Net migration to the UK has dropped to 273,000 in the year to September, down 49,000 from the previous year.
The Office for National Statistics said it is the first time net migration has dipped below 300,000 in two years, but is not statistically significant.
But it is short of the government’s target figure for net migration to be under 100,000.
The figures record the difference between the number of people coming to live in the UK and those leaving.
Immigration was estimated to be 596,000 – comprising 268,000 EU citizens, 257,000 non-EU citizens and 71,000 British citizens.
This included the highest level ever recorded of Romanians and Bulgarians – 74,000.
Some 323,000 people are estimated to have left the UK in the year to September, up by 26,000 on the 12 months to September 2015.
More British citizens left the UK than foreign nationals – 128,000, compared with 103,000 EU citizens leaving the UK and 93,000 non-EU citizens.