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 67.

    this country needs an enema

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    Almost all of us are immigrants at some stage of our ancestry. Overwhelmingly, immigration is a net good for a country. Although the south-east of England is pretty densely populated, there are huge areas of the United Kingdom which are not as densely populated and where, in some cases, the population is falling. We need enlightened regional policies which encourage people to move to those areas.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    Out come the racists and bigots who can't stand the results of a truly multicultural society. Get over it. We're one of the most diverse countries on earth and we reap far more advantages than disadvantages from this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    There really has been a planned people replacment programme going on in this country over the decades. My grandparents left London (near Brixton) in the 1950's because of the changes that were taking place.

    Only 45% of Londoners can be classed as white British (probably less when you consider those here illegally who didn't complete the form). Is this to be celebrated?

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    I realise this piece is the BBC trying to appear trendy and enlightened by talking about race. But far more significant is the rise in the number of vehicles that the linked-to report mentions.
    We now have 12 vehicles for every 10 households. Surely it's time for the government to stop treating drivers as the enemy and to take note that people NEED CARS and for them to spend more on transport

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    I can see Migration Watch, UKIP, BNP and the NF all getting upset. No doubt Andrew Green and Nigel Farage will be parading across all media outlets complaining this is a small country and we don’t have enough room. Of course being an immigrant myself I know what they really mean is “our country is being overrun by foreigners” We also know foreign national normally means black people.…

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

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

    Those that don't speak English.

    If people want to live in our country they first should have to prove that they have work and be able to support themselves


    be able to speak English

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    I think it is equally important to show the figures of how many of these foreign born are paying tax in the UK, in comparison with those born in the UK. I don't know any foreign born working age people and are not working and paying tax, whilst during working hours I see shopping malls often full of working age locals who, for some reasons, don't have to work and still have the money to spend.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    I believe that there are too many people living in the UK already and our recourses cannot support them all, contributing to the terrible state we're already in. I don't care where people come from, but we don't have the resourses, its as simple as that. Although comment 23 by jay strikes me as a good one, less than half the people in the UK Capitol classed as British? That makes no sense.

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    Shocked at the racist comments on here. My wife is Asian. She pays tax and national insurance HERE. Would you send her back from whence she came? Her home is here.... (In the house she paid for jointly with me).

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    Very poorly written and worded article and analysis ... easily for misunderstandings to be drawn, for example:
    "In total, the number of people living in England and Wales is up 7% to 56.1 million since 2001 - over half the rise due to migration,"
    Most people would ignore the 7% and only see migration account for 28.05 million increase or half of 56.1 million.
    UKIP will thank the article's author.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    what they are not telling you is that they are planning to merge the census database with the medical records/dna database for the population and sell the whole thing to pharmaceuticals for big bucks

    that's why a US company was asked to do the census, to circumvent EU laws

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    What is this obssesive repitition of the word, "Daily Mail," in just about every comment post you read these days? Is this what they pay 30,000 to learn how to reference or something in essays?

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Less than half the population of the capital are natives - is that the definition of a 'world city'?

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    Hmmm I wonder how many comments will have to be removed by the moderator on this thread...

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    @32 - but I bet most of them know the difference between 'there' and 'they're'....

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    35.LondonDave - "So for the first time EVER, White British are now the minority in London....."

    You make that statement as if it is automatically a bad thing - if so you'll have no probe enlightening us as to why some areas of the country not having a white British majority is such a bad thing.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    Labour admitted to basically letting anyone in. Which was fine when the economy was booming, but now it isn't there's a real problem of resource contention. Jobs, housing, roads, services, NHS.

    When you have any finite resource you need to manage it effectively.

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    And this is a good thing is it?


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