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
    -3

    Comment number 1391.

    As usual headlines only tell you half the story. My two grandsons were born in Europe because their parents were working abroad but now live here, so would count in the census. How many UK born people now live in Spain, France, Australia etc. No-one knows because the Government neither counts people in or out if the are EU subjects, unlike Sweden where everyone has to register.

  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 128.

    Whether you like it or not matters little. Diversity of population be it race, religion, lifestyle or culture is is a reality and ever more so. No going back. So broaden your horizons, educate yourself on other cultures, be tolerant. Expect the same of others. This is the best way to deal with it, or be prepared to live a frustrated, angry and belligerent life.

  • rate this
    -88

    Comment number 125.

    We should be proud how we've been able to absorb so many people and that people still want to come to the UK. The last decade saw a sharp increase in immigration, probably because communication and travel became cheaper and accessible.

    Don't expect this to continue as technology and money is reaching growing economies, and in 10 years' time we might even see a migration the other way.

  • rate this
    -137

    Comment number 66.

    Almost all of us are immigrants at some stage of our ancestry. Overwhelmingly, immigration is a net good for a country. Although the south-east of England is pretty densely populated, there are huge areas of the United Kingdom which are not as densely populated and where, in some cases, the population is falling. We need enlightened regional policies which encourage people to move to those areas.

  • rate this
    -72

    Comment number 29.

    Some quite startling statistics in this, with massive implications for the economy, housing, and health and social care sectors. Don't get me wrong, there are positives in this as well as the obvious negatives that will surely follow from the anti-foreigner brigade. On the whole, I welcome migration, as long as it is within the rules. It brings diversity, culture and a vibrancy to the country.

 

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