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 1567.

    @1558 Yeah, Mr Singh also fought for you too. Don't forget it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1566.

    Alf Garnet is alive and well and living in middle England.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1565.

    EPL/BNP have been warning us about unfettered immigration for years.....the majority of posts here are echoing the same beliefs. So why do we vote (still) for the appeaser genre that we so love as our politicians....

  • rate this

    Comment number 1564.

    Remember Gordon brown calling that woman a bigot? To him and the others in liberal middle class la la land anyone who doesn’t agree with uncontrolled immigration is a bigot. The people in power aren’t the people competing for low paid jobs or at the sharp end in the inner cities and their kids aren’t in a class in which 80% can’t speak English..

  • Comment number 1563.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1562.

    At the very least, the government could stop stuffing all incomers into the major cities, especially in the crappy parts. Distribute the foreigners around the country, get in all those hard to reach places then people might realise the effect its having on what used to be our communities.
    and the MPs and all those holier-than-thou Graun readers actually see what its like

  • Comment number 1561.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1560.


    "If the Scottish Separatists succeed in breaking up Britain, England will have an influx of newly-created 'foreigners' from north of the border."

    Didn't think it would be long before we had a comment like this. Can't really speak for Scotland, but in my part of Wales there is a huge influx of English people - overwhelming the "native"population. Many are retired.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1559.

    What our governments have sown, we shall have to reap. A sad and sorry mess they have made for us, damn them all to hell!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1558.

    forget all this people who are concerned about immigration join UKIP the tories libs and labour are all the same...useless...they are chucking this great country to the dogs.....our parents and grandparents fought for nothing. democracy in the uk is a sham.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1557.

    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,
    Oh, I was convinced it was the banking crisis. Although the huge bill our friends the yanks presented us after WW2 as well as that time they stabbed us in the back over Suez was what really started the ball rolling.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1556.

    Why is it that as soon as you say anything about another race,culture or society your a racist ? This country does not have the money and will not for a few years to come to support continued immigration, if the EU wants us to keep the gates open for immigrants then how's about giving us our money back so we can pay for it, after all the EU ruled we have to give them welfare whoever they are.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1555.

    The only people who benefit from multiculturalism are the ones coming over here. Something needs to be done to tighten up our borders and fast!

    The strain on our security services are continuing to rise as 'British' muslims continue to plan terrorist attacks on our soil and in the not so distant future 'spot the white man' will become ever more common. If your not scared you should be.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1554.

    well tried to post four comments ref this subject because i did not agree with the do gooders they where all banned so might as well say let everyone in ill carry on paying more taxes ill just become the minority in my own country and keep quite

  • rate this

    Comment number 1553.

    There are always those who won't know what they had until its gone. The do-gooder PC bunch and Politicians are in for a wake-up call.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1552.

    We cannot sustain this constant influx of foreigners coming here,its not racism,its fact.Our NHS is a breaking point,there is a shortage of housing,,schools are overcrowded.Perhaps if we made it so that migrants need to have lived here for a set length of time before being able to access our welfare system.Would there be this many coming here if our benefit system wasn't as generous.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1551.

    That is completely absurd. Why should anyone today suffer from mistakes and atrocities other people have commited in the past who are long dead? How can you logically make this connection in collective punishment? Migration should be beneficial to the people inside this country, not displace it with overcrowdedness.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1550.

    The only race that counts is the human race.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1549.

    To all the leftie nutters here.
    Look at the positive and negative figures at the side of comments and just admit that you've lost the argument. The vast majority here are fed up to the gills of your leftie vision of a multi culti Britain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1548.

    1440.essex man
    "... I am a white British Londoner, I don't feel like an ethnic minority at all,I am part of a deliciously spicy multiflavoured multicultural melting pot..."
    ...If you intend to live and work in London, you haven't really got much choice but to look on the bright side of life..have you? Of course thousands of other Londoners are voting with their feet and getting out if they can.


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