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UK immigration hit record high in 2004

Immigration to the UK hit a record high in 2004, new statistics have revealed.

A total of 494,100 non-Britons migrated to the UK, an increase of 21% on the 2003 figure of 406,800.

As reported earlier on workpermit.com, some 52,600 of those arriving in 2004 were from the 10 countries who joined the EU on May 1 last year, the Office for National Statistics figures showed.

The figure for arrivals in the UK including Britons was 582,100, compared to 512,600 in 2003. Migration from the EU as a whole increased by 53,300, from 64,000 in 2003 to 117,300.

There were also 13,500 more migrants from the Old Commonwealth - Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa - and 39,900 more from the New Commonwealth, defined as all other Commonwealth countries.

The number of British people migrating to the UK fell by 17,800 from 105,800 to 88,000

But the number of Britons leaving to live elsewhere hit a new high, rising to 207,600.

Some 119,600 more British people left the country than arrived in it, another record.

Overall, 222,600 more people migrated to Britain than left it, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1991.