New trends in migration to the UK: report

New figures show that about 111,000 workers came to the UK from the new EU countries in the past year. That figure is up from 20,000, the number that arrived before EU enlargement in May 2004.

The eight new EU countries now send as many workers as Asia and the Middle East combined. Other EU countries, excluding the newest eight member states, form the next largest group with 81,000 migrants to the UK.

These figures cover workers who have registered for a national insurance number. There is likely to be a large number also working illegally, the reports say.

People from Poland made up the largest group accounting for 57% (62,000) of the new total, with Lithuanians and Slovakians forming the next biggest groups at 14% (16,000) and 9% (10,000) respectively. Workers from Poland now make up the second largest group of any country contributing migrant workers to the UK, topped only by India.

The other countries from central and eastern Europe which joined the EU in May 2004 were the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Latvia and Estonia. There were also two other countries that became EU states at that time - Malta and Greek Cyprus.

Migrant workers from these so-called "A8" [accession eight] countries now make up about a quarter of the total number of workers from abroad (440,000) registered in the UK with a national insurance number.

Forty percent of the arrivals from the accession countries settle in London. Workers from the EU who fail to find work or lose their jobs in the UK are not entitled to social welfare or housing, although there are test cases challenging this ruling.

The report was compiled by the Department for Work and Pensions.