Census 2011: sharp rise in number of foreign-born residents

Steven Swinford – Telegraph.co.uk Dec 11, 2012

The number of people who were born outside the UK has risen by more than 50% to 7.5m since 2001, equivalent to more than one in 10 people.

Nearly 3m people in England and Wales live in households where no adults speak English as their main language, the data from the 2011 census has shows.

London had both the largest proportion of usual residents born outside the UK (37%) and non-UK nationals (24%.)

More than four in 10 people in Kensington and Chelsea, the highest proportion in the country, do not hold UK passports.

The census was sent to 26 million households in England and Wales in March last year.

The figures demonstrate the impact of immigration, particularly from Poland. In 2001, Poland did not even feature in the top 10 countries of people born outside the UK. 

In the 2011 census, it was second with more than 500,000 people from Poland now living in England and Wales. The highest was India, followed by Pakistan, Ireland and Germany.

England and Wales have also become more diverse. In 2001, 87% of the population were white British, compared to 80% today.

The number of people of mixed ethnicity has risen to more than 1m for the first time, while the number of Asian people has risen from 2.5m to 4.2m.

The proportion of people born abroad varies significantly across the country. In London, one in three people was born outside the UK was one in three, compared to one in 20 in the Northeast. 

Some two million respondents listed their partners or fellow household members as being of different ethnic groups – 47% more than in 2001.

Guy Goodwin, from the Office of National Statistics, said the message coming through from the census was “considerable change, but increasing diversity”.

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