E.g., 08/27/2016
E.g., 08/27/2016

Country Resource - United Kingdom

United Kingdom

GB
  • Population........................................................................63,742,977 (July 2014 est.)
  • Population growth rate ...............................................................0.54% (2014 est.)
  • Birth rate.....................................................12.22 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Death rate..................................................9.34 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Net migration rate.................................2.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Ethnic groups.........white 87.2%, black/African/Caribbean/black British 3%, Asian/Asian British: Indian 2.3%, Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%, mixed 2%, other 3.7% (2011 est.)

CIA World Factbook

Recent immigration to the United Kingdom is larger and more diverse than at any point in its history. This updated profile examines how the global recession is affecting migration flows, the latest immigration and asylum data, and overviews of new immigration and integration policies.

Recent Activity

Against a backdrop of anxieties about migration, the United Kingdom's government set a referendum for June 2016 on whether to withdraw from the European Union. This article explores the role played by migration in the decision to call the referendum, how immigration might influence the result, and finally the implications of both referendum outcomes (Leave and Remain) in terms of migration policy and regulation.

Citizenship came under fire in new ways around the world in 2015, with attempts to both restrict who is eligible to become a citizen and who can be deprived of citizenship. Driven by fears of international terrorism, a number of countries proposed or passed legislation making it easier to narrow citizenship and broadening the range of offenses for which individuals can be stripped of their citizenship.

A number of countries in 2015 redesigned their immigrant investor visa programs in response to questions about their economic benefits or allegations of fraud. The reforms have in some cases made such programs far more costly and encouraged investment in higher-risk assets. Applications for such visas have fallen signficantly in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as policymakers may have overestimated demand.

The digital era offers opportunities for cities to improve access and outreach to residents, including immigrants and minority groups, through online tools and apps. This feature article explores ditigal-inclusion strategies in "smart" cities New York, London, and Barcelona, as well as the creative use of new technologies in response to the European refugee crisis.

The United Kingdom has faced changing immigration patterns over the last two decades driven largely by EU migration, and political upheaval caused by the rise of the United Kingdom Independence Party and the Scottish National Party. Upcoming general elections in May 2015 will have a significant impact not only on immigration policies but the United Kingdom's place in the European Union.
Increasing numbers of Westerners heading to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist organizations like ISIS have governments concerned about possible attacks at home by returning fighters. Several thousand fighters from Europe and other Western countries are believed among the foreign nationals involved in conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Lawmakers scrambled in 2014 to respond with new policies, including seizing passports, stripping citizenship, and criminalizing travel to "no go" zones.
The United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada remain top destinations for international students seeking a world-class education. Yet even as these countries and their universities recruit international students—both for their tuition fees and their brain power—they undertook efforts in 2012 to crack down on student visa fraud and some also sought to tighten entry requirements. Other top student destinations, however, are focused on using their visa policy to actively encourage student retention.
Public backlash against the detention systems of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States mounted in 2011 with allegations of unacceptable living conditions, abuse, prolonged detention, and government waste.
Many governments use shortage lists to either facilitate or discourage economically-motivated immigration into particular occupations or fields, but the practice of doing so raises a variety of practical and philosophical questions. MPI's Madeleine Sumption discusses the challenges of maintaining shortage lists and developing immigration policies around them.

Destination countries of unaccompanied child migrants struggle with many questions related to why children migrate, how they should be received and processed, and whether they should be protected, integrated, or returned to their home countries. Amanda Levinson of ThirdSpace Consulting provides the context within which unaccompanied child migration occurs, and analyzes the policy response of the United States and European destination countries.

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Reports
May 2016

This report analyzes British polling data in a bid to paint a more accurate picture of public opinion on immigration in the United Kingdom, which is often described as having particularly hostile attitudes compared to other countries. The report examines several drivers of public opinion, including media coverage, and considers how recent migration policies can be linked to public opinion—including the call for a Brexit referendum.

Reports
June 2015

Despite the broad appeal of the concept of "mainstreaming" in integration policy in Europe, few agree on its exact meaning. This report synthesizes the findings of the UPSTREAM project's country case studies, which examined the extent to which governments in France, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom are employing mainstreaming to meet the needs of rapidly diversifying populations.

Reports
November 2014
This report is the final one in an MPI-International Labour Office series that examines the employment prospects of migrants in the EU (focusing on the case-study countries of the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom), as well as the effectiveness of integration and workforce development policies in helping these workers overcome barriers and ascend out of low-skilled work.
Reports
October 2014
Immigrants in the United Kingdom find work easily thanks to a flexible labor market, but often have trouble moving up the ladder into middle-skilled work. This report examines how workforce and integration policies affect immigrant workers in the United Kingdom.
Reports
August 2014
This report analyzes the importance of human capital to the development of London's Tech City and sets this discussion in a broader framework linking cities, digital sectors, and highly skilled immigration. Skilled migrants can play critical roles in economic development in high-tech clusters, but policies sometimes make it difficult for firms to make the most of immigration.
Reports
July 2014
The global economic crisis and changing migration patterns in Europe bring up questions about how well immigrants are able to find employment and progress into better jobs over time. This overview report caps a series of six country case studies evaluating the employment outcomes for foreign-born workers during their first decade in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Reports
July 2014
This report explores the accelerating trend in the United Kingdom of mainstreaming of immigrant integration, in which policymakers seek to reach people with a migration background through needs-based social programming and policies that also target the general population. The report has particular focus on policies and programs used in London and Glasgow.
Reports
May 2014
This report analyzes the labor market integration of recent immigrants to the United Kingdom. During the 2000s, a large influx of labor from Eastern European countries transformed the United Kingdom's immigrant population and labor market. The report finds that over time, these new arrivals showed some progress in moving out of the lowest-skilled jobs.
Reports
March 2014
A quiet policy transformation is taking place in Europe, as policymakers increasingly turn to a strategy of "mainstreaming" immigrant integration—seeking to reach people with a migration background through needs-based social programming and policies that also target the general population. This report assesses mainstreaming efforts across government in Denmark, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Reports
February 2014
This report, based on an undercover exposé of Punjabi visa agencies by The Sunday Times, sketches one immigration loophole into Europe: so-called “donkey flights” by which Indian migrants obtain a tourist visa for a Schengen-zone country in order to enter the United Kingdom through the back door. Thousands of visa agencies operate in the Punjab region alone, with varying degrees of legality, some having links to criminal smuggling networks across Europe.

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Policy Briefs
September 2008

This report provides a global look at circular migration experiences, depicts various governments’ attempts at creating circular migration, evaluates the economic costs and benefits of circular migration for sending and receiving countries, identifies components of effective bilateral agreements, and reviews outcomes governments might realistically expect from their circular migration policies.

Books
June 2011

This edited volume addresses the impact of the economic crisis in seven major immigrant-receiving countries: the United States, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. 

Books
January 2010

The book focuses on three case studies: the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. The volume includes chapters analyzing public opinion and media coverage of immigration issues in each country. Additional chapters propose strategies for unblocking opposition to thoughtful, effective immigration-related reforms.