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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

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

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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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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