International Passenger Survey: Migration

(asked on 2nd December 2022) - View Source

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government when the International Passenger Survey (IPS) stopped being used as a significant element in calculating net migration; and what has taken its place.

Answered by
Baroness Neville-Rolfe Portrait
Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
This question was answered on 13th December 2022

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the Hon. Member's Parliamentary Question: HL3965 and HL3966 are attached.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

Lord Green of Deddington

House of Lords



12 December 2022

Dear Lord Green,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Questions asking how many arrivals by (1) Ukrainians and their dependants, (2) Hong Kong BNOs and their dependants, and (3) Afghan citizens and their dependants, are included in the latest Office for National Statistics net migration figures, published on 24 November; and when the International Passenger Survey (IPS) stopped being used as a significant element in calculating net migration; and what has taken its place (HL3965;HL3966).

In the Office for National Statistics (ONS) bulletin published on 24 November, Section 4, Migration Events[1] details the following published Home Office data included in the ONS’ total long-term international migration estimates:

Ukrainians: around 89,000 arrived in the UK in the year to June 2022

Afghans: around 21,000 arrived in the UK in the year to June 2022

For British nationals overseas (BN(O)) status holders and their families from Hong Kong, colleagues from the ONS and the Home Office are working together to resolve how we identify those that are long-term international migrants in the data. Home Office statistics show that around 76,000 visas were issued for the BN(O) route in the year ending June 2022. This will represent the upper bound for arrivals, as not all of those with a visa will arrive in the UK or stay long term. The ONS is also working to identify BN(O) status holders in their International Passenger Survey (IPS) data using country of birth and country of last residences as this may help provide a more robust estimate. Current analysis suggests that 28,000 British nationals with a country of birth of Hong Kong immigrated into the UK in the year ending June 2022.

The long-term international migration data from the IPS was the largest component of the LongTerm International Migration (LTIM) estimates until its suspension in March 2020 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In August 2020 the ONS announced that they would not return to producing official migration statistics from the IPS because it had been stretched beyond its original purpose. The ONS now focuses on measuring actual migration, as opposed to intentions, using primarily administrative data (admin-based migration estimates (ABMEs)). The ONS’ International migration statistical design progress report: July 2022 provides more information.[2]

For the latest long-term international migration estimates; non-EU figures are based on Home Office Border Systems data, EU figures are based on Registration and Population Interaction Database (RAPID) data received from Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs, and British Nationals figures are based on the International Passenger Survey (IPS). See the Measuring the data section[3] for more detail. Thank you for your continued interest in our international migration estimates.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1] bulletins/longterminternationalmigrationprovisional/yearendingjune2022#migration-events

[2] articles/internationalmigrationstatisticaldesignprogressreport/july2022

[3] bulletins/longterminternationalmigrationprovisional/yearendingjune2022#measuring-the-data

Reticulating Splines