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 1427.

    sadly it's just the muslims who do not integrate, the sikh's, hindu's, poles, west indians all integrate, Islam is about assimilation

  • rate this

    Comment number 1426.

    "unemployment is 7.5%"

    That's not what the government tells us! Proof they have been lying all along, but of course, we already knew that!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1425.

    Why didn't we listen? Why didn't we stop this?

    Errr - let me see. Could it be because the majority of us voted for Tony Blair - TWICE !!!
    If you are a Labour voter and are on here moaning - you made a rod for your own back...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1424.

    I live in one of the most culturally diverse London boroughs (ie indigenous a dwindling minority). I recently entertained a couple from Netherlands. Not only did they speak better English than many of the majority 'natives' but were aghast to learn that many are second and even third generation. They speak such poor English presumably because the language of the home is other. Multiculturalism!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1423.

    I get on easier with Anglo-saxons and Europeans than other groups because we share more things in common. I've travelled alot and I respect other cultures in their own lands so why is it such a big think to expect people to respect their own culture and not let in these bad elements. We should be like South Korea or Japan they don't have this problem.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1422.

    Politicians..........particularly Labour are quiet about this story...........

  • rate this

    Comment number 1421.

    There are some in the foreign born category we should definitely get rid of - Boris Johnson (USA), Cliff Richard (India), Emma Watson (France) [Hermione in Harry Potter films]
    but definitely keep Joanna Lumley (India), Mo Farah (Somalia), Bradley Wiggins (Belgium), Beth Tweddle (South Africa)

  • rate this

    Comment number 1420.

    It's only the big cities that have a diverse population large parts of England are still monoculturally English like where I live in Lincolnshire large parts of Devon, Cumbria, Northumbria etc I assume are the same. When I went down to London for the Olympics London did feel like another world not saying that a good or a bad thing just an observation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1419.

    1393. Worldweary1
    This goes a long way to explain why the Social Security budget is out of control. UK-born residents pay into National Insurance as soon as they start work. Some like me pay in for over 40 years and expect to receive the benefits they have paid for.


    That assumes these UK-born start work at all...

    Many are wise to the fact that benefits pay better than a min-wage job...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1418.

    Haha, gotta love the 'they're stealing our jobs' arguement..

  • rate this

    Comment number 1417.

    1379. gazzalw
    Yes, but as usual, Spaniards blame the Rumanian immigrants and not the Brits, Germans and Dutch who enjoy those benefits as well.
    Any difference from the anti-immigrant commentaries in this HYS, or in Holland, or in Germany, or in France or Switzerland?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1416.

    I have no problem with immigration in the main, what I have a problem with is people arriving in the UK, closely followed by their families, who then immediatley become dependant upon the state to provide housing, health care, benefits without having contributed. The state cannot afford to continue in this manner and ti si this that requires addressing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1415.

    I work with lot of hotels in London, and 95% of work force is from abroad. why are Brits not taking up jobs instead of complaining!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1414.

    The result of Labours social experiment. They have effectively destroyed any chance of a prosperous future by importing voters. Thanks a bunch!!!

    Anyone who votes for Labour now are complicit in this nightmare.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1413.

    Doctor is becoming (if not already become) an 'asian' job - increasingly, non asians dont think about taking the profession because its seen as such
    Thanks, I nearly spat my tea at my PC lol. If you genuinely believe that then you are today's winner for the most idiotic post award. Well done!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1412.

    The most strident opinions for and against large scale immigration, are always expressed in similar vocabulary and repetition of slogan phrases.It seems a lot of indoctrination has been going on. The point is Tony Blair encouraged immigration to further his international career and we all have to learn to live with it. If we don't/can't truly celebrate diversity, we 'll just have to pretend we do.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1411.

    Tell the people of, say, Pakistan, that what they need is a good injection of white blood to enrich their culture and get their economy working, and that we'll just drink alcohol where we jolly well like.

    If they say it's against their culture, well, their religion is an import, they are a mixed population, so they should just get used to it.

    I'd consider that offensive and racist.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1410.

    We used to be the UK (United Kingdom)
    We should rename it to UTBUBNDSS
    (Used To Be United But Now Disparate Segregated and Stuffed)
    The last four decades of Government have been gutless, greedy, short sighted and indifferent to the will of the majority.
    They’ve looted Britain with gluttonous short term ‘get rich quick’ policies.
    It beggars belief that they are so out of touch.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1409.

    The figures go some way to helping me understand why shopping in my local supermarket is like taking a trip to Babel.

    The multicultural experiment has failed. Integrate or leave.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1408.

    Well I'm British and living in Spain, so -1 for me on the census.

    I'd like to point out that there are many British people working and living abroad; expanding their horizons; learning about other cultures and vitally gaining international work experience, so why should we begrudge other nations wanting to do the same in the UK.


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