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 1147.

    I see all the editors picks expressing the views of the loony left. Not even one from the right side of centre, once again the left cannot except difference of opinion, yet like to call the rest of us bigots.
    What do you mean? It's full of rabid right wing racists on here! All of them unemployable. I work with foreigners who are more articulate than this lot.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1146.

    Does anyone else see a link between decimalization and mass immigration?

    There was none of this in the 1960s.

    That said my Dad said there were a lot of Polish immigrants in 1940, and French.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1145.

    The system is Broken.
    The country has huge debts, we have millions claiming benefits that they should not be entitled too our health service is ready to collapse our state pensions are further eroded our energy prices are unafordable, our transport system is in chaos our road structure is crumbling we have inner city rioting we have alcohol & drug related crimes. Fix first then be charitable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1144.

    The selfishness, bigotry and greed of the HYS crowd will never cease to amaze me.
    This is NOT YOUR Country. People want to keep others born elsewhere out because they feel they are more important than others. People will stop coming when they have a better life elsewhere, let's not stop people from bettering themselves because of where they are born eh!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1143.

    1095. Average-UK-Male
    I totally agree to some of your points. Immigrants have to integrate with the local society, their culture, values. I simply cant expect to go and settle somewhere and expect people to move my way. No, I have to integrate with the local culture, language etc.
    @ NHS. I might slightly disagree. I've to suffer equally long waiting list for NHS, having paid my too much taxes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1142.

    FACT- Immigration is nothing new.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1141.

    These stats certainly scare me. This country is one of the most race and religious tolerent of any country in this world. A massive increase in non British people entering this country threatens this tolerence.
    I am aware of a white British girl separated from her white Australian boyfriend because of the migration rules between our countries. How are they forced apart but others allowed here?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1140.


    It's past time the doors were shut.

    Would you lock us in as well as locking others out?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1139.

    Why so many people prefacing their comments with "I'm not racist". If you really aren't then you shouldn't need to state it, just let your comment speak for itself.

  • Comment number 1138.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1137.

    "Brit traders wanted to buy Tea in exchange for Opium and when Chinese refused to take Opium in return, took help of British Army and attacked them. How fair is that?"

    About as fair as the Chinese invading and occupying Tibet and oppressing the Tibetan people.
    Swings & Roundabouts...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1136.

    I see that we have usual left wing CRANK "immigration is good for the country" nonesense dominating the Editors Picks. 90% of comments (including this one) will be removed because thay say what people in the UK really think.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1135.

    The logic of 'tolerance' is putting up with things you don't like and that clearly has limits. Where are the much touted Huguenots? They've integrated and become like 'us'. Indeed in some ways helped make us, but that was because they didn't remain an isolated community for ever. So the problem is not that immigrants are here, but what they do once they've arrived and what they tell their kids.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1134.


    Another 'quango from hell' - giving advice on NI no's to those who are not supposed to be stealing our jobs, NHS, education etc

    British Council needs shutting down as will save UK £ billions pa

  • rate this

    Comment number 1133.

    1068. realisticlogic
    so whats your point.
    How did you know they were not immigrants?


    Because I spoke with them... the same way you can tell someone is an immigrant...it fell on deaf ears though, they were quite enjoying ripping holes in my elderly neighbour's hedge as well...

    The point is its easy to blame immigration but every section of society has its dross which needs dealing with...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1132.

    This is very good news! It makes the UK a more interesting country to live in.

    I welcome the diversity that other folk bring to the UK, and feel a deal safer on the streets.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1131.

    What I cannot grasp from many of these comments is the amount of 'I'm white' comments like its a source of pride? Well, I'm white, and NOTHING could mean LESS to me! I've also got brown hair and green eyes and that matters just about as much, its just pigment you fools. What really matters is our limited space and resources vs. poorly managed immigration (of ppl all creeds). What is the solution?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1130.

    #1084 Cheekychappy
    When you emigrate to Canada, I hope you will include the native Canadians in your efforts to integrate with all the other cultures present there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1129.

    1035.The Ship that died of shame
    It didn't take long I knew some left wing neo Labour apologist would claim
    I am a right wing neo Tory apologist I'll have you know. I think YOU are Raj btw.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1128.

    End the Welfare state, take away Child benefit and make people pay for their own children and own well being and watch the numbers leaving the UK increase. It is insanity that we let millions in unchecked and un-costed.


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