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Since 1975, the International Passenger Survey (IPS) has collected data on country of last and next residence of long-term migrants.
In that year, Australia was the most common country of last residence, with an estimated 26,000 migrants arriving from this country. Migration from the USA was the second most common, with 17,000 people arriving in the UK during 1975. Iceland was the third most common country of last residence (Iceland was to appear in the top 15 countries of last residence for the following 6 years, before dropping out from 1982 onwards).
An estimated 37,000 long-term migrants moved to Canada in 1975, making it the most common country of next residence. This was followed by migration to South Africa and Australia (30,000 and 29,000 respectively). Many migrants moved to European Union destinations, with Iceland, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands all appearing in the top 15 countries of next residence.
This year signalled the first calendar year where inflows of migrants to the UK were higher than outflows of migrants (meaning that net migration was positive). This would not occur again until 1983 (and has occurred every year since then with the exception of 1988, 1992 and 1993).
Australia, Pakistan, and the USA were the most common countries of last residence, from which an estimated 16,000, 14,000, and 13,000 long-term migrants respectively moved to the UK.
The top countries of next residence included many European nations, with Germany the most common (with an estimated flow of 10,000 migrants). USA and Australia were the most common destinations for long-term migrants.
This was the first year where migration flows to a particular country exceeded 40,000. Migrants moving to Australia were estimated at 46,000; nearly double that of the second most common country of next residence (USA at 25,000).
The graph below charts the inflow and outflow of long-term migrants to and from Australia. Emigration to Australia peaked at 68,000 in 2006. Immigration from Australia has been higher than emigration to on two occasions – 1998 and 2001.
Australian Inflow & Outflow, 1975-2013
Inflow from China increased to an estimated 28,000 migrants, raising it to the second most common country of last residence. Australia still remained the most common country of last residence. 2002 was the first year since 1978, that Australia and the USA were not the top 2 countries of next residence. Although Australia retained the top spot, Spain overtook the USA into second place with 37,000 migrants, and retained this position until 2008.
In May 2004, eight Central and Eastern European countries acceded to the EU (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia).
Poland was the 8th most popular country of last residence in 2004, but by 2005 it had become the most common country of last residence and remained so until 2009, when it was overtaken by India.
Poland Inflow, 2004-13
Inflow from Poland rose sharply immediately after accession, peaking at 88,000 in 2007, before declining in the latter part of the decade.
Inflows from India were estimated at 66,000 for the year, more than double the estimate of 32,000 for the second most common country of last residence, Pakistan. Similar levels of migration from India had been seen in the previous year (63,000 in 2009) and were seen again the following year (61,000 in 2011). Australia and USA were again the most common countries of next residence.
China became the most common country of last residence in 2012 (for the first time), and continued to be the most common in 2013 (an estimated 46,000 long-term migrants arrived from China in 2013). Spain is now the second most common country of last residence, with India moving down to third.
Australia, the USA and Germany are the only countries to have remained in the top 15 countries of last residence since 1992.
Top countries of last residence