Long-term net migration will continue to slide in the coming years, falling to its lowest since the year 2000 by 2020, official figures have shown.
Although the figure was at 335,000 in 2016, it is expected to fall to 246,000 this year before sliding to 165,000 by 2023, according to figures published this morning by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The last time long-term net migration was so low was in the year 2000, when it hit 161,000.
The figure remains above the Conservatives' pledge to reduce migration to the "tens of thousands".
The ONS had originally expected long-term net migration to reach 185,000 by 2023, but the figure has been revised lower thanks to more recent data.
Meanwhile, the ONS' national population projections suggested the UK's population will rise to 69.5m by 2027, up from 66.1m this year. A decade later, it will hit 72m, the figures showed.
By 2041, the average life expectancy for men will have reached 83.4, while women will live to 86.2. Both figures have been revised down slightly from 84.3 and 87.1 respectively.
“Over that period 54 per cent of growth is projected to result directly from net international migration. The other 46 per cent is because there will be more births than deaths," said Andrew Nash, of the population projections unit at the ONS.
“These projections suggest slower growth than the previous (2014-based) projections. This is because of lower assumptions about future levels of fertility and international migration, and an assumption of a slower rate of increase in life expectancy.”