With immigration proving such a hot topic at the moment it can be hard work to make sense of all the conflicting opinions, statistics and numbers. What does it all actually mean? Is the UK going to sink under the weight of so many people or have the numbers been spun for political gain?
Well the lovely people at the Guardian have taken the latest Immigration Statistics published by the Office for National Statistics and created interactive diagrams, charts and tables to break it all down.
This means that you can now see things such as how many people have come and gone from the UK, where they came from, how asylum application patterns have change over the years and how many people are deported.
This incredibly useful summary means that you no longer have to read a news story saying ‘Net migration hits 250,000’ and say to yourself, ‘is that a lot? How much was it five, or ten, years ago?’
If you are concerned about immigration, about the government’s recent changes to the Immigration Rules, or simply want to understand what’s happening in some more detail then this is the perfect place to start.
Hot on the heels of their quiz testing how European you are, the Guardian has asked 100 people across the country - What does being British mean to you?
This year Britain will see the Queen’s diamond jubilee, the Olympics and changes to the citizenship test as well as a vote on Scottish independence on the horizon. So there is perhaps no better time to ask - what does being British mean to you?
The national identity of any country is a hard thing to define but in the UK, where immigration continues to be a divisive issue, there are ever more voices to hear. If you ask people in the UK what they consider their national identity to be it is likely that you will get a different answer for every person you ask. A group of people may all say they are British, but they will also tell you that their family are from Scotland, England, or somewhere outside of the UK. Others may say they are just from one country and don’t feel British.
What do you think though? You are all people hoping to join the British nation so do you agree with the people the Guardian spoke to? Do the 100 people in this article make you proud and happy to be working towards becoming part of the British nation?
With technology and media bringing so much more of the world to our homes every day the national identity of countries will be more and more in peoples’ minds. Do we run the risk of losing it or will it strengthen as the world becomes more closely interlinked? Do migrants bring richness and diversity to the British culture or are they partly responsible for changing it? If things are changing, are they changing for the worse or the better?
If you want to share your thoughts on this then come join the conversation on our Facebook page.