Nearly one in 10 people living in the UK last year were foreign citizens, according to a major international report.
Numbers rose by 6.4 per cent to reach 5.95 million between 2015 and 2016, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found.
It means 9.2 per cent of the population are from overseas, the think tank’s International Migration Outlook report showed.
The study found that asylum applications in the UK fell by 7 per cent to 30,600 last year, the first drop since 2010.
More Iranians, some 4,780, made asylum claims in the UK than any other nationality, followed by Pakistanis (3,701) and Iraqis (3,644).
For every one million people living in Britain, 593 asylum applications were filed in 2016 compared to the OECD average of 1,283.
Germany, which had an open door policy, had the highest rate at 8,952, followed by Austria and Greece which were both on more than 4,500, while the Slovak Republic had the lowest at just 18.
The report highlighted how the UK recorded its highest rate of net migration of 332,00 in 2015 with the number of people arriving at 631,000.
But the number of people being given settlement rights in the same year fell by 12.7 per cent on 2014 to 90,800.
“The fall was entirely owing to fewer grants on the basis of family formation or reunion, 18.5 per cent of the total compared with 32 per cent in 2014,” the report said.
“The number fell by a further 35 per cent in 2016, to 59 000, largely due to fewer work, family and asylum related grants.”
The UK, along with Germany, was the destination for two thirds of Romanians leaving their home country in 2015.
Germany was first choice for Italians looking for a new home the same year, but the “sharpest increase” was towards the UK, which attracted 10,000 more people leaving Italy than in the previous year.
Britons heading overseas mainly chose Australia, Spain, the United States, Germany and New Zealand, according to the report.