The UK’s office for national statistics has released data showing how many foreign nationals are currently living in the country.
The data – which is based on the country’s annual population survey – shows the number of overseas-born people (by country) which live permanently in the UK as of the end of 2018.
The survey shows that country with the largest overseas population is Poland, with an estimated 832,000 Polish people currently living in the UK.
This is closely followed by India (832,000 people) and Pakistan (535,000 people) who ranked in second and third place respectively.
South Africa is currently ranked eighth on the list with an estimated 246,000 nationals currently living in the UK.
|1||Poland||832 000||395 000||437 000|
|2||India||832 000||420 000||412 000|
|3||Pakistan||535 000||282 000||253 000|
|4||Romania||392 000||207 000||185 000|
|5||Republic of Ireland||369 000||165 000||204 000|
|6||Germany||309 000||137 000||172 000|
|7||Italy||253 000||139 000||114 000|
|8||South Africa||246 000||125 000||122 000|
|9||Bangladesh||241 000||124 000||117 000|
|10||China||207 000||93 000||114 000|
The latest data from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (January 2019) shows that approximately 7,300 people emigrated from South Africa to the UK in 2017.
This means that it remains one of the most popular destinations for South African emigrants alongside countries such as New Zealand and Australia.
Changes to system
While the UK will likely retain its popularity going forward, the country’s Conservative Party has indicated that it plans to introduce a points-based immigration system once the country leaves the European Union.
Interior minister Priti Patel said the system would be modelled after Australia and would be implemented ‘to serve the best interests of Britain’.
Australia’s point system is designed to target migrants who have skills or outstanding abilities so as to contribute meaningfully to the country’s economy, and filling any labour shortages.
Most skilled visas for immigration to Australia require applicants to score a minimum number of points on the Points Test.
Points are awarded in a number of categories which are considered attractive qualities, including the following:
- Age requirements;
- Competency in English;
- Skilled Employment;
- Educational Qualifications.