Census shows rise in foreign-born


The BBC's Mark Easton says London is "a truly international city"

The number of foreign-born residents in England and Wales has risen by nearly three million since 2001 to 7.5 million people, the 2011 census shows.

That means about one in eight - 13% - of residents were born outside the UK.

The most common birthplaces outside the UK for residents are India, Poland and Pakistan. The number of ethnic white British people is down to 80%.

London has become the first region where white British people have become a minority.

Some 45% (3.7 million) of people in the capital described themselves as white British, down from 58% (4.3 million) in 2001.

The Office for National Statistics said the findings showed a "diverse" and "changing" picture.

More than half the rise in the population of England and Wales was due to migration.

Alp Mehmet, from Migration Watch, said the figures showed "how absolutely essential it is that we bring immigration under control".

He told BBC Radio 4's World at One that society must consider "the housing that's going to be needed, the schools that are going to be needed, the roads".

If people wanted "new arrivals" to be integrated, "then for goodness sake we can't have them arriving at this sort of scale", he added.

Graph showing the population of England and Wales born outside the UK since 1971

But Sunder Katwala, director of British Future - an independent think tank on migration - said people had "an absolute moral responsibility to make our society work as a shared society".

Guy Goodwin, ONS: "Census shows diverse population."

"The question of do you want this to happen or don't you want this to happen implies that you've got a choice and you could say 'let's not have any diversity'," he told the BBC News website.

"This is who we are - it's inevitable."

Guy Goodwin, from the Office of National Statistics, told BBC News: "It's a really changing picture so the 2011 census population will go down as a diverse population compared with 2001."

In other findings:

Voluntary question

The census also shows that, while fewer people own their own home, more people own it outright.

Just under 15 million households owned their own home in 2011, either with a mortgage or loan, or outright - down 4%.

The 2011 census shows beyond any doubt that the UK is now in the midst of an astonishing era of demographic change due to globalisation.

Parts of the country are witnessing such rapid flows and movements of people that they are becoming super-diverse - home to many different people from many different backgrounds.

If you want just a snapshot of that rapid change - look at Boston in Lincolnshire.

In 2001, it was home to fewer than 1,500 people born abroad - and because of a statistical quirk many of those are thought to have been people born to parents once stationed with the British Army in Germany.

Today, almost 10,000 people born abroad call Boston home - and it has more Polish residents than any other local authority outside of the South East. The 2011 census confirms what people see around them.

However, those who owned their home outright increased two percentage points from 29% (6.4 million) to 31% (7.2 million).

The group that rented from a private landlord or letting agency increased by six percentage points from 9% (1.9 million) in 2001 to 15% (3.6 million) in 2011.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said the figures "confirm that home ownership is slipping further and further out of reach, no matter how hard people work or save".

Last year there was an average of 12 cars for every 10 households - up on 11 cars per 10 households in 2001. London was the only region where the number of vehicles was lower than the number of households.

The 2011 Census results for Scotland are drawn up separately by the Scottish government and are being released on Monday.

This year's questionnaire was sent to about 26 million households in England and Wales on 27 March last year and was compulsory to fill in.

The only voluntary question in the census related to religion and allowed people to declare themselves to be Christian (all denominations), Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, of no religion or to list themselves as belonging to any other faith.

The census - which is used to plan public services - is carried out every 10 years, during which the public are asked questions about their jobs, health, education and ethnic background

Last year was the first time people could fill in the form online.

non-UK born residing in the UK

More on This Story

Census 2011 results

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  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    I've never said a word against immigration before. I've always been the voice of integration and acceptance amongst my social circle. However, 37% of our capital city's population were born outside the UK. This points to a serious immigration issue, considering our housing availability issues.

    If I'm starting to feel uncomfortable about this, heaven knows what my Daily Mail reading pals think!

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    If there are so many then with the illegals as well - this poor wee island is going to sink under the weight.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    Assimilation is what the elite want in order to dilute all of our identities and culture.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Opening this subject for discussion and debate, is making a rod for your own back BBC.

    Expect to get all the closet racists out in droves, the Daily Mail Crowd and the EDL, BNP etc.

    I predict there will be more "Removed Posts" than actual contributions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    Ok, I'll be honest, even as a left-winger who's open to immigration and diversity of race and religion, the idea that under half and possibly about a third in the next census of people living in London are white and British is slightly worrying. Diversity needs to be integrated and incorporated and I get the feeling we're going to end up more like divided America than integrated Brazil...

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    My dad and granddad fought and suffered injuries in wars to protect us from invasion (not from German nationalism as is the promoted myth). They would not have bothered if they had known their legacy would be a land fit for foreigners.
    This invasion of our country must not be blamed upon the unfortunate migrants but on the politicians who have failed to protect us. 'Globalisation' is no excuse.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    This should bring out the nutjobs.

    I agree its time for a proper grown up debate on immigration, obviously the population can't go on increasing forever

    But people also need to accept that this country is what it is now. There is no going back

    The future is one thing but people should learn to cherish what we have now, which is a pretty decent country by any international standard

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    In b4 Daily Mailers claim this means that an uncontrolled tide immigrants are going to take over Bri-*checks comment section*....Damn, too late.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    If the population is growing due to immigration, that would be because big business demand cheap labour. And why would that be ? Because we as consumers demand cheaper prices for our goods and services. So in a way, we are ALL to blame for Britain's population increase. I expect to receive down arrows for pointing out this uncomfortable fact.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    This brings home the mess that we are now in. No criticism of anyone who has come here (legally) but we cannot sustain such huge increases in population at a time when we are losing more and more jobs and share of world trade to others. However unpopular, the pressure on the public purse for health, education, transport etc. means we have to have a moratorium on further net immigration.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    Who cares?? this is multicultural Britain after all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Long since passed the times to "close the gates" We have huge numbers of un & underemployed pressure on teh NHS, housing, schools etc etc and yet the flood gates are wide open! I'm not a tory or labour but labour must shoulder a large part of the blame by opening the gates int eh 1st place.
    Time to pull out of the EU and regain control of our borders!

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    God help this country and the indigenous population.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    My train has been a bit busier too - can I blame this on the immigrants?


  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Its all very well but all these extra people require housing, healthcare and jobs. Without these things they become a burden on the state and our services simply cannot cope and the signs are already showing. I blame the last gov and the present are not doing anything either !

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    I don't care what your stance on foreigners or anything else is. The simple fact is that the last thing this tiny island needs is a massive increase in population.

    So before all the bleeding heart liberals jump in just decide exactly how we are going to pay for the massive amount of extra infrastructure that will be needed.

    Not to mention the massive shortage in housing already.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    We are being replaced.

    Young white people aren't having children because they can't afford to start families - their own home, wages are pathetic, cost of living rocketing. And no one cares. Just replace the shortfall with immigrants. Ready made adults that the government doesn't have to pay to educate.

    This generation has barely had any children at all. Our family model has been smashed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    What % of people didn't fill in the census?

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Now we just need to figure out a way of exporting the British people that contribute nothing to even out the balance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Britain is full, so sling your hook


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