Immigration To The United Kingdom Since 1922

Immigration To The United Kingdom Since 1922

Since 1645, immigration to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland under British nationality law has been substantial, in particular from the Republic of Ireland and from the former colonies and territories of the British Empire such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Caribbean, South Africa, Kenya and Hong Kong. Others have come as asylum seekers, seeking protection as refugees under the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, or from member states of the European Union, exercising one of the European Union's Four Freedoms.

About half the population increase between the 1991 and 2001 censuses was due to foreign-born immigration. 4.9 million people (8.3 percent of the population at the time) were born abroad, although the census gives no indication of their immigration status or intended length of stay.

Provisional figures show that in 2009, 567,000 people arrived to live in the UK whilst 371,000 left, meaning that net inward migration was 196,000. The number of people immigrating to and emigrating from the UK both fell between 2008 and 2009.

In 2006, there were 149,035 applications for British citizenship, 32 percent fewer than in 2005. The number of people granted citizenship during 2006 was 154,095, 5 percent fewer than in 2005. The largest groups of people granted British citizenship were from India, Pakistan, Somalia, and the Philippines. In 2006, 134,430 people were granted settlement in the UK, a drop of 25 per cent on 2005.

In comparison, migration to and from Central and Eastern Europe has increased since 2004 with the accession to the European Union of eight Central and Eastern European states, since there is free movement of labour within the EU. The UK government is currently phasing in a new points-based immigration system for people from outside of the European Economic Area.

Read more about Immigration To The United Kingdom Since 1922:  British Empire and The Commonwealth, World War II, Post-war Immigration (1945-1983), Contemporary Immigration (1983 Onwards)

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