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Net migration into the UK climbs 20%

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The UK is set to become an even more diverse society as net migration into the country is up by 20 per cent compared to last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Net migration saw an increase of 240,000 in 2010, potentially creating a boom in people sending money home.

The new figure, up from 198,000 in 2009, is thought to be fuelled by a sudden fall in the number of people leaving the country.

Studying is the most common reason for people staying in the UK, with three out of four of the 228,000 foreign students coming from outside of the EU to learn.

The number of new visas issued for the purpose of study was 358,388 in the year to June 2011, a fall of one per cent on the 362,055 in the year to June 2010.

Meanwhile, the number of people moving over for a definite job was at its lowest in six years, coming in at 110,000, compared to its peak of 168,000 in 2008.

Estimated total long-term immigration to the UK in the year to December 2010 was 575,000, similar to levels seen since 2004.

"For work and benefit purposes, 668,000 National Insurance numbers were allocated to non-UK nationals in the year to December 2010, an increase of nine per cent on the year to December 2009," explained the ONS.

"The latest figures show that 705,000 National Insurance numbers were allocated to non-UK nationals in the year to March 2011, 23 per cent higher than in the year to March 2010."

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