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 87.

    I don't care who comes, I don't care what race or religion, I don't care if they are taking jobs from others.

    I do care that they should not be given any state money that others have worked hard for and they have been given it for nothing. This applies to everyone, why should we give money for nothing? If you pay in you can take out, but the one way funding has to stop for benefit scroungers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    Nothing against Foreigners as they sometimes do jobs lazy Brits will not! But - the situation cannot go on like this....I lived abroad in Russia for 8 years, I can speak Russian. I am now back in the UK and am looking at jobs for £7.19 an hour for English/Russian speakers! This country is the pits!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    Not immigration but settlement invasion, with similarity to the USA or Australia. Total and deliberate failure of the political class to defend the land. These are the seeds for civil war. May take a generation or two, but Serbia, NI, Rwanda, type end is assured.

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    I do hope a lot of Christian missionaries from Africa are coming to settle in Britain, because Britain is definitely in need of Christian evangelization.

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    Celebrate the mix of diversity they say!

    No one speaks the same language
    No one mixes together
    No one has any work
    No one has the same cultural life experiences to discuss
    No one cares less about anyone else
    No one respects anyone and digs their heals in about their own culture

    Great mix eh! I never wanted this. Strange though, the politicians tell me I'm wrong I DO want this state of affairs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    Judging by some of the responses, some people seem to think that "us white folk" are being killed to make way for foreigners! Truth is, I'm torn : I'm all for the human melting pot - I love walking down the road and hearing different languages, seeing different people - but I also love Democracy, and I believe that if We The People were given a vote, the majority would stopp immigration today...

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    #73 - What utter nonsense you big drama queen.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    (19. Keith Burtons)
    I have never 'demanded' cheaper goods, nor am I aware of anyone else 'demanding' them. I was quite happy with how things used to be.

    Cheap goods are nothing but a ploy by the major retailers to gain market share. It is they who drive the market and they that are responsible for not only cheap labour (filled by foreigners) here, but also sweatshops abroad. It is not our fault.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.


    "God help this country and the indigenous population."

    You mean the one made up entirely of immigrants from every continent on earth over the last 3,000 years? Or do you just mean the white ones? Hmmm.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    I am surprised there is only a 7% population increase. My home town Stowmarket in Suffolk had a 50% population increase in that time, and a 230% population increase (from 6,000 - 20,000) in the last 30 years, with a minimum of 1,000 more houses planed this decade.

    the irony is that people move into the area because they like the rural setting.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    More population = more people to work and create wealth, more people to build houses, more people to pay taxes.

    There is no such thing as a full up nation people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    From 2014 expect another massive rise in population.The UK door is wide open for Bulgarians and Romanians.On one hand skilled Brits with money are leaving this island and on the other hand Immigrants with no skills,no money and little English are arriving to replace them.Welcome to third world Britain in years to come.

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    Whether you are for or against, do you not think that we should have had a chance to vote on this?

  • Comment number 73.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    AS Long as everyone is contributing to the country then what is the problem...sadly though reality says other wise I know people of people that live in other countries who simply came over here for 6 months signed on and now get their dole money/family tax credits wired straight to them..good for them I say FREE MONEY...however its our LAWS/Politics that need changed..

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    On one hand I'm pleased that Britian is still an attractive place to do business and live for those born outside. However, the upwards trend is worrying in terms of intrastrucure and affordability.

    Please, let's have a serious debate about this without resorting to chants of 'waaaycists!' or so called 'Little Englander" - perhaps we should have been paying more attention to their concerns?

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    It's not even the full picture either. I wonder how many didn't fill out a census form because they're not on any form of register here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    I'm emigrating soon. Enjoy your fake wealth via house price ramping!

    I'd like my kids to have a future - and the UK is not going to deliver that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    Surprise, surprise, surprise!!!!! With Britains immigration policy non existant, and the number of illegals here totally unknown, no wonder christianity appears down. It is being smothered, by every other non christian belief, which are encouraged, and pandered to, by each successive government. With a "wide open door" policy, what else do we expect!


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