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Table 4: Respondents’ Reasons for Migrating to the UK

Why did you come to the UK Work/income opportunities

No 81

% 26.4

Be with family/join support n Education For a better life Likes the UK/speaks English Political reasons Other No Response

etworks

Total

77 51 26 19 17 10 26

307

25.1 16.6 8.5 6.2 5.5 3.3 8.1 100

Respondents were also asked why they had specifically chosen to move to the UK rather than another country. A much smaller proportion answered this question (58%) than the previous one (83%), but their responses largely replicate those shown in Table 4. However, an important distinction is that some answers revealed very positive perceptions about the UK as a host country. Amongst these were the following responses: ‘openness to people’; ‘England is not as racist as other countries’; ‘the UK is the best country to live in’; and ‘UK safer than other countries’. This suggests that respondents did not come to Britain because it was simply easier to access than other countries, as is often suggested in the media. Rather, expectations and perceptions of Britain as a tolerant and multicultural country played an important role in their decision to migrate.

Whom do you share your home with?

Count1

%

Spouse and Partner

130

40.1

Children

81

25.0

Non-family

44

13.6

Other family

42

13.0

Parents

27

8.3

No-response = 86

Total

324

100

The configuration of households in which respondents lived emerged as somewhat surprising and certainly contrary to existing stereotypes of lone migrant workers (Table 5). Rather than living alone (22%), the majority of respondents (78%) shared their home with others. Almost half (40%) lived with a partner, and just over a third (34%) with other family members or friends.

Table 5: Respondents’ Household Composition

1 A total of 251 workers answered this question and some chose more than one answer to reflect their personal circumstances. The results shown here reflect multiple choice.

15

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