Press Story

Today’s statistics from the ONS and the Home Office on migration reveal that:

  • Net migration reached 606,000 in 2022, driven largely by an increase in work visas and the Hong Kong and Ukraine humanitarian routes

  • Emigration of non-EU students has more than doubled since 2021, following the post-pandemic rise in student immigration

  • Asylum backlog is now more than 170,000, with around 129,000 people waiting more than 6 months for initial decisions on their cases

Responding to the statistics, Marley Morris, IPPR associate director for migration, trade and communities, said:

“Net migration numbers are high, though there are clear signs they are now stabilising. Recent rises have been driven by work visas for healthcare workers, new humanitarian routes for Ukrainians and Hongkongers, and international students. But the latest figures show that students are now emigrating in larger numbers too, as predicted following the post-Covid surge in student arrivals.

“The government should beware kneejerk reactions to these figures, given they reflect a unique set of circumstances, including a series of humanitarian crises and the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, there is strong public support for the main drivers of net migration, including recruitment into the NHS, international students, and humanitarian routes.

“Of more concern is the ongoing asylum backlog: with the asylum system still in crisis, ministers need to redouble efforts to process claims. In response to people arriving on small boats, the government should ramp up safe and legal routes, seek a new agreement with France and the EU, and drop its inhumane plans to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda.”


Available for interview: 

  • Marley Morris, associate director for migration at IPPR

  • Amreen Qureshi, research fellow at IPPR


Liam Evans, Senior Digital and Media Officer: 07419 365334

David Wastell, Director of News and Communications: 07921 403651


  1. IPPR’s research into warming public attitudes to immigration can be found here:

  2. IPPR’s research into the rise in Channel crossings can be found here:

  3. IPPR is the UK’s pre-eminent progressive think tank. With more than 40 staff in offices in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh, IPPR is Britain’s only national think tank with a truly national presence.