The Guardian homeBy . ONS figures show net migration fell from 242,000 to 183,000 in past year, driven in part by fewer overseas students.
Net migration to Britain has fallen by a quarter over the past year, from 242,000 to 183,000, the Office for National Statistics has reported.
The decrease is the first fall in the figures since the government set its target to reduce annual net migration to below 100,000 by the next general election. Official statisticians say the fall of nearly 60,000 in the year to March 2012 has been driven by a reduction in the number of overseas students coming to study in Britain and a rise in the number of people leaving Britain with a definite job offer abroad.
The fall in immigration accounts for two-thirds of the drop. It is the largest fall in net migration for four years. Visa applications show the first signs that the official squeeze on family migration has begun to bite. The quarterly migration figures also show for the first time that China is now the second most common country of origin for migrants coming to Britain from outside Europe. Read more...