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Statistics that cover internal migration within the UK, local authority, health authority and Government Office Regions in England and Wales. Data from former health authority patient registers and the National Health Service Central Register are used to give internal migration estimates.

Publications

Annual Report of the Registrar General (Northern Ireland)
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Finalised data for all births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships and divorces along with population data for the year in question.
Census 2001 National Report for England and Wales
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Census 2001 National Report for England and Wales contains detailed statistical tables that cover the range of topics from the 2001 Census. Released in two parts, the report contains results for England and Wales as a whole, in a variety of tables. Standard tables provide cross-tabulation of two or more variables, theme tables bring together a range of results on a particular population and supplementary tables provide further information on some individual variables.
Flag 4 GP Registrations by local authority
Department: Office for National Statistics
Flag 4 records indicate international in-migrants who register with an NHS GP. This dataset indicates, for each local authority in England and Wales, the number of new Flag 4 records added to the Patient Register during the mid-year to mid-year period.
Internal Migration by Local Authorities in England and Wales
Department: Office for National Statistics
Presents data on Internal migration by Local Authorities and regions in England and Wales.
Internal migration (NHSCR)
Department: Office for National Statistics
Internal migration estimates for countries within the UK and, within England, Government Office Regions (GORs) of England and the rest of the UK.
Migration Statistics Improvement Programme Reports
Department: Office for National Statistics
The Migration Statistics Improvement Programme formally closes on 31 March 2012. Five reports are being published: Migration Statistics Improvement Programme Final Report A Conceptual Framework for Population and Migration Statistics Research report: Using administrative data to set plausibility ranges for population estimates in England and Wales Research Report: Uncertainty in Local Authority Mid Year Population Estimates Strategy for Delivering Statistical Benefits from e-Borders
Migration Statistics, Wales
Department: Welsh Government
This statistical bulletin details migration estimates that measure the movement of people in and out of Wales.

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Overview

Migration within the UK, England and Wales

Internal Migration estimates are produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) with the aim of accurately measuring movement within the United Kingdom. These estimates, along with births, deaths and international migration, form the key components of the annual population estimates produced by ONS.

Estimates showing interregional moves within the UK, and moves between health authorities are released quarterly on a rolling year basis. Data for March of the year are released in December of the same year. Data for June, September and December of the year are released in March, June and September of the following year respectively.

Estimates showing moves between local authorities within England and Wales are released annually. These estimates are released in June and relate to migration to the middle of the previous year. They provide the most detailed picture of internal migration that the ONS releases, and are integrated into the mid year population estimates, utilised by a wide range of users within local and central government, as well as a multitude of users outside the government. These estimates were revised in May 2010 to include improved estimation of student migration within England & Wales. For more information about the student adjustment, please see the overview of the migration improvements package. For questions about the student adjustment not covered in this document, please contact imps@ons.gsi.gov.uk.

 

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Technical Data

Internal migration estimates are based on a combination of the NHSCR (National Health Service Central Register) and the PRDS (Patient Register Data System). NHSCR-based figures are published quarterly and PRDS-based figures are published annually.

Estimates for NHSCR internal migration movements are based on the movement of NHS doctors’ patients between former health authority areas in England and Wales and Area Health Boards (AHBs) in Scotland and Northern Ireland. These transfers are recorded at the NHS Central Registers, Southport and Edinburgh, and at the Central Services Agency, Belfast. The figures have been adjusted to take account of differences in cross-border flows between England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland recorded in each country.
      
To get a picture of movements between local authorities, the NHSCR figures are combined with the more detailed Patient Register Data System. Comparing records in one year with those of the previous year by linking based on NHS number enables identification of people who change their postcode.

A migrant on the PRDS is defined as a person who, between one year and the next, changes their area of residence and hence postcode. The download is taken at 31 July each year to enable migration estimates to be made for the year ending 30 June each year. This is consistent with the assumption that people delay registering with a new GP for a month after they move.

On 13 May 2010, the mid-2001 - mid-2002 to mid-2007 - mid-2008 internal migration estimates by local authority were revised to include improved estimation of student migration within England & Wales. For more information about the student adjustment, please see this overview of the migration improvements package. For questions about the student adjustment not covered in this document, please contact imps@ons.gsi.gov.uk. From May 2010, all PRDS internal migration estimates will be adjusted to include student migration.

The NHSCR is required as a partner to the patient registers because there are limitations in using migration estimates derived solely from comparing patient registers in two consecutive years. This is because patient registers cannot capture the movement of those migrants who were not registered with a doctor in one of the two years, but who moved during the year. There are two primary examples of this. Firstly, those who were not on the register at the start of the year. The largest group of these is migrant babies aged under one year. This would also include international immigrants or those leaving the armed forces. Secondly, those who were not on the register at the end of the year. This would include who died, enlisted in the armed forces, or emigrated overseas within the year.

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Glossary

  • NHSCR

    National Health Service Central Register, this captures all registrations with GPs and provides the Office for National Statistics with a weekly file containing a list of health authority to health authority moves.

  • PRDS

    Patient Register Data System, provides the Office for National Statistics with an annual snapshot of all NHS GP lists, from which a comparison is made to identify movers based on NHS number matching and postcode comparisons.

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Contact Details

For statistical enquiries about this topic, please contact:

The Internal Migration Team

Email: migstatsunit@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 13 2944 4647

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