UK net migration in 2022 revised up to record 745,000

Net migration into the UK was a record 745,000 last year, figures show – far higher than originally thought.

Office for National Statistics data published on Thursday show that experts have revised up previous estimates.

In May, it said net migration – the difference between the number of people coming to live in the UK and those leaving – for 2022 had been 606,000, 139,000 lower than the true figure.

PM Rishi Sunak’s spokesman said migration was putting “unsustainable pressure on communities and councils” and it was clamping down on dependents of students arriving in the UK. “We believe there is more to do,” he added.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said “shockingly high” net migration represented “a failure not just of immigration, but also of asylum and of the economy”.

The ONS said the population of England and Wales grew by an estimated 1% in the year to June 2022 – the fastest rate since the baby boom in the 1960s, but this time it was driven by international migration.

But it cautioned its estimates could be revised again – and provisional figures to June of this year suggest the rate of net migration may now be slowing.

Statisticians said in the year to June net migration fell back to 672,000, after 1.2 million people came to live in the UK for at least a year, and 508,000 left.

The vast majority (968,000) arriving were from countries outside the European Union.

Students accounted for the largest group of non-EU migrants, also true of last year.

But there has been an increase in workers arriving with visas to fill chronic staff shortages in the NHS and social care, the ONS said.

Arrivals of people via humanitarian routes have fallen from 19% to 9% over the same period, the ONS said, with most of these made up of Ukrainians and British Nationals (Overseas) arrivals from Hong Kong.

They said estimates showed a marked change in immigration since 2021 following Brexit – when free movement for EU nationals ended, the easing of travel restrictions after the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

However, the ONS said it was too early to know whether the latest falling net migration figure was the start of a downward trend, but recent estimates did indicate a slowing of immigration coupled with increasing emigration.

It is understood the government is considering some new measures, including:

  • Limiting to one the number of relatives that health and social care workers are allowed to bring with them
  • Raising the minimum salary threshold for work visas
  • And abolishing the system allowing employers to pay less where there are recognised shortages

Downing Street said any next steps needed to be carefully considered.

The population of England and Wales was estimated to be 60.2 million mid-2022, an increase of around 578,000 – or 1% – since 2021.

Like this article? Share on


Related articles

Information about our own complaints process, raising concerns to the Legal Ombudsman and to us

We want to give you the best possible service. However, if at any point you become unhappy or concerned about the service we provided then you should inform us immediately, so that we can do our best to resolve the problem.

In the first instance it may be helpful to contact the person who is working on your case to discuss your concerns and we will do our best to resolve any issues at this stage. If you would like to make a formal complaint, then you can read our full complaints procedure here. Making a complaint will not affect how we handle your case.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help you if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic. 

You can raise your concerns with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

What do to if we cannot resolve your complaint

The Legal Ombudsman can help you if we are unable to resolve your complaint ourselves. They will look at your complaint independently and it will not affect how we handle your case.

Before accepting a complaint for investigation, the Legal Ombudsman will check that you have tried to resolve your complaint with us first. If you have, then you must take your complaint to the Legal Ombudsman:

  • Within six months of receiving our final response to your complaint; and,
  • Within one year of the date of the act or omission about which you are concerned; or
  • Within one year of you realising that there was a concern.


If you would like more information about the Legal Ombudsman, you can contact them at the following details:

 Contact details

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them.