A lot of perspectives and opinions are constantly shared online – whether social media or news sites – about immigration to the UK. Of course, we cannot ignore the political mileage that certain sections will get out of these various narratives. So what exactly is the deal with migration to the UK?
Here, we will bust some myths that have been floating around based on incomplete stats and wrong interpretations.
Immigration To The UK – Myths And Facts
Is Migration Higher Than Ever?
The answer to this question is actually no. There is a decrease in migration compared to the previous year and in fact, authorities state that UK migration in the last year was just a shade over 2014 levels.
Non-EU immigration has lowered while emigration from the UK has also decreased – the latter fact responsible for showing a net increase in migration stats.
Is The Refugee Crisis Adding A Load To UK Immigration?
This is another popular rhetoric that is being spread by various media outlets and personalities. When we grind the stats we see that the reduced emigration remains the main factor in the numbers – and compared to the refugee crisis in continental Europe, the UK is not reflecting the same crisis levels.
Statistically speaking, the highest influx of refugees to the UK in a year happened in 2002, more than a decade ago. The refugee crisis is not as overwhelming if we were to go by the number crunching and compared the present stats to European trends.
Benefits Attracting The Immigrants – Is This The Absolute Truth?
A lot of anti-immigration voices accuse immigrants of coming to UK shores to take advantage of the country’s much-vaunted welfare system. However, there are enough studies that show that European migrants are offsetting the few benefits they get with the high taxes they pay.
In fact, immigrants have contributed 20 billion pounds over the last decade while being left out of certain benefits. If we look at the larger immigration picture, a majority of those who come to the UK are well-educated and younger – a major driver for the workforce and not as likely to apply for unemployment benefits and related provisions.
Are Immigrants Really Taking Away The Jobs?
A majority of EU and non-EU immigrants come to look for jobs or have already been hired for their services. This, however, cannot be equated to them taking the jobs that belong to the British and there has been no definite proof that locals have been losing out on employment opportunities.
Most immigration employment happens in high immigration areas – large local economies like London rather than smaller towns and cities. Immigration employment also contributes to the economy and creates new jobs, adding more opportunities for the UK population.
Is Increased Crime A Result Of Migration?
One of the main points of contention in recent times in the UK is the correlation between crime and immigration. The stats do not support such a relationship.
In fact, reported crime reduced in many areas that have experienced migration according to a London School of Economics report. Crime remains an economic phenomenon rather than cultural – where the economy is booming, crime is less.
Is Immigration A Big Load On Public Services?
Many immigrants from the EU pay more back to the UK government than the benefits they receive. As a result, this is a positive impact on funding for essential public services.
Factors that are leading to a strain on public services are increasing birth rates and an aging population – completely unrelated to the recent migration to the UK.
Another interesting fact is the contribution of immigrants to the health system of the UK – more than a quarter of doctors are non-British and so is a tenth of the entire NHS staff.
The overall impact of immigration has been very positive for the UK and the economy needs the talent and perspectives that the aspiring immigrants bring with them.
These facts should help settle a raging and rather unnecessary debate as the stakeholders can now concentrate on more progressive aspects and other areas to develop. If you are planning to move to the UK, these facts should encourage you as you have a lot to offer to this great country.