591,000In 2006, an estimated 191,000 more people immigrated to than emigrated from the UK. This net migration (the difference between immigration and emigration) was 53,000 lower than the 2004 estimate of 244,000, which was the highest since the method to calculate Total International Migration (TIM) was introduced in 1991. This decline was due to emigration increasing more than immigration.
An estimated 400,000 long-term migrants left the UK in 2006. This was the highest recorded level of emigration since TIM began and was 41,000 higher than the 2005 estimate. Just over half of these emigrants (207,000) were British citizens.
In 2006, an estimated 591,000 long-term migrants arrived to live in the UK. This was up from the previous highest figure of 586,000 in 2004. Just over 85 per cent of immigrants (510,000) were non-British citizens.
Immigration has become increasingly dispersed throughout the UK. London remained the main destination for migrants arriving in the UK, but other areas have been increasing in popularity. Immigration into London decreased slightly from 197,000 in 1999 to 170,000 in 2006. By contrast, the other English regions and UK countries experienced increasing immigration over this period.
After London, the South East received the greatest number of immigrants. In 2006, the number arriving in the region was 81,000, up from 68,000 in 1999. The East of England experienced the next largest inflow, with 60,000 immigrants arriving in 2006. This region had the largest increase in immigration, up 24,000 since 1999. In each of the remaining areas of the UK immigration increased by at least 7,000 between 1999 and 2006.