UK Migration: Real Figures Vs. The Headlines

Migrants, this time foreign workers, are yet again in the headlines as political parties debate the causes of Britain’s financial problems. It’s a story that is receiving a lot of attention in the British press. 

UK media frenzy on migration

That’s slightly problematic because, when it comes to objective reporting, there are few topics that invoke as much criticism of the British press as immigration. Many argue that the continual debate is disproportionate to the facts.

We’ve tried to find out how much of that criticism is justified by comparing mentions of migrants in the press to their actual presence in the UK. By breaking those figures down by specific nationalities, it’s also easier to see if certain groups are receiving undue attention.

The interactive below shows that some of the criticism about the British press may be justified. There’s clearly a disconnect; media coverage fluctuates enormously, while there’s a slow and steady rise (and occasional dip) in migrant workers. For example, the number of migrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria increased by 35% between 2005 and 2006 – media coverage of those groups rose by 325% in the same period.

Read the full comprehensive report here


– The Guardian