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Migration to the UK: Post-war period

The number of migrants leaving for the UK after the second World War between 1946 and 1996 was 31,489. This makes the UK the second largest receiving country after Australia. Peak levels were reached in 1947 ( 1536), 1955 ( 1872) and 1964 (1597). After that, the number of migrants leaving for the UK decreased slowly at first and more rapidly after 1975.

Return migration from UK over this period of 50 years amounted to 12, 969. The most significant period of return migration was again reached in 1975, with a peak of 1572 migrants returning. After that the level of returned migrants returned high ( at around 400-600 per year) until 1984, after which it declined to below 200 returnees pa.

 Migration to and from the UK 1946-1996 (Bottom line refers to number of returning migrants)

Migration to and from the UK 1946-1996 (Bottom line refers to number of returning migrants)

Migration Statistics

YEAR

Emigrants

Returning

1945

138

0

1946

870

54

1947

1536

58

1948

845

14

1949

1137

15

1950

1038

121

1951

1234

24

1952

1200

180

1953

1702

205

1954

1690

249

1955

1872

315

1956

1161

164

1957

960

408

1958

805

193

1959

745

58

1960

878

11

1961

1112

8

1962

1129

237

1963

1332

162

1964

1597

160

1965

1092

77

1966

1092

77

1967

856

35

1968

638

4

1969

683

181

1970

640

216

1971

527

123

1972

597

148

1973

603

154

1974

581

393

1975

254

1572

1976

113

721

1977

97

615

1978

100

394

1979

82

598

1980

48

622

1981

30

591

1982

46

509

1983

49

446

1984

65

253

1985

47

271

1986

26

149

1987

43

100

1988

43

195

1989

43

121

1990

10

201

1991

9

259

1992

12

188

1993

10

249

1994

9

233

1995

10

204

1996

53

124

Total

31489

12659

The following table gives comparative figures for the various countries. It is seen that return migration for the UK was the highest of all major host countries, being twice as high as that from Australia, Canada or the US. This is perhaps explained to some extent on the basis of proximity to the mother land. It also emphasizes the fact that migrants to the UK are often different in various ways from those to other countries.

Summary of Migration changes 1946 - 1996

Country

To

From

Net Migration

Return %

Australia

86787

17847

68940

21.56

Canada

19792

4798

14997

24.24

UK

31489

12659

18830

40.20

US

11601

2580

9021

22.24

Other

1647

907

740

55.07

Total

155060

39087

115973

25.21


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