour market in 2014.

commentary 08 Feb 2013

Romania and Bulgaria: The accession guessing game

There is, at present, no sound method for working out how many Romanians and Bulgarians will come.

commentary 12 Dec 2012

Pole position – New Census data shows ten-fold growth of England and Wales’ Polish population

The release of new data from the 2011 Census provides a wealth of information about the foreign-born populations of England and Wales.

press release 11 Dec 2012

Census shows 2.9 million increase in England and Wales’ foreign-born population. India and Poland dominate.

Census data shows that the foreign-born population of England and Wales increased from 4.6 million in 2001 to 7.5 million in 2011.

commentary 07 Dec 2012

Student visas and long-term immigration estimates: A simple relationship?

The recent decline in student immigration follows a series of policies introduced by the coalition government to reduce overall net migration.

press release 29 Nov 2012

Net migration decreases across all routes – but ‘old EU’ bucks the trend

Net migration has fallen significantly – from 242,000 in the year to March 2011 to 183,000 in the year to March 2012.

commentary 19 Sep 2012

A degree of confusion – what do people in the UK think about international students?

Better understanding what members of the British public think about student immigration is of critical importance to the current policy debate in the UK.

press release 05 Sep 2012

The UK population debate: Time to move beyond the rhetoric

Using immigration policy to keep the UK’s population under 70 million would only be achievable by radical policy change and deep cuts to net migration.

commentary 30 Aug 2012

Entries, Exits and Errors

The ONS has provided an indication of the uncertainty surrounding its estimates of net migration, which is an important and helpful change to the presentation of official migration statistics.

press release 30 Aug 2012

New data shows uncertainty around migration estimates

For the first time the ONS has released the margins of error associated with its net migration estimates.

press release 16 Jul 2012

Any plans to limit the UK population must be evidence based

A reasonable debate about population limits is only possible if it is based on a comprehensive assessment of impacts.

commentary 29 Jun 2012

The EU shuffle: How does freedom of movement in the EU affect migration to and from the UK?

How exactly does EU citizens’ right to freedom of movement affect migration to and from the UK?

press release 29 Jun 2012

Media advisory: The role of the EU in UK net migration

Freedom of movement within the EU is responsible for more than a quarter of overall net migration in the UK

commentary 24 May 2012

Under Control?

The data suggest that the government still has a very long way to go if it hopes to hit its target of net migration in the ‘tens of thousands’ by 2015.

commentary 13 Apr 2012

A magnet for migrants? How does the UK’s migrant population growth compare with that in other high-income countries?

Has the UK experienced more immigration than other high-income countries?

commentary 29 Feb 2012

The net migration bounce

Even if the government manages to achieve their net migration target by 2015, net migration is unlikely to be sustained at that level because there will be a “bounce” caused by reduced emigration in the following years.

press release 29 Feb 2012

Press Release: The Net Migration Bounce

Any short-term cut to net migration brought about by reductions in immigration will be partially reversed in the long-term because of declining emigration.

commentary 01 Feb 2012

New migrants, “new” jobs, old confusion…

We do not have good enough data to calculate what proportion of new jobs in the economy migrants are taking up.

commentary 18 Jan 2012

Migrant workers: Taking our jobs – or not?

Recent contradictory reports on the labour market effects of immigration in the UK suggest that there is no absolute answer to whether migration affects employment rates.

press release 10 Jan 2012

Immigration policy: who is it for?

At the root of many disagreements in immigration policy making and public debates is the question: “Whose interests should policy benefit?”

commentary 28 Nov 2011

The variations enigma: Regional differences in support for reducing immigration to the UK

A Migration Observatory survey showed extremely interesting regional variations that suggest some pronounced differences between views in different parts of the country.

press release 28 Nov 2011

The immigration divide: Londoners and Scots are less supportive of cuts to immigration than people in the Midlands and Wales

There may not be a direct link between the scale of immigration to an area and public support for cuts to immigration.

press release 24 Nov 2011

Government would have to cut net migration from outside the EU by 70% to hit its target

The government would have to cut net migration from outside the EU by at least 70% if it is to hit its target of cutting total net migration to the tens of thousands.

commentary 27 Oct 2011

A loose fitting cap: Why is the limit on skilled non-EU workers undersubscribed?

A brief look at how the skilled worker cap works and what else might be affecting employers of migrants who would be covered by it.

press release 16 Oct 2011

The other half of the story: Oxford University study uncovers Britain’s real views on immigration

People’s opinions on the type of migrants coming to the UK have been obscured by a focus on numbers.

commentary 25 Aug 2011

Targeting uncertainty? EU migration in the UK

A steep rise in net migration from Eastern Europe raises the question of whether government policies to cut net migration from outside the EU may be stimulating a demand for more EU workers.

commentary 12 Aug 2011

Remittances: the invisible billions

High-income countries around the world are major receivers of remittances.

commentary 20 Jul 2011

Population – how big is too big?

Most politicians have skirted the issue of what size the population of the UK should actually be.

press release 21 Jun 2011

Over the net: Government’s policy changes likely to miss the “tens of thousands” net migration target by more than 65,000

The government is set to miss its net migration target by more than 65,000.

commentary 20 Jun 2011

Off Target: Government policies are not on track to reducing net migration to the tens of thousands by 2015

There is significant uncertainty about any assessments of the impacts of policy changes on future net migration.

commentary 17 Jun 2011

Family fortunes: How far can reforms to family migration go towards reducing net migration?

Reforming the family migration route is the last of the four key elements in the government’s ongoing reform of immigration.

commentary 26 May 2011

Net Weight: Focusing only on net migration doesn’t show the whole picture

Focusing only on long-term net migration risks failing to consider other vital data about migration in the UK – not least, how many migrants are actually here.

press release 26 May 2011

Government focus on net-migration misses the bigger picture

the government risks ignoring a suite of vital information that tells us much more about how migration are changing the UK.

commentary 23 May 2011

Unsettling? Challenges with using changes in settlement policy to reduce net migration

Reducing net migration is likely to be dependent not only on reducing the number of migrants entering the UK, but also on boosting the number of people who leave.

commentary 29 Apr 2011

Czechs and balances: What will the May 1st changes mean for Eastern European migration to the UK?

What will the lifting of the WRS mean for A8 migration to the UK?

commentary 14 Apr 2011

Tangled up in the net? Challenges with reducing net migration to the tens of thousands

It is clear that achieving the net-migration target of the tens of thousands presents an enourmous challenge.

commentary 05 Apr 2011

Imposing caps, filling gaps or charging tax – how should we control labour immigration?

What else could the government do to effectively regulate labour immigration?

press release 04 Apr 2011

Elephants in the room: The top ten problems in information about migration in the UK

Reveals ten key problems with the UK’s evidence base on migration – with profound implications for public debate and policy making.

commentary 01 Apr 2011

International students: A+ or D- for the UK?

The Coalition government announced plans that will, they say, reduce the number of student visas issued by 70-80,000

commentary 29 Mar 2011

The Migration Observatory – better information for a more rational debate

The Migration Observatory is designed to provide a solid, independent source of analysis that anyone can use to understand migration and immigration issues.

press release 25 Mar 2011

Oxford University launches the Migration Observatory

The Migration Observatory is a major new initiative aimed at helping to inform the public debate on migration and immigration.

commentary 11 Feb 2011

Opinion Polls – a vital tool or a sledgehammer to crack a nut?

British people are more opposed to immigration than all of the other countries surveyed - even though several of these countries have higher levels of immigration and illegal immigration than the UK.

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