ONS sees net migration to UK fall

Data from the ONS this morning shows net migration to the UK fell by 84,000 to just 163,000 in the year ended June 2012 (release). 515,000 people entered the country (a decline from 589,000) while emigration more or less held at 352,000 (just 10,000 more than the year before).

Allister Heath writes today on the problems that an economy faces with an ageing population. Immigrants tend to be younger and move back to their home countries rather than choosing to retire in the UK.

Population matters for many reasons: denser urban areas tend to allow far more economic activity per person than sparsely populated ones. As long as the infrastructure can cope, and isn't messed up by short-sighted politicians, larger populations allow an improved division of labour and knowledge, and a better matching of the needs of employees and employers, key drivers of success, productivity and innovation.

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