UK net migration numbers decrease - ONS
Net migration to the UK has fallen but remains at more than double the government's target of fewer than 100,000 a year. The Office for National Statistics said that estimated net migration in the year to December 2011 was 216,000 - down from 252,000 the previous year.
It said the fall was not statistically significant, but ministers say separate figures show they are on course.
Net migration is the number of people entering the UK, minus those leaving.
The government has a target to cut net migration to tens of thousands by the end of the Parliament.
Speaking after the release of the latest figures, Immigration Minister Damian Green said he was "confident" that target would be met.
He also described the latest net migration figures as "the first sign that the measures we've been taking since we arrived in government two years ago are having an effect".
"We are doing this by improving the selectivity of our immigration system and increasing enforcement activity to prevent people coming into the UK illegally and removing those with no right to be here.
"At the same time, there are encouraging signs that we continue to attract the brightest and best and to support tourism in the UK." (...)