Pressure on Healthcare, Schools, Roads and Trains - Main Points

The below summary was last updated July 2019


  • There was an average of 2,000 GP registrations per day by those from overseas in 2016/17 (NHS statistics for England, Wales & Northern Ireland).
  • The UK recently saw the first sustained drop in the number of GPs per head of population since the 1960s. Rapid, immigration-driven population growth is a key (yet often ignored) factor in this trend.
  • Despite health tourism costing taxpayers hundreds of millions (if not billions) of pounds per year, the British Medical Association has voted to abandon charging overseas patients for treatment.


  • Immigration-driven population growth adds to pressure on school places and on funding.
  • Thousands of schools England are already full or over-capacity.
  • The Department for Education has forecast a further bulge in pupil numbers. An additional 370,000 school places will needed by 2024.
  • Immigration creates additional pressures connected with pupils whose first language is not English.
  • One expert warned of increasing cultural segregation in schools, ‘increasing the likelihood of children growing up without meeting or better understanding people from different backgrounds’.

Social housing

  • Claims that migrants are less likely to occupy social housing than the UK-born population are highly misleading. ‘Immigration may reduce access to social housing for the UK-born’ (MAC, Sept. 2018).
  • Pressure on social housing is further increased by the selling-off of housing stock by local authorities.

Transport / Environment

  • We are losing more and more of our countryside due to the construction of roads, housing and other facilities needed to accommodate rapid population growth, 80% of which is being driven by immigration.
  • The UK is one of the world’s 10 most gridlocked countries (Inrix)
  • Road congestion in London is worse than in Paris, Rome, Berlin and Madrid, with traffic moving at 3.7mph during evening rush hour.

View of the public

  • 60% of voters believe the high level of immigration is piling too much pressure on public services – Ipsos MORI, 2016.
  • They are right. Immigration to the UK has resulted in a considerable cost to the taxpayer of about £18m a day in 1995-2011. Research by Migration Watch UK found that immigration represented a net fiscal cost of £13 billion in 2014/15.

Pressure on Healthcare, Schools, Roads and Trains Research


Over the 23 years that Migration Watch UK has been working in this field we have produced many papers.

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