By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) - Net migration to the U.K. dropped 29,000 annually to reach 244,000, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) said Thursday.
The new figures show that 334,000 people emigrated to the country from across the globe in the year ending in September 2017.
Net migration from EU countries fell to 90,000 – under 100,000 for the first time – amid the backdrop of Brexit uncertainties.
The figures released Thursday make up the second set of data revealed since the Brexit referendum in June 2016.
Net migration is still well over 100,000 a year – a government target for annual net migration.
"Looking at the underlying numbers, we can see that EU net migration has fallen, as fewer EU citizens are arriving, especially those coming to look for work in the U.K., and the number leaving has risen. It has now returned to the level seen in 2012," said ONS statistician Nicola White.
"The figures also show that non-EU net migration is now larger than EU net migration, mainly due to the large decrease in EU net migration over the last year," she said.
The issue of migration was one of the main points for the Leave campaign before the Brexit referendum.
Britain is set to leave the EU in March 2019.