Data from the Population Estimates Unit at the Office of National Statistics8 show that from 2003-4 to 2009-10 there was an annual average net outflow from Lewisham of about 700 people, made up of 1950 net international migrants into the borough, and 2660 internal migrants outwards. International migration appears to have peaked in 2004-5, and declined until 2008-09; internal migration fell every year until 2008-09.


Accurate figures for the total number of international migrants are difficult to ascertain. According to the Department for Work and Pensions9, a total of 8,020 non-UK nationals resident in Lewisham were issued with new National Insurance numbers in 2011. This figure has generally increased, and in 2011 was 60% higher than in 2004.

Although these figures give us an indication of levels of international migration, they do not include (a) their dependants or (b) those working without National Insurance numbers. The numbers of asylum seekers have been steadily declining in recent years in line with national trends. As at the end of December 2009, 35 asylum seekers in Lewisham were receiving support for accommodation and 115 people were receiving subsistence support from the National Asylum Support Service10. We are aware that there are many people who because they have no recourse to public funds or for other reasons linked to their immigration status are not included in any official statistics.

Short term migrants

Short term migrants are defined as people resident in an area for between three and nine months, for whatever reason. A research report published by ONS11 estimates that at mid-year 2007 there were 11,480 short term migrants in Lewisham, for whom 1,510 were workers, and 9,980 were non-workers. This represented about 4% of the overall population.




  1. Population Estimates Unit at the Office of National Statistics
  2. Department of Work and Pensions
  3. http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html
  4. Summarised in GLA DMAG Briefing 12-2009






Previous page Top of page