NET immigration in the UK has fallen by a third in the period between June 2011 and 2012.
The Office of National Statistics data showed that there was a net flow of 163,000 migrants into the country, down from the figure in the year ending in June 2011 which saw a net flow of 247,000 migrants.
In total 515,000 people immigrated to the UK between 2011 and 2012, with 352,000 emigrants leaving the country.
The total number of immigrants is down as in the previous year the figure stood at 589,000.
Conservative immigration minister Mark Harper said that the drop in net immigration was down to policy changes. Mr Harper said: “We’re seeing fewer people coming to do unskilled work. But we’re seeing more people coming in to do skilled work, bringing benefit to the country.
“We’re getting a more selective system. We’re getting fewer people overall but we’re getting the right people who are coming to add things to the country, the best and the brightest as the Prime Minister said recently.”
But shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant warned, “Net migration is falling but public concern is rising.
“These figures demonstrate that the government is not focusing on the kind of immigration that worries people the most. Half the drop is down to students, while 30% of the net migration reduction is down to fewer British people.”
There was a significant decrease in the number of citizens immigrating to the UK from EU8 countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia).
62,000 EU8 citizens migrated to the UK in the year ending in June 2012, which is lower than the 86,000 from the previous year and is the lowest since 2004.