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 1527.

    The vast majority of Poles I speak to think the immigration system here is ridiculous and would oppose it loudly in their home country.

    Then they should find lots of friends amongst the people posting here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1526.

    "206.Tomas Stanger
    4 Hours ago
    I really wish there wasn't so much emphasis on reporting of the rise of foreign born people living in this country"

    Sorry, does talking about real life scare you? Doesn't it fit with you one-eyed view of the world. Apologies pal, the sooner we have honest discussions about major issues such as population growth and composition, the better.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1525.

    Hmm - rise in nationalism via SNP - and ...
    - wonder if there is a connection BBC? stick that in your left wing pipe and smoke it

  • rate this

    Comment number 1524.

    Anyone care to wager that this HYS will be closed for further comments by 6pm when people start arriving home from work?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1523.

    BBC, Why do you feature these articles which only serve to fuel paranoia and xenophobia. The lowest rated comment to me seems like the voice of reason and intelligence and the highest rated spits 'send them all back'

  • rate this

    Comment number 1522.

    Apparenly we are all immigrants yes? True but do you think the Brythonic people, the picts, etc would do things differently if they knew how each successive wave wiped out the other? If you are a liberal and can't see that this is a problem you need testing, if you recognise its a problem then what is your solution? If you don't have one then you give the groudn to the right wing facsist BNP.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1521.

    Only 45% of Londoners are white British.

    Does anyone reckon that immigrants care?

    Our people were driven out.

    Whites are gradually being replaced all over the UK and Europe

    Every Prime Minister since WW2 played their part in changing the face of this country

    We never needed immigration. Labour shortages were always the lie they used. People always believed it and voted for it sadly.

  • Comment number 1520.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1519.

    Can the Editor please let us all know what is the record number of postings on the BBC website and how much longer postings will be allowed (many people are still at work and will not have had an opportunity to share their views). This is nearest many of us get to airing our views; our leaders are indifferent to all but PC utterings.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1518.

    @The Bloke.
    here's no such thing as "white blood", in fact many North Indians share a closer genetic relationships with Europeans than they do with people from the south of India,//

    very revealing that you choose to show your racism and don't address the argument. Imposing 'us' on Pakistan would be seen as racist.
    How come the only ethnicity that has to prove its existence in us?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1517.

    Still lots of talk about racism and anti-racism, but this is not the issue.
    The influx of immigrants has brought the country to its knees, race,colour and religion have nothing to do with it.
    Turn the tv or pc off and get up and do something, if not go back and watch eastenders.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1516.

    1193.Rebecca Riot
    1 Hour ago
    Average UK Male

    Why do you need people to move your way? And why do you want people to integrate with local community? What local community did you have in mind?

    How about the United Kingdom ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1515.

    The thing with "racism" is that it's (in most cases) not someone merely looking at a person from a different country and disliking them on a personal level just for that, it's what they represent. The fact is that if no-one mentions the negatives it doesn't mean they don't exist.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1514.

    2 Minutes ago
    It is that immigrants work for less an allow employers to push down the livign wage beneath what would have been acceptable 30-40 years ago.
    or immigrants are smarter than some,
    realise the economy is in a mess,
    and live within there means.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1513.

    To all those who oppose immigration into this country for whatever reasons you do, why don't you round up your local Johnny Foreigners take them down to the local docks, place them on the boat and ship them out yourselves. Oh wait that would be inhuman right, because Mr so and so at number 24 he's alright it's the others that are the problem. Bigots the lot of you! Shame.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1512.

    These figures show that we need to be able to control our borders both from Europe and elsewhere. The only way to do this is to leave the EU and put in place rigorous immigration checks, and throw out those illegally in this Country, rather than pamper them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1511.

    What a joke our democracy is. Look at the highest rated comments. Even a gargantuan fool can see the country wants to have a say on this without being painted as being evil, and yet the people are ignored.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1510.

    3 Minutes ago
    How can so many Indian/Pakistanis come here when they are not in the EU?
    There are whole towns! in Pakistan that are entitled to come here because they are members of families already here - go figure...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1509.

    I've been trying to continue my life here as I was born here but as an employed person who has savings, I can't get anywhere. I get no handouts, no tax breaks, no free house, nothing.
    So next year I'm taking all my savings and going to a country that offers housing at a realistic value and cares for its citizens. I hate what this country has become and genuinely look forward to its downfall.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1508.

    In 2010 David Cameron promised he would reduce non-EU immigration to the 10,000's. He said he would achieve this using a points system, that only allowed people into the country to cover "skill shortages".
    Earlier this year he employed an Australian immigrant, Sammi Strange, as a nanny to his children.
    Hardly leading by example, is he?


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