Sunderland's migrant population still growing despite drop in numbers since Brexit vote

Net migration to Sunderland has dropped since Brexit, official figures show.

Monday, 27th August 2018, 11:46 am
Updated Monday, 27th August 2018, 11:51 am
A UK border control point. Picture: PA.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that from July 2015 to June 2016, the month of the EU referendum, 871 more long-term migrants arrived from abroad in Sunderland than left.

However, in the 12 months after Brexit that figure dropped by 121.

In total, 1,447 people moved to Sunderland from abroad and 697 left, leaving the latest net migration figure at 750.

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That means Sunderland’s migrant population is still rising, but at a slower rate than before the referendum.

More people are moving away than before.

While the Sunderland figures do not give details of where migrants came from, the latest national figures, for 2017-18, show EU migration is at its lowest level since 2012.

Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, said: “The UK has clearly become a less attractive country for EU migrants since the referendum.

“The lower value of the pound means that workers coming here for higher wages are getting less than they were in the past, and economic conditions in many of the key EU countries of origin have improved a lot over the past few years.

“Uncertainty about the implications of Brexit may have played a role.”

Nicola Rogers, of the ONS’ Centre for Migration, said: “Today’s figures show that around 270,000 more people are coming to the UK than leaving, so net migration is continuing to add to the UK population.

“Net migration has been broadly stable since peak levels seen in 2015 and 2016.”

It is still well above the Government’s net migration target of 100,000.

Non-EU net migration to the UK is now almost three times higher than from the EU, the ONS says.

The figures also give details about GP registrations by migrants. From July 2015 to June 2016, 1,271 patients registered, compared with 1,154 patients in the 12 months after.