Immigration falls in North Somerset after Brexit but population reaches 210,000
PUBLISHED: 16:00 19 September 2018
The uncertainty of Brexit has prompted a fall in net migration in North Somerset, but the district's population continues to swell due to people moving from abroad.
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimate almost 100 fewer people moved to North Somerset from abroad in the 12 months after the 2016 referendum, in which Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU).
The ONS reports 751 people immigrated to North Somerset from mid-2016 to mid-2017, compared to the 844 who settled here in the 12 months preceding the referendum.
The fallout of the EU referendum has seen the economy struggle amid uncertainty, with an exit plan yet to be agreed by the Government.
Experts believe this has played a part in the dip in immigration.
Despite the fall in people settling from abroad, the population of North Somerset is still rising after the Brexit vote, with 622 people believed to have emigrated since, leaving net migration at 129 – a decrease of 94 from the previous 12-month period.
Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said: “The UK has clearly become a less attractive country for migrants since the EU referendum.
“The lower value of the pound means workers coming here for higher wages are getting less than they were in the past, and economic conditions in many of the key EU countries of origin have improved a lot over the past few years.
“Uncertainty about the implications of Brexit may have played a role.”
The ONS says North Somerset’s population has reached 210,000, with 11,000 non-British residents and 17,000 who were not born in the UK.
Internal migration figures show more people moved to North Somerset from other local authority areas in 2017 than at any other point in the past decade, with 9,999 people settling in the district – compared to the 8,790 who moved elsewhere.
More than 1,600 new GP registrations were made in the district in 2017 by migrants – both British and foreign.
The proportion of babies born in North Somerset to mothers born outside the UK continues to rise, with the ONS reporting the percentage rose from 14.8 per cent in 2016 to 15.1 per cent in 2017.
Net migration from non-EU nations to the UK is now almost three times higher than from the EU, according to the ONS.