Migrants from the Indian sub-continent are more likely to settle in the UK than those from wealthier countries, a report has found.
People coming to the UK from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India were “much more likely to stay permanently in the UK” than migrants from the wealthier Old Commonwealth countries, the Home Office-commissioned report into emigration said.
It also found that Britons with professional and managerial jobs were leaving the UK in increasing numbers, accounting for more than half of all those who left in 2010, up from about a third in 1991.
Net migration to the UK, the number of people entering less those leaving, stands at about 216,000, with the Government aiming to cut this to the tens of thousands by 2015.
But the figures are not simply affected by the number of migrants coming to the UK. Instead, the proportion of migrants “coming from different areas of the world and the extent to which their migration tends to be circular or permanent” also plays a key role, the report said.
Just 10 per cent of migrants to the UK from the Indian sub-continent in the 1980s and 1990s left within two years of arriving, and only 15 per cent left within five years, figures showed.
But 44 per cent of migrants from Australia and New Zealand left the UK within two years of arriving and 57 per cent within five years. Two-thirds of those from the United States and Canada also emigrated from the UK within five years, the report added.
Some 86 per cent of Bangladeshi, 81 per cent of Pakistani, and 70 per cent of Indian migrants entering the UK on a family visa in 2004 had settled in the UK within five years, compared with just 10 per cent of Australian migrants, 11 per cent of New Zealanders and 30 per cent of Americans.
An estimated 350,000 people left the UK in 2011 for more than a year, with a higher proportion of migrants from outside the EU staying permanently in the UK compared with EU migrants, the figures showed.
The report also showed there was a long-term trend of “rising numbers of British citizens in professional and managerial occupations going abroad up to the mid-2000s”, fuelling fears of a brain drain on UK industry.
But the numbers have dropped off slightly in recent years, “probably due to the global recession”, the report added.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migration Watch UK campaign group, said: “This research absolutely confirms that non-EU migrants are much more likely to stay on and therefore to add to net migration.
“These are exactly the migrants that the Government has the powers to control and they must do so. Otherwise our population will continue to grow at an unacceptable pace.”
A Home Office spokeswoman said: “This Government has radically reformed the immigration system and will bring net migration down to the tens of thousands.
“We are now much more selective about the quality of people who are allowed to come to the UK and we have removed the automatic right to settle.
“But to continue competing and thriving in a global race businesses must invest in the skills of UK workers, and retain our own highly skilled workforce.”