Immigration Statistics: Year ending June 2021

The Home Office has released its statistics on immigration detention for the year up until June 2021.

In the year ending in June 2021, 17,088 people entered detention, down 11% since the previous year (19,160) and 16,209 people left detention, down 19% since the previous year (20,123). At the end of June there were 1550 people in detention, up 122% compared to June 2020 (698) and up 50% since March 2021 (1033).

Following a low point in the number of people entering and leaving detention in mid-2020, these numbers seem to represent a return to 'normal' in the rate of people detained by the Home Office, despite the ongoing pandemic.

(figures analysed and rounded by AVID)

Detention in prisons

The number of people detained in prisons increased by 52% from 368 at the end of June 2020 to 558 at the end of June 2021. Nevertheless, as the Home Office has begun once again to detain more people overall, the proportion of those detained in prisons is now just over a third of all people detained (36%) down from more than half (57%) at the end of March 2021.

Length of detention

  • In the year ending in June 2021, 69% (11,119) of those leaving detention had been held for less than 7 days, up from 40% the preceding year. This is at least in part due to the Government detaining more people directly after they arrived in the UK before they were able to claim asylum.
  • However, 2,737 people (17%) were still detained for more than 28 days and 362 people (2%) held for more than 6 months before leaving.

Removal and returns

  • The rate of removal dropped significantly from 32% of those leaving detention in the previous year to 23% (3,689) of those leaving detention in the year until June 2021. This means 77% were released back into their community, their detention having served no purpose.
  • Of the 5359 people leaving detention between April and June 2021, 19% (1030) were removed from the UK, and so 81% were released back into their community, their detention having served no purpose.


  • The most common nationality of people entering detention in the year ending in June 2021 was Iranian, accounting for 14% of the total (2,317), and a 32% increase on the previous year. The next most common nationality of people entering detention was Albanian (2,273), which is around 19% fewer than the previous year. While most other nationalities saw a reduction in numbers entering, there was a near 400% increase in the number of Sudanese people (+952) and Vietnamese people (+722) compared with the previous year. 
  • In the year until June 2021, of the 10 nationalities with the most people leaving detention those with the highest rate of removal were Romanian (88%), Polish (69%), and Albanian (26%).

Children in detention

  • Between April and June 2021, 32 children (aged under 18) entered detention, 14 of whom were detained in Yarl’s Wood IRC, 10 in Tinsley House IRC and 8 in Harmondsworth IRC.

People seeking asylum in detention

  • In the year ending in June 2021, 72% (12,258) of those entering detention had made an asylum claim at some point, up 12% since the previous year.

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