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IPPR responds to migration statistics

Marley Morris, IPPR associate director for migration, trade and communities, responded to the migration statistics 

Today’s statistics from the Home Office reveal that:

  • ONS figures published today reveal that net migration in the year ending December 2023 remained high at 685,000. The figures are mainly driven by large numbers of grants of Health and Care Worker visas and student visas.
  • However, numbers now appear to be on their way down. In the first four months of 2024, Health and Care Worker main applicant grants have dropped sharply by 76 per cent compared to the same period in 2023. There has also been a sharp drop in student dependants, due to new restrictions the government imposed at the beginning of the year.

“Net migration remained exceptionally high in 2023 but is set to fall, possibly quite sharply, in the year ahead.

“The reality is there are some tough choices on immigration which will need to be grappled with, whoever wins the upcoming election. Crude cuts in numbers could exacerbate staff shortages in health and care and imperil university finances.

“Sharp falls in visa grants will require the government to urgently address the structural factors underpinning recent high migration – both our model for higher education and poor conditions in the social care sector.”

Marley Morris, associate director for migration at IPPR, is available for interview



  1. IPPR’s 2023 briefing on the asylum system can be found here:
  2. IPPR (the Institute for Public Policy Research) is an independent charity working towards a fairer, greener, and more prosperous society. We are researchers, communicators, and policy experts creating tangible progressive change, and turning bold ideas into common sense realities. Working across the UK, IPPR, IPPR North, and IPPR Scotland are deeply connected to the people of our nations and regions, and the issues our communities face. We have helped shape national conversations and progressive policy change for more than 30 years. From making the early case for the minimum wage and tackling regional inequality, to proposing a windfall tax on energy companies, IPPR’s research and policy work has put forward practical solutions for the crises facing society.

International migration research, progress update: May 2024

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