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 1547.

    Plenty of HYS here all agreeing with the dreadful immigration policies that had been set by the former Government. Incredible that the Socialists (minority) on here cannot see a problem.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1546.

    That this is a political war is betrayed by the fact that the white working class are stated as lazy and unproductive. The same white working class that gave birth to the Industrial Revolution, founded two continents and fought in thier thousands to stop the Nazi movemnet from Berlin. After closing the coal pits, and factories to make a fast buck, expect no loyalty for the betrayal we received.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1545.

    It was Labour's daft Policies that flooded our shores with migrants. Little did they predict that now our kids can't find work. Thanks a lot Tony and Gordon.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1544.

    Well, It looks like I was right, my comment has been on here for barely a few mins and it has already received 3 minus ratings. Its so obvious that the spammers are just waiting to pounce on any opinion that are contrary to their's or exposes them. Not to mention how they moan about how the editors picks are not the "majority view" on the thread.

  • Comment number 1543.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1542.

    This is my last word on the matter. The left seem to think that the reason we need migrants is because they will fund the future pensions of this country. That's just a colossal admission of failure! In no way can it be used to justify the undermining and erosion of the indigenous cultures and traditions of this land. If we only need migrants to pay for our future, then we really have screwed up!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1541.

    @1521.JohnS 'Our people were driven out. Whites are gradually being replaced all over the UK and Europe'
    The fact is that we went to their countries and raped them for wahat we wanted, and then named them part of our empire (same for most of Europe)?
    So it is fine for us to take what we want but when those want something back we hypocritically shout they are ruining our country?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1540.

    I'm only in my 30s and i've seen Newham and other parts of London change far too quickly and not for the better as Labour would have had us believe.
    The east end has lost its 'charm' and you might as well be in a bazaar in an african country, india or pakistan, local identity has disappeared along with the links to our historic past.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1539.

    Immigration caused this crisis as much as immigration caused the Great Depression in the 1920s - it didn't. It is international & follows the banking meltdown.

    Low pay/unemployment/declining welfare/poorer services/housing crisis/a political crony elite etc reflect a system that isn't on our side - immigrants are an easy scapegoat, but they didn't cause this.

    Immigrants are part of us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1538.

    The good news is that belief in invisible men (or women) is declining ever faster.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1537.

    1493.jake_wallflower - 'pretty evident that there are extreme right wing spammers flooding it'

    No doubt there are, its usual practice. However many of the 'Guardian Liberals,' will be of the same ilk. LOL, or maybe they are all still on the Gay marriage HYS

  • rate this

    Comment number 1536.

    Immigrants, gays in church, the EU, web-snooping. I can't keep up. Nothing for months and then everything I hate all at once.

    I'm having a coronary here. I've never been so furious.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1535.

    From looking at that chart it would appear that the Irish are being eaten by the other immigrants. And they've got all those empty new housing estates over there too. Spooky.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1534.

    @ 1460 (The Takeley Socialist) Of course, the Tory party are dying!! But UKIP are growing and growing!!
    Uh hohohooo Ahahahahaar Hawrrr hawrr hawrrr,,...

  • Comment number 1533.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1532.

    I'd gladly swap my current next door neighbour (white British) for a hard working immigrant family any day of the week. There are massive issues with immigration in this country, that is true. Unfortunately this is something that the major parties refuse to openly debate, leaving it to right wing extemists to grab and make the headlines.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1531.

    @1513 MrMouth
    Not everyone on here questionning the immigration levels is a bigot. There are plenty of examples of people in this country flouting (or influencing civil servants) the rules to get immigrants in despite them not meeting the criteria. There are solicitors in the NE of England making a nice living out of falsifying documents and even when reported to UKBA nothing happens.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1530.

    @1463.Morphius Bane
    No wonder Scotland want out of this. They don't want to see their land paved over to accomodate unsustainable population increase, and I don't blame them.

    The Scottish government wants to increase immigration & the population of Scotland, a policy more or less supported by the opposition parties

  • rate this

    Comment number 1529.

    The comments with an anti-immigration stance seems to be receiving more accolades here. What is important to look at is not the population increase but the increase in the GDP per person. This has been increasing in the UK. Also net migration is important. British public needs more education on how global economy works.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1528.

    Immigration is fantastic if immigrants are of a high enough calibre. Are they though?


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