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 1627.

    I wonder how Israel would react, if 7.5 million Christians moved in ?

  • Comment number 1626.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1625.

    Interesting that most of the economic & social problems that Labour raises, as the official opposition, are issues that were either caused by or seriously aggravated in some way by Labour's deliberate policy of mass UK immigration.

    eg inequality, housing, unemployment, lack of growth, debt and deficit etc etc - all made worse by Labour's EU policies of open flood-gates excessive UK immigration

  • rate this

    Comment number 1624.

    A surprisingly biased headline from the BBC. How about: "Percentage of Foreign Born Nationals approaches levels of Major Successful countries such as USA, Canada and Australia."

    Also anyone saying "there aren't enough houses" needs to do some research rather than believing the guff that the government sells them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1623.

    I don't take issue with migrants looking to come to the UK for a better life. If my family lived in poor conditions and poverty, i'd do the same. We all would.

    However, we seem to be the only nation in Europe with an open door policy and can't keep taking the strain. Spain, France, Germany, Italy etc are going to have to help out rather than constantly pushing migrants towards Calais.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1622.

    We are a nation of multi-nationals, going back thousands of years. Trouble is, our country could sustain itself throughout. Even up until recent times. Now, we cannot. I have no problem with the people coming here, However, we cannot sustain and support them. In this day and age i think we are starting to understand that we live in a finite resource country and world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1621.

    One race, one planet? One pocket, one wallet.....many many hands helping themselves? Whilst it is important NOT to let racism be the guiding principle, we should be careful that in our haste to help, we don't abuse the people already here. Allowing non-qualified in to do low paid jobs at the expense of unemployed here is costing the country dear.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1620.

    1592. ronnieboy1
    #1567 did he really...where exactly did he fight for me?

    Iraq, Syria, Italy, East Africa, North Africa, Hong Kong, Burma to name but a few... in battles against forces from many Axis powers, namely Italy Germany and Japan...

    It was a World War after all...

  • rate this

    Comment number 1619.

    We even have government-funded race discrimination within our own"indigenous" community: The English pay for their prescriptions but the Welsh and Scottish don't. How can that be fair, or even legal?
    Also, it appears "White English" doesn't exist on government forms, so if the prescription thing bothers you the only option is to be "White Other", with "Other" meaning "Disenfranchised".

  • rate this

    Comment number 1618.

    Multiculturalism does NOT work....is goes against human nature 110%.

    Multiculturalism's first mistake....religion.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1617.

    It is the numbers not who they are which is concerning. The less than 10 years figure is misleading. It would include large numbers who have no intention to stay for ever eg americans, french, australians, new zealanders, many students from Asia the list is large

  • rate this

    Comment number 1616.

    "1568. David H
    No they don’t "just want to have a say"
    They just want spout off with banal xenonophobic drivel," ...or "left wing ranting"

    And in a democracy we can't possibly let the majority have their say.

    If you don't like the view of the majority try persuasion rather than insult or go to another place where the majority hold your view.. it's called Political Asylum

  • rate this

    Comment number 1615.

    A nation is simply a group of people choosing to limit the size of their community in order to better manage that community. In essence, nationalism is an even more ridiculous concept than racism. Equally, national pride is as ridiculous as white or black pride.

    We're all one, this is a non-story.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1614.

    Those who think the actions of our ancestors give everyone carte blanche to take advantage of us, do you think German people should be supplicating themselves to the rest of Europe ad infinitum?
    Didn't think so!
    You're probably thinking that today's generation of Germans can't be held responsible for the actions of previous generations.
    So please extend the same courtesy to your own country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1613.

    RayTay 14 Minutes ago
    "The good news is that belief in invisible men (or women) is declining ever faster."

    That'll be because there's no room left for them in this now over populated country!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1612.

    If comments on here reflect public opinion, I doubt Mo Farrah has much chance of winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1611.

    Great to see the number of iron-age middle-east myth worshippers down.

    If they have asked the question in a neutral way.
    Like do you belong to a particular religion you would have got an even more no-believing result.

    Now we need to ask why Mr Gove why he is doing his best to spread faith schools - why do kids need to be brainwashed with threats of hellfire and stories of talking snakes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1610.

    What we have now is some hideous type of spanish inquistion in the UK - esp. on BBC - where anyone who tries to speak the truth is shouted down. Witness historian David Starkey after the London Riots

  • rate this

    Comment number 1609.

    Apparently Abu Quatarda's brother ......Abu Cadabra.......has just disappeared!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1608.

    Again i'll say i believe those Christian statistics are incorrect - People still haven't learned that they're not born Christian, they're still ticking the Christian box because they're British, its a heavily skewed number.
    If churches did their own census i doubt over 33 million people attend services or do anything enough to call themselves christian


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