London attracted a third of the UK’s half-a-million new migrants, Oxford researchers say

 
Lynsey Barber
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The lion's share of migrants entering the UK head for London (Source: Getty)

London’s migrant population has grown by 189,000 over the last four years, more than any other region in the country, new research suggests.

Migrants coming to London accounted for a third of the more than half-a-million foreigners who are estimated to have come to the UK between 2011 and 2014, according to researchers at Oxford university.

London’s migrant population, coming from the European Union (EU) and elsewhere, increased from just under 3m in 2011, to 3.2m in 2014 - a rise of six per cent.

Those from the 28 countries of the EU made up the majority of settlers in London, accounting for 161,000 of the new population. An additional 28,000 migrants came to the capital from outside the EU, the projections have found.

The major analysis by Oxford’s Migration Observatory based the estimates on census data from 2011 and the likely location of where those entering the UK are settling across the country, based on data from the Labour Force Survey.

The most recent official estimates account for population changes only up to 2013. The director of the Migration observatory Madeleine Sumption said the estimates show the large variation in size of migrant populations and gives an understanding of local demographics in the run-up to the General Election in May.

Immigration has become an increasingly hot-button issue as the General Election nears but businesses in the city have warned hostility to foreigners can only hurt growth.

The population of London is the largest it’s ever been, surpassing 1939’s previous record numbers at the beginning of the year. More than 8.6m now count the capital as home and that’s set to rocket by a quarter to 11m by 2039.

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