1 in 6 in England, Wales born abroad, census shows

1 in 6 in England, Wales born abroad, census shows

Total number now makes up 16.8% of population, up from 7.5M in 2011 to 10M in 2021

By Karim El-Bar

LONDON (AA) – The latest census has revealed that one in six people living in England and Wales in 2021 were born outside the UK, Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Wednesday.

This is 16.8% of the population, a 2.5 million increase from 2011 to 2021, bringing the total number from 7.5 million to 10 million.

The number of people resident in England and Wales increased by more than 3.5 million, or 6.5%, between 2011 and 2021, raising the number to 59.6 million.

The top three most common countries of birth outside Britain in 2021 were India with 1.5% of all residents, Poland with 1.2%, and Pakistan with 1%.

These were followed in order by Romania, Ireland, Italy, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Germany, and South Africa.

The number of people born in Romania recorded in the census increased by 576% between 2011 and 2021, from 80,000 to 539,000.

This was the largest increase of any country. The ONS put this down to working restrictions on Romanians being lifted in 2014.

The US and Jamaica dropped out of the top ten countries of birth outside Britain in 2021.

People born in the EU made up 36.4% of all those born outside Britain, with the figure standing at 3.6 million, increasing from 2.5 million.

The data showed 5.9 million people, 9.9%, resident in the UK held a non-British passport. The most common, in order, were Polish, Romanian and Indian.

Jon Wroth-Smith, the deputy director of the census, said: “The census paints a picture of how the make-up of the population has changed in the past decade. That decade, of course, saw us leave the EU as well as live with the pandemic.”

He added that migration in the year prior to the census was lower in 2021 than it was in 2011.

“This is likely, in large part, due to the various travel restrictions in place during the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

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