This is a slight difference in migrant numbers, isn’t it?

Official figures show that, in the five years to 2015, just under one million immigrants came to this country from the EU, as they are perfectly entitled to do. But hark. Over the same period, the number of National Insurance numbers issued to EU migrants was more than 2.2 million.

In all, the ONS now estimates a total of 2.4 million entered the country. In one year, mid-2014 to mid-2015, a quarter of a million Europeans came in according to the official measure, yet almost 700,000 bagged themselves a NI number.

My word, it’s almost as if someone wasn’t all that keen on revealing the true number, isn’t it?

Can’t for the life of me think why. It being true (and yes it is) that incoming migrants add to the economy of the UK, the joy and vibrancy of the UK, so why not trumpet how much joy and vibrancy are being added?

29 thoughts on “This is a slight difference in migrant numbers, isn’t it?”

  1. IIRC HMRC said (can’t find it right now) that the net contribution was £2.5bn. I guess that’s tax paid less benefits. Amazed if that even gets close to covering the costs of schoolz ‘n’ ‘ospitals and other infrastructure needed for a rise in population.

    Alternatively, we could be outside the EU and grant work visas to EU citizens in well paid jobs, and not let in the tax consumers and get an even bigger contribution.

  2. Meanwhile, on your pet subject of the Telegraph subs, the graphic says “2.4m The real number of EU migrants we now know came to Britian”

  3. Can’t help but wonder how many of those NI numbers are the same people, two or three times, though. Come to the UK. Get on the system. Why restrict oneself to just the once? I know it’s possible to pick up Romanian documentation, fairly cheap. Probably wouldn’t stand close examination at a frontier but would pass for ID elsewhere.

  4. SJW: Thanks for the links.

    Interesting, isn’t it, how the BBC report it as a disagreement over statistics in their Politics section, rather than a plain fact under News?

  5. Let me see if I follow this.

    Now, the ONS has unveiled the truth: among immigrants from the eastern Europe countries that joined the EU in 2004, half of all NI numbers are active for more than a year. For Romanians and Bulgarians, that proportion is about 40 per cent, and among more established EU members, like Spain and France, it is 45 per cent.

    The number people who claim they are staying over the time period is ~990,000. The total number of furriners that have signed up is ~2,200,000. That works out to be pretty close to 45%.

    Is this someone using the same statistic in a different form to complain about immigrants?

  6. “•NINo registrations are not a good measure of long term migration trends, as they do not necessarily indicate the presence of an individual in the country, or how long they spend here.”

    They don’t indicate their absence either. How many are still here illegally and how many have gone home but still claim. Not to forget how many are not “Europeans” but have been granted papers as such by the scum of the EU. Arrive and drop off the grid to work illegally and/or be involved in crime.

    ” •Short term migration (between 1-12 months) from the EU for work and study has been growing and largely accounts for the recent differences between the numbers of long-term migrants (over 12 months) and NINo registrations for EU citizens”

    1.2 million people came here for 1-2 months of jobs/education. 1.2 million trailed over here to work for 6 to 8 weeks? Doing what–paper rounds? And then went home. 1.2 million short-term training courses? That they couldn’t get in their own countries? Are we the world capital of short-term training now? Even SJW “Mr How-to-Lie-with-statistics” couldn’t have got his black belt in deceitful socialist bullshit in 8 weeks.

  7. Noel Scoper,

    Re schools ‘n hospitals (not to mention other infrastructure needed by immigrants), the real point (to be accurate) is that if we’re not to reduce infra per person as a result of immigration, that infra has to be built BEFORE the arrival of immigrants. I think total infra is about £100,000 per person, which means there isn’t a cat in hell’s chance of those immigrants paying for themselves. 2nd & 3rd generation ones might, of course.

  8. Why account to malice what can be explained by stupidity.

    We’ve utterly lost control of our borders, our ability to control immigration, our understanding of who is actually here..

    Everything else is semantics.

  9. “I think total infra is about £100,000 per person, which means there isn’t a cat in hell’s chance of those immigrants paying for themselves.”

    Every child born is a new immigrant to the economy. They arrive with no skills, totally dependent on handouts from others for the first 16 years they’re here. With a start like that, how ever do they manage to pay back the £100,000 for the infrastructure they’re going to use?

  10. Maybe 2.4 million arrived but 1.4 million went back, so it’s net 1 million?

    Maybe so, but they didn’t all just get back on the next flight out.

  11. Coogan trust, not Coogin.

    From Jackie Coogan, the cute little kid in The Kid (Charlie Chaplin), who’s parents splurged all his money.

    Pushing him to such extremes as playing Uncle Fester…

    (posted here because I can’t be bothered to create a Guardian account, sorry).

  12. NiV, what % of those immigrant newborns themselves the newborns of immigrants?

    If you’re concerned over the pressure places by newborns on infrastructure, it makes sense to consider the extent to which the problem, if it is a problem, is ameliorated or exacerbated by imported birthrates.

  13. The UK’s migration methodology is suspect imo. The International Passenger Survey asking hundreds of thousands of travelers through some major ports and airports provides the Long Term and Short Term figures, the total of which is similar to the NI numbers issued figures. But the IPS clearly cannot capture everyone and NINO doesn’t count children.

    And as far as I can tell there is a hole in the IPS figures too – if you are counted as a short term migrant but return within 12 months you aren’t counted as a long term migrant and you aren’t counted again as a short term migrant so, you effectively disappear from the data. eg a seasonal worker doing summers of harvesting only exists in the data once and is then then assumed to have left even if they return, say, 9 months later to do another season. What reinforces my gut feeling on this is that the IPS short and long term figures are a reasonable match for the NINO figures. Yet if you were a seasonal worker repeatedly coming back then the IPS figure should be higher than NINO. The figures as presented make it look like migrants either come here long term or only come here short term once.

    It wouldn’t be so bad if the government admitted they have no idea how many people are here and applied some population agnostic policies but, given their anal need for data and control, they enact policies based on figures that barely stand up to scrutiny. We need a reckoning.

    Noel Scoper said: “IIRC HMRC said (can’t find it right now) that the net contribution was £2.5bn. I guess that’s tax paid less benefits. Amazed if that even gets close to covering the costs of schoolz ‘n’ ‘ospitals and other infrastructure needed for a rise in population.”

    That announcement can be viewed here: Tax contribution of recently arrived EEA nationals for 2013 to 2014

    The benefits part of HMRC’s calculations only considered the benefits administered by HMRC. Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Child Benefits.

  14. This is just idiocy:

    “In one year, mid-2014 to mid-2015, a quarter of a million Europeans came in according to the official measure, yet almost 700,000 bagged themselves a NI number.”

    Yes, that’s when Romanians (and a few others, I forget which) were first allowed to be employed and to apply for NI numbers here. They had, of course, been coming for a few years beforehand and working as ‘self-employed’, but it was very difficult to get an NI number like that.

  15. “NiV, what % of those immigrant newborns themselves the newborns of immigrants?”

    100% of them, since all of their parents were born too.

    “If you’re concerned over the pressure places by newborns on infrastructure, it makes sense to consider the extent to which the problem, if it is a problem, is ameliorated or exacerbated by imported birthrates.”

    I’m not sure if you understood what I was saying. I’m talking about *all births*, not just those of foreigners.

    When a British person is born, they are in effect an “immigrant” to the economy. We have to find them a job, supply them with a house, school, hospital, shops, roads, wheelie bins, police, fire brigade, and so on. The economics works exactly the same way.

    If it’s really true that infrastructure costs average out at £100k per person (sounds a bit high, but I don’t know), then you would have to pay those costs for all the British people too, just as for foreign immigrants. So if it’s impossible for most of the foreigners to pay that back, it must be impossible for most of the British as well. If so, who the hell *is* paying for it?

    In fact, it’s harder for British babies to repay their costs, since for the first 16 years at least they’re not earning, whereas foreign immigrants will start repaying straight away.

    And obviously, you can’t rely on the second or third generation to repay those costs, because they’ll have to be born too, and therefore incur their own infrastructure costs.

    My aim was to try to explain briefly why foreign immigration isn’t a problem, by giving a way of thinking about it that makes it as obvious as possible *why* it can’t be a problem. Apparently I failed. I’ll try to be a bit less brief, then.

    It makes no difference to the economics where newcomers to the economy come from. They can be the children of local people entering the workforce, or adults from outside the region coming in. You can draw a line around *any* geographic region – country, county, city, or street – consider just the economy of that region, and then count anybody moving in or out as an immigrant or emigrant to that economy. When British people move from Leeds to Manchester, you have to build more infrastructure in Manchester to accommodate them. The same argument applies.

    And just as it would do the local economy no good to build a wall around Manchester and strictly control the movement of people in and out, the same applies to any other division, like a country.

    You can even draw lines around more abstract subsets – and talk about “the economy of people and companies with names starting with the letter ‘A'”, so so on. If you join such a company, or marry such a person and take their name, you become an ‘immigrant’ to the ‘letter A economy’. It would obviously be silly to start introducing restrictions on immigration, for fear that you’ll not be able to pay for the people-called-A economy’s infrastructure.

    The point of this argument is to show that all such considerations are objectively meaningless. The only relevant observation is that the free movement of people – i.e. free trade – works better than raising artificial barriers to trade. *Where* you draw the boundaries makes no difference; only the fact that you’ve erected barriers on them.

    The economic arguments used against immigration are all varieties of protectionism. It’s the same argument used to justify trade union closed shops – by only allowing union members to work here, you raise the wages of union members. They’re just replacing union membership with nationality. It’s a 1970s reboot.

  16. The figures were not freely disclosed but released under a FOIA request. The FOIA request was initially congested. They were hiding something so they must have had something to hide.
    The explanation re temporary workers could easily have been included in the original figure and would surely not have taken monrhs (or even days) to produce. I smell a gigantic rodent.
    Moving on, Immigrants need housing ( unless you’re happy with people sleeping on the streets) they need healthcare ( unless you’re happy seeing the sick untreated).
    We have a homeless problem now. The health service is struggling now. We need to solve those problems (and others) now, before we take any more Immigrants.
    It can be done, it should be done but it needs to be done.
    Are Immigrants a benefit even assuming that adequate housing, medical care etc. is available? Depends on the particular immigrant. The guy that speaks English, nis conversant.with the common law and has skills is clearly beneficial.
    The guy that speaks no English, despises the common law and has no skills not so much.
    The more so if the guy seeks to overthrow the common law and impose his own.

  17. “We need to solve those problems (and others) now, before we give birth to any more children.”

    There. Fixed it for you.
    🙂

  18. NiV

    Something you never seem to appreciate (or acknowledge) in these discussions are concepts / ideas such as demos, people or nationhood.

    Whilst philosophically you raise interesting points, It’s actually quite pointless arguing this with you on this unless you are prepared to recognise (accept) such distinctions?

    btw, “parents” are responsible for the new borns, until they reach adulthood. The children do not belong to the state.

  19. @NIV ” how ever do they manage to pay back the £100,000 for the infrastructure they’re going to use?”

    Google says it costs 220k to raise a child. At 20% percent Vat, that’s 40k paid by parents the time they reach 21

  20. “Something you never seem to appreciate (or acknowledge) in these discussions are concepts / ideas such as demos, people or nationhood.”

    Sure. They’re the equivalent of ‘union solidarity’ and ‘the brotherhood of the workers’.

    I acknowledge they exist, and have an effect on people’s behaviour. But they’re not relevant to the *economic* arguments regarding immigration. National pride makes no difference to how much the infrastructure costs, or how much people contribute to the local economy.

    There are two sets of arguments deployed – the economic ones and the cultural ones. I have some sympathy with the cultural arguments – there are elements to the culture of some immigrants that I don’t like at all. And nobody likes the culture they grew up in and are comfortable with changing underneath them. But I would argue that cultures evolve through contact and competition, and that the strongest elements of them survive, and I have faith that our Western culture is considerably stronger than that of the newcomers. It’s like evolution – you only get to be the best by fighting for it. Gazelles are so fast and graceful only because there are lions about. Total isolation from all predators and threats creates stupid, flightless dodos instead.

    I think there’s an argument to be made for maintaining contact with disagreeable cultures and reforming them, but that’s a separate issue from the economic arguments that were being deployed above. On those, I’m just arguing for free trade.

  21. Bloke in Germany

    Mr Gadsden’s argument seems plausible. I’ve got the equivalent of NI numbers in 3 countries – some here – like Mr Newman will have many more. The number could be an overestimate as some people will have gone back and forth and got more than one from the UK. It could equally be an underestimate as anyone not working (such as dependents) might not have bothered to get one.

    I wonder if we could have similar numbers for migration of British citizens out of the UK in the same time period. For some unfathomable reason that’s never mentioned by the Brexitoids.

  22. Dear Mr Worstall

    The government’s nice new method of centralised voter registration demands an NI number, presumably to get around the problem of certain ‘vibrant’ communities from vibrantly registering to vote multiple times.

    How difficult is it to obtain multiple NI numbers? Too difficult for our ‘vibrant’ communities to achieve? Or at least overlooked if they can be relied upon to vibrantly vote the ‘right’ way.

    A few million phantom votes might make a difference in, say, for example, any referendum that might be in the offing.

    DP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *