Following the expansion of the EU in 2004, net international migration overtook migration from the rest of the UK as the biggest driver of population increase in Herefordshire – a result of increases in the former combined with a fall in the latter. Since then, on average, three-quarters of the county’s annual total net migration has been from overseas. However, actual flows are much larger between Herefordshire and other parts of the UK than abroad, as the chart below shows.
Annual migration flows to and from Herefordshire
Figure 1: chart showing changes in the resident population of Herefordshire between 2001/2 and 2014/15.
The flows of people moving between the county and other parts of the UK are larger than those between the county and abroad. However, in the year to mid-2015, the within-UK in and out flows cancelled each other out to leave immigration as the sole component of net migration. See The Population of Herefordshire report for more detailed information on migration flows to and from Herefordshire.
An international migrant is defined as someone who changes their country of residence for at least a year (does not include people seasonal agricultural workers who come to work in the county for a few months a year).
Immigration almost tripled to 2,100 in the years following the expansion of the EU in 20041 - and remained at around this level until 2007/8, while emigration increased by a couple of hundred leading to a net average in-flow of almost 1,500 people per year. Numbers then started to fall again (net in-flow of 400 at its lowest point in 2009/10), coinciding with the global recession. The last five years (to 2014/15) have seen some fluctuation, with net flows of between 700 and 1,200 people.
Over half (57%) of these international migrants to Herefordshire were aged 21 to 39; and over half (54%) were males.
Following the expansion of the EU in 2004 net migration from elsewhere in the UK has been a much smaller component than migration from overseas, although actual flows are much larger between Herefordshire and other parts of the UK than abroad.
Since the turn of the century, migration flows to and from other parts of the UK have declined, out-migration to a lesser degree than in-migration, reaching a low in 2008/9 (coinciding with the credit crunch and subsequent recession). On average, 200 more people each year have moved to the county from elsewhere in the UK than vice versa since 2008-09, compared to 900 over the period 2001/2 to 2003/4. In the year to mid-2015, there was a decrease in the number of people moving into the county (down 300) and no change in the number moving out contributed to an almost zero net within-UK migration in that year.
The largest flows by far, in both directions, are of young adults in their late teens and twenties: 2,400 aged 18-29 left the county each year on average over the last five years; 1,900 moved to it. These are the ages when people are most mobile generally, so this pattern is not necessarily unique to Herefordshire. The smallest flows are among the over 75s. Looking at moves by single year of age, the people most likely to leave the county for somewhere else in the UK are 19 year-olds, whilst 22 year-olds are the most likely of all ages to move here - coinciding with starting and finishing university.
The Population of Herefordshire report contains more detailed information on migration flows to and from Herefordshire.
 Citizens of Poland, Lithuania and the other ‘Accession 8 (A8)’ countries gained full, unlimited, access to UK labour markets in May 2004. In January 2014, Bulgarian and Romanian nationals gained free employment rights in the UK, although it has not yet been possible to assess the impact of this recent development on migration.