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Immigration to the UK rises dramatically

The UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS), released its figures for UK immigration for 2004. The statistics revealed that net immigration to Britain rose by nearly 50% on the previous year.

The data released April 18, showed this rise in UK immigration was also matched by the highest recorded departure of British nationals leaving for a new life overseas. The number of departing UK citizens is estimated to be in the vicinity of 120,000.

Figures for 2004, estimated 223,000 more people came to the UK than left to live abroad. The increase of 72,000 immigrants on the previous year, was the highest net migration to the UK since the present count began in 1991, the ONS reported.

Commonwealth nationals immigrating to Britain rose by 45% and the number from Pakistan increased by 9,000. The total arrivals from Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka jumped from 38,000 to 54,000 for the same period.

The UK Home Office revealed in March that more than 345,000 immigrants from Eastern Europe registered to work in the UK since the European Union increased its member countries in May 2004. The figures showed that 345,410 nationals from new EU states signed up for the worker registration scheme.