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 1447.

    1390. Gammarus
    "Looks like the lefties have woken up now. Wonder where they were this morning? They'd better not have been lying in bed scrounging off me."

    Using your logic, you weren't working this morning, seeing as you had the time to conduct your own research into the political leanings of hys posters. Right wingers, empty heads the lot of em

  • rate this

    Comment number 1446.

    The growing population of Britain is not the worrying thing. The MOST worrying thing British people should be concern about is this: "Asia 'to eclipse' US and Europe by 2030 - US report "
    The right wing people should go read that part of the BBC article. The immigrants start already leaving. Very soon the right wing white will start starving on the island.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1445.

    1395 Fu2
    This country wants professional qualifed and hard working immigrants, its the others we dont want, and they are the majority, the ones that have no intention of learning english or trying to get a job. They just want a better standard of living than in there country, but without having to go out and work for it, and expect british tax payers to pay for it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1444.

    The question is, will we care when "indigenous" british people become the minority in the UK? I am not saying whether it is good or bad that is up to you to decide. But it definintely will happen and everyone is 100% sure of that. Whether it takes 20 or 50 years it will happen. Do people like the sound of that or not? I am merely curious.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1443.

    Whether you believe in mass immigration or not what I hope most can agree that trying to drown out debate over this issue with accusations of racism is doing no one any good. We live in a democracy and I think it's fair people have a say for once on whether they want mass immigration without being shouted down.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1442.

    Somehow take away English doesn't sound quite as exotically delicious as Indian or Chinese, so we have something to be grateful for!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1441.

    I wonder what Alf Garnett or Bernard Manning would have to say on such a subject! =)

    Freedom of humour is very important.....

    The "I am offended" brigade have made their comments and I accept their opinion. I am offended that they don't agree with me but that's life.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1440.

    Interestingly white British in London are now an ethnic minority. Do we qualify for a grant now?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1439.

    There aint half some old fashioned bigoted racists on this forum.

  • Comment number 1438.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1437.

    Wow, look at all the negative votes for pro-immigration comments. What the hell does that tell you? It tells me that, contrary to the Guardian et al, the people of this nation are increasingly moving to the right, especially on immigration. And about time too. Why doesn't the BBC mention what proportions are from *outside* the EU? That's the main concern of most people, not EU migration.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1436.

    No surprises there then.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1435.

    You must not live in London then and clearly you havent seen the ethnic balance of medical degree courses. I'll save you the trouble and tell you they dont match the demography of the UK

  • rate this

    Comment number 1434.

    here's a fact, i have a smart, happy, educated 18 daughter, over qualified for every job she has applied for (at least 120) she is becoming disillusioned, even traditional school leaver jobs are just not there anymore, shops, cafes, would rather employ a 30 year old, experienced, hard working E.U. person for the same money they could get an 18 year old school leaver for, poor message to youth.

  • Comment number 1433.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1432.

    Im commenting on that part of the report that shows a dramatic fall in those calling them christain. When we have imoral PMs as we do today and in the past who willfully and maliciously give to the Rich and take from the poor and who claim to be 'christain' its small wonder that more and more of us are now non christain.

    Britian is a Christain country in name only certainly NOT in deed.

  • Comment number 1431.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1430.

    This whole Marxist liberal drivel 'we're all immigrants' is a plain out lie spoken by the brainwashed. 80% of white Brits would be able to trace their ancestry back to the very FIRST people on these islands if possible, and the later invasions of Celts, Romans, vikings etc were in relatively small numbers and of European descent like us. They didn't hugely impact the genetic DNA of the population.

  • Comment number 1429.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1428.

    How is this story worthy of the main page let alone main headline? American illegally tested nuclear weapons on Saturday, a video of UK sponsored Syrian "rebels" forced a young boy to behead goverment supporters was released yesterday. Why are these stories igonored by the BBC? How about the BBC report something IMPORTANT?


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