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Three people and arrow - pinkMigration in Southampton

In recent decades, high levels of economic migration from Eastern Europe into Southampton have contributed to the development and sustainability of many business activities, thereby bringing in greater richness and diversity to city life. In addition, strong community relations over many decades have contributed to maintaining cohesiveness in the city.

Since 2020, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted people's ability to migrate to other countries. Governments around the world introduced policies and restrictions in response to the pandemic; air travel to and from the UK dropped by 95% in the early months. As a result, UK immigration and emigration patterns are very different to past trends.

The Office for National Statistics published an article on International migration and mobility: what’s changed since the coronavirus pandemic which explains the impact of coronavirus on migration.

The primary source of information on migration comes from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), who produce estimates of internal migration based on data from the NHS Personal Demographic Service and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), and Labour Force Survey (LFS), as well as estimates of international migration based on data from surveys such as the International Passenger Survey (IPS). However, data from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) was suspended in March 2020 because of the impact of the pandemic. Since the suspension, the Office for National Statistics decided to use more administrative information to provide provisional and experimental data on migration.

International migration

Net international migration: Southampton and England trend 2007-08 to 2019-20. Click or tap to open a larger image.Immigration was much lower in 2020 than in previous years, likely caused by a combination of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Brexit; an estimated 268,000 people (uncertainty range: 233,000 to 303,000) immigrated to the UK during 2020, compared with 592,000 people in 2019.

Emigration also fell in 2020, but to a lesser extent than for immigration; an estimated 234,000 people (uncertainty range: 150,000 to 319,000) left the UK to live abroad in 2020, compared with 300,000 people in 2019.

Net migration in 2020 for EU nationals was negative, with 94,000 more EU nationals estimated to have left the UK than to have arrived (uncertainty range: negative 180,000 to negative 8,000).

Net international migration to both the UK and Southampton has been continually positive since 1994, contributing to population growth. However, there are some signs that international migration is slowing over the last few years following a period of growth. From a peak of 14.3 people per 1,000 population in 2015, NET long-term international migration fell to 11.6 people per 1,000 population in 2020 in Southampton. Compared to 4.1 per 1,000 population for England. The current data does not consider any changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Internal migration

Net internal migration flows: Southampton. Year ending June 2020. Click or tap to open a larger image.Figures on internal migration between areas in the UK, up to the end of June 2020, shows that more people have left Southampton than have arrived. Just over 15,500 people arrived in the city and just over 19,000 left the city since 2019, giving a net internal migration of -3,536 or -13.6 people per 1,000 population. Southampton is not alone in having net negative internal migration, with 120 local authorities in England having more people moving out than in, many of which are in London. Southampton is ranked 17th highest negative net internal migration with Birmingham having the highest loss of -13,256 people in the same period.

This data does not include movements of people during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is anticipated that the numbers will be lower in the last two years due to nationally imposed restrictions on movement.

Unsurprisingly, areas with the largest internal migration to and from Southampton are neighbouring authorities. In particular, there is a close relationship with Eastleigh with 1,105 people migrating into the city from Eastleigh between 2019 and 2020 and 2,373 moving from Southampton to Eastleigh. This is a net internal migration of -1,267 people to Eastleigh or -9.35 people per 1,000 population. The chart illustrates the top 25 areas with internal migration to and from Southampton.

Resources

Migration tools from the Office for National Statistics

The primary source of information on migration comes from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), who produce estimates of internal migration based on data from the NHS Personal Demographic Service and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), and estimates of international migration based on data from surveys such as the International Passenger Survey (IPS) and Labour Force Survey (LFS).

ONS - International migration
Report
ONS - Migration Statistics Quarterly Report: August 2020
Report
ONS - Migration within the UK
Dataset
ONS - Internal migration: detailed estimates by origin and destination local authorities, age and sex
Dataset
ONS - Local area migration indicators, UK
Dataset

Last updated: 03 March 2022