The Londonist was interested to read that about 200,000 people left the UK this year for more than 12 months, half of them aged between 25 and 44. A total of 513,000 people arrived, according to figures from the Office Of National Statistics (pdf file).
The most popular long-term destinations are Spain, Germany, France, Australia and the US, with the major reason given for departure being “work-related”. The Londonist often ponders the probability, if you ask for directions on Oxford Street, of finding (a) a person whose first language is English (b) a person who knows the location of where you want to go, and (c) a person born in London. Not very high in any of the cases, we suspect. While Londoners seem to be queuing up to get out of the place, non-Londoners just can’t get enough of it.
The University of London’s Department of Geography has its own Migration Research Unit, which throws up a plethora of obscure but interesting information on the way people move about.
(As an aside, this writer not only gets asked for directions nearly every time he walks along Oxford Street, but has also been asked for directions in New York, Las Vegas and, most curiously, in Berlin. The oddness of the last case was that the direction-seeker spoke no German, French or English, while I could not manage her Spanish or Italian. It took us a good five minutes to conclude that we had no language whatsoever in common.)