Immigration undercounted by ½ million
- Published on Thursday, 11 July 2013 10:57
- Written by Scott Buckler
A study issued today by Migrationwatch UK has examined how the number of EU immigrants has been undercounted by half a million over a ten year period – a difference the size of Manchester
The mistake was discovered by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) when they compared the results of the recent census with the population that they had expected to find on the basis of births, deaths and the official immigration figures.
This discovery means that net foreign immigration between mid 1997 and mid 2010 now totals very nearly 4 million. Allowing for the 1 million British citizens who emigrated in that period, net immigration comes to 3 million. That is its direct effect on the population of the UK although it takes no account of illegal immigration.
Amazingly, the ONS have refused to revise the official immigration numbers for the period despite having regularly done so in the past when much smaller errors were discovered.
The revised numbers would show that net immigration reached a peak of 325,000 in 2005 – six times the level of 1997. By 2010 it had fallen to 260,000.
Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch UK said "4 million immigrants in 13 years is an astonishing figure – the highest in our history, including the Norman conquest in 1066. This new information underlines the scale of the task faced by the present government in getting the numbers down".
Migrationwatch has called on the Statistics Authority, the watchdog in these matters, to insist that the official figures be revised. Said Sir Andrew, "There is no point in burying bad news in obscure documents. That simply destroys trust. It is hard to think of set of statistics that is more important to the public. For the sake of public confidence in government statistics there must be a thorough revision of the immigration statistics and the new figures must be published without delay".