In 2004 an estimated 223,000 more people migrated to the UK than migrated abroad. This estimated net inflow is 72,000 higher than the previous year and is the highest since the present method of estimation began in 1991.
The estimated number of people arriving to live in the UK for at least a year increased from 513,000 in 2003 to a record 582,000 in 2004. The estimate of people leaving the UK to live elsewhere was 360,000. This is similar to those levels seen in the last two years.
There was a record estimate for the net outflow of British citizens. There were 120,000 more British citizens migrating abroad than were migrating to the UK.
The number of British citizens leaving the UK to live elsewhere increased to 208,000 in 2004. This is the highest estimated annual outflow of British citizens.
There was a record estimate for the net inflow of non-British citizens. There were 342,000 more non-British citizens migrating to the UK than migrating abroad.
In 2004 an estimated 74,000 more European Union 25 citizens migrated to the UK than left in 2004. Of this net inflow, an estimated 48,000 were citizens of the 10 countries that joined the European Union in 2004.
The data show record high net inflows of 41,000 Old Commonwealth citizens and 123,000 New Commonwealth citizens in 2004.
All comparative statements about Total International Migration (TIM) are made solely with reference to the period 1991-2004.
The estimate of net migration for citizens of accession countries in 2004 is set within the context of accession to the EU occurring part way through 2004 on 1 May. Any longer term assessment of the impact of EU enlargement on UK migration will need to take into account that any subsequent impact of accession on migration outflows will not feed through until future years. Fuller consideration of accession migration beyond 2004 is given as part of the National Population Projections, released 20 October 2005.