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 1647.

    2 Minutes ago

    Hang on, you can't say ethnic violence in India was our fault. Muslims and Hindu's actually were the ones who couldn't get on and fought. This is the rankest form of white guilt.

    I do not contest that indian soldiers fought for us though, that point I like. Many were fine and brave citizens of the empire. I hope they would help us out in a pinch now too, but..?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1646.

    Take a look around your house & ask yourself how many items & white goods are manufactured in the UK as against the same 20, 30, 40 years ago etc. Include your clothes too, and don't forget your car(s). There's your answer for high unemployment, not immigration.

  • Comment number 1645.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 1644.


    Thats why many people think that La La Labour are corrupt.
    Their lies and misinformation have taken this country close to bankruptcy all to keep them in power for their vain failed politics of the last century.
    The result we see in our everyday lives and they are shameless in their trying to blame others for trying to sort that huge mess they left.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1643.

    "To me, there's a distinct split in comments.
    1) Those who say that the UK is full...
    2) Those that stereotype all immigrants as scrounging..."

    You simplify the debate to suit your own one-eyed view of the world, if you care to read the comments there are many more views - it's just the majority don't fit the BBC/EU/New Labour prescribed view on how things should be!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1642.

    We also find out today that the Welsh language is on the decline again.

    Call me a nationalist; but to appreciate other cultures and nations, you must also take interest in your own and protect it. Before long, if not already, the UK will be just one big melting pot without its own culture or identity.

    We travel to experience different cultures and languages. Why are we losing our own here?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1641.

    Not sure what wants to make me leave the country more.
    Governmental ineptitude at maintaining a sensible immigration policy or the blatant closet racism on show in the comments.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1640.

    Great, bigger gene pool to choose from, evolve into, fantastic stuff for the world community.
    Now lets take down all borders and all have a big world party!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1639.

    We would NOT have these problems if we had a properly run planned economy NOT run by Bankers and Free market ideolgoues. We would have enough houses and though not enough jobs we would have hundreds of thousands more than we do.

    We pay the penatly for the criminals of dergulated free market economics on the Right and the criminals of mass immigration on the left.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1638.


    "eg inequality, housing, unemployment, lack of growth, debt and deficit etc etc -"

    A perfect picture of Thatchers Britain in the 1980's. When homelessness rocketed and became the social norm and there were 3 million+ unemployed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1637.

    So, with these statistics, anyone voting Labour again???

    Most of their vote comes via the postal vote, which they seem to have a stranglehold on. Needs to be investigated.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1636.

    Agree with timetoponder 1391
    I was born here but chose to have an Irish passport and claim my Irish Heritage. I did this as I agree with Winston Churchill when he spoke about Palestine "Just because a dog is born in a stable doesn't make it a horse."

  • rate this

    Comment number 1635.

    Basically, you're forgetting to take into account the fact that the overall population has risen by about 4 million since 2002.
    87.5% of 52 million (2002 population) is about 45.5 million. 80.5% of 56.1 million (2012 population) is about 45.1 million. Therefore there has been a drop in the White British population of 0.4 million (400,000).

  • rate this

    Comment number 1634.

    #1620 thanks youve answered my point...where was mr singh in 1940 britain....nowhere to be seen...like everybody else ....britain alone to fight tyranny.......

  • rate this

    Comment number 1633.

    @1623 - I think you'll find Germany in particular has more than its fair share of immigrants and has had for decades. A couple of years ago, no player in the German under-21 football team was born to parents who were both German by birth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1632.

    #1591: "we need to drastically roll back the free market ideologues ruining the Nation and draining its coffers"

    LOL ... these must be history's least effective ideologues since a "free market" hasn't existed for many, many decades. The concept of a genuinely free market is anathema not only to the tax-addicted bureaucrats in government but also to the bean counters running major businesses.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1631.

    1589, How original another Daily Mail comment. Is that the best you can do?


    What can I say?

    I can't resist an easy target.

    If an organsition goes out of its way , as the Daily Mail does, to profit from stoking peoples impotent rage about race, sexualtity, religion and general resentment at any kind of change then that organisation is setting itself up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1630.

    Thought this was the Daily Mail for a second!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1629.

    So, with these statistics, anyone voting Labour again???
    Thanks Tony, Gordon et al for ruining my beloved country.
    Up the Arsenal, as that's all I've got to look forward to now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1628.

    It is time to encourage recent(last 50 years) immigrants to go back where they came from and take their relatives/offspring with them.There are 2 countries I know of, with the space to accommodate more people-Canada and Australia.
    Do politicians drive on our roads or use the train?There are too many people living here, particularly in the SE of England.


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