Post by James Hammerton Post by James Harris
Some people are becoming quite exercised over whether students should be
removed from immigration figures or not. Does it matter much?
How many students end up staying on (legally or otherwise) after their
How does that compare with total immigration?
If the former number is a small proportion of the latter, then it
doesn't matter much.
Anyone know how much it is?
I don't know if they calculate such figures. From the following,
migration stats are fairly vague estimates.
ONS international migration statistics
7. This is the measure most commonly used to estimate the numbers of
migrants to and from the UK. The first estimates are produced in the
last quarter of the subsequent year and more detailed information is
produced in the following Spring.
8. The main source is the International Passenger Survey (IPS) - a
voluntary sample survey of passengers travelling via the principal
airports, sea routes and the Channel Tunnel. Not all ports of entry are
covered. The survey asks questions about the intended length of stay of
travellers to and from the UK on which the first estimates of
international migration are based. The survey has a number of limitations:
a) It excludes land routes between Ireland and the UK. Ireland is part
of a common travel area with the UK and there is no survey of people
crossing the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland.
b) It excludes most asylum seekers and their dependants.
c) The survey asks about peoples intentions which may not accord with
what they do in practice.
d) As a sample survey it only includes a very small sample of migrants
so there is a great degree of uncertainty. All the information on
inflows for the 2004 statistics were based upon 2801 interviews
(standard error 3.8%) and for the outflow, on just 755 interviews
(standard error 4.7%). That means that the grossed-up estimate of inflow
has a 95% chance of being somewhere between 478,600 and 557, 600, and
the outflow between 281,500 and 339,300. At the extreme, that means that
net inflow could be between 139,000 and 276,000.
IMO a record based on passports, er, passing ports would be better.