THE migrant population in England is estimated to have increased by more than half a million in three years, research from the University of Oxford has revealed.
Around two thirds of the 565,000 migrants thought to have come to the country between 2011 and 2014 were born in other EU countries, the study by the university’s Migration Observatory said.
Researchers, who stressed that the numbers are estimates, said the projections give a more up-to-date picture of the migrant populations across England than the 2011 census, and ahead of official estimates from the Office for National Statistics expected in June.
The greatest increase in the number of foreign-born residents has been in the capital.
Almost 200,000 more migrants were estimated to live in London last year, compared to 2011.
The South East saw the second-highest rise of 79,000, while the smallest increase was in the North East where an extra 26,000 migrants are thought to have arrived since 2011.
Madeleine Sumption, Director of the Migration Observatory, said the study was done to provide more insight ahead of the general election.
“These data show how different local experiences of migration have been across the UK,” she said.
“There are large variations in the size of migrant populations, as well as the share that come from EU countries.
“We have undertaken this analysis to provide a resource for anyone looking to understand local demographics of migration in the run-up to the general election.”
Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: “Once again, Ukip has been proved right.
“In 2010, people said this wasn’t an issue. In 2014, I was told I was all wrong on the increase in the migrant population, and the Deputy Prime Minister even thought he’d beat me in debate over it.
“But migration to this country has been shown to be unsustainable, and councils are even seeing cuts in areas with booming populations. So let’s be honest, the only way forward is Ukip’s Australian-style points system proposal, and the only way to ensure this is by voting Ukip in May.”
Sunder Katwala, director of the British Future thinktank, said: “These figures show that if immigration is going to be high, we need to handle it better.
“Some areas receive more migrants than others. When immigration brings in benefits - like tax receipts to the government - those benefits need to go to those areas quickly, to help public services cope with more people.”