24 August, 2021
1. The foreign-born population of the UK was estimated to be 9.2 million in 2019/20 - 90% of whom were residing in England. Three to four million (38%) were born in the European Union (EU) and 5.7 million (just under two in three) had been born outside the EU. More common reasons for those from the EU to come were work-related. For those settling from outside the EU, joining or accompanying relatives and study have been more common reasons of entry.
2. This paper finds that:
3. In 2019/20 the foreign-born population of the UK was 9.2 million - 90% whom were residing in England. Just under half (4.3 million) were from Africa and Asia, while just over a third (three to four million) were from the EU. Figure 1: Non-UK born population by place of birth (ONS / APS).
4. Figure 2 below shows that, of the EU born, about half are from Western Europe (the EU14 countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal) or from Greece, with the remainder from Eastern European countries such as Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovenia and Latvia.
5. Of the non-EU born population, about 3/4 (4.3 million) are from Asia and Africa, while 1.4 million or so are from the Americas, Europe and Oceania (of whom just under 500,000 were from Central and South America). 1.8 million are from South Asia and 1.3 million are from sub-Saharan Africa.
Figure 2: Breakdown of EU-born population, 2019/20 (ONS, APS).
Figure 3: Breakdown of non-EU born population, 2019/20 (ONS, APS).
6. Official estimates are that the total non-UK born rise was 4.5 million since 2001/2. The EU born and non-EU born populations have both risen more than two million. Table 1 shows in non-UK born population by world region of birth.
Table 1: Increase in non-UK born population by origin, 2001-19 (ONS).
|World region of birth||Numerical change in non-UK born population by world region of birth, 2001/2 to 2019/20|
|Eastern Europe (EU8)||1,020,000|
|Western Europe (EU14)||490,000|
|Romania / Bulgaria||450,000|
|Middle East / Central Asia||245,000|
|South East Asia||215,000|
|Central / South America||133,000|
7. An extensive body of research has consistently found that immigration is a fiscal cost to the UK, despite immigrants being younger than the overall population and much more likely to be of working age. The size of the overall annual fiscal cost was £4 billion-£13 billion per year for 2016/17 and 2014/15 respectively, depending upon assumptions made by the authors concerned.
8. Figure 4 breaks down the non-UK born population (as measured by the Annual Population Survey in 2019/20) by the stated reason for migrating to the UK. 70% said they came for reasons other than work (i.e. accompanying or joining relatives, formal study or ‘other’ reasons). However, it should be noted that many of those who stated they came for reasons other than work will have subsequently gone into employment following arrival. The number of non-UK born estimated to be in employment in 2019/20 was just under six million.
Figure 4: Stated reason for migration of non-UK population (ONS).
9. As Figures 5 and 6 below show, 45% of the EU-born population said they came for work-related reasons, while the next largest share 1.2 million came to accompany / join. In contrast, 21% of the non-EU born population came for work-related reasons, as against 2.8 million (49%) who came for family-related reasons (to ‘accompany/join’); 16% (900,000) came for ‘other’ reasons.
Figure 5: Stated reason for migration of EU-born population (ONS).
Figure 6: Stated reason for migration of non EU born population (ONS).
10. What is the most significant route of entry for those who stay permanently? Figures on this are not available for EU citizens, although they are for non-EU citizens. Home Office statistics suggest that a very significant share of non-EU migrants granted settlement between 2009 and 2020 originally arrived on family visas or permits. The Migration Advisory Committee has said that the family visa stream has been the largest non-EU route leading to settlement.
11. The ONS, Eurostat and statistics offices in various other countries have pointed to the indirect impact from immigration resulting from births to non-UK born parents. From 2008-19 about 27% of over 8 million births (2.2 million) were to non-UK born mothers. As seen in Figure 7, 67% were to non-EU born mothers. 80% of these were to mothers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Just over half (54%) of all births to foreign-born mothers were to mothers from these parts of the world (Figure 8). Figure 9 below shows that 70% of 733,000 births to EU-born mothers over the period were to those born in Eastern Europe.
Figure 7: Births by origin of non-UK born mother - England/Wales (ONS).
Figure 8: Births by origin of non EU-born mother - England/Wales (ONS).
Figure 9: Births by origin of EU-born mother - England/Wales (ONS).
12. Great Britain’s ethnic minority population was estimated to be 13.3 million in 2020 (ONS Labour Force Survey). 93% were residing in England (these figures do not take Northern Ireland into account). About a third were ‘other Whites’ (4.2 million); just under a third were South Asian (3.5 million or so). 13. The 13.3 million population is broken down in Table 2 below, with White British included for comparative purposes. In total, the 4.2 million ‘Other White’ population represents 6.5% of the total 64 million population of Great Britain (about double its 3% - or 1.7 million - in 2001), while the population of other ethnicities accounts for about 14% (about double its 2001 share of 7%).
Table 2: Population of Great Britain broken down by ethnic group, 2020 (LFS).
|Ethnic group||Size of population (GB) in 2020||Share of total GB population||Share of Ethnic minority population|
|Total ethnic minority population||13,259,554||21%||100%|
|Any other Asian background||760,105||1.2||6|
|Other ethnic group||1,079,391||1.7||8|
|Total GB population||64,324,900||100%|
14. Figure 10 below shows each cohort as a share of the total ethnic minority population of 13.3 million.
Figure 10: Respective cohorts as share of ethnic minority population, Great Britain, 2020, (ONS).
15. Meanwhile, the total growth of other ethnicities in Great Britain since 2001 is estimated to be 7.4 million. Table 3 below depicts this change broken down by the scale of increase for different ethnic minority cohorts (2001-20).
Table 3: Change in various ethnic groups, Great Britain, 2001-20 (LFS).
|Year||2001||2011||2020||Numerical change: 2001-20|
|Total ethnic minority population||5,843,023||10,304,837||13,259,554||7,416,531|
|Other ethnic groups||4,187,434||7,306,141||9,026,275||4,838,841|
|Of which: Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups||487,116||826,427||1,185,188||698,072|
|Of which: Indian||926,248||1,389,284||1,590,427||664,179|
|Of which: Pakistani||715,109||1,039,202||1,282,718||567,609|
|Of which: Bangladeshi||252,141||432,927||624,114||371,973|
|Of which: Chinese||172,496||230,927||336,594||164,098|
|Of which: Any other Asian background||240,977||754,742||760,105||519,128|
|Of which: Black / African / Caribbean / Black British||1,152,806||1,815,857||2,167,738||1,014,932|
|Of which: Other ethnic group||240,541||816,775||1,079,391||838,850|
16. Table 4 shows the percentage point increase in different populations as their share of the total population of Great Britain between 2001 and 2020. Meanwhile, Table 5 below indicates the degree of population change in each part of Great Britain. One form of change, characterised both by a decline in size of White British population and an increase in size of the population of other ethnicities, is particularly evident in London, the West Midlands, the North West and Scotland.
17. This is distinct from areas which have witnessed notable increases in residents of all backgrounds such as the South East, East of England, Yorkshire / Humberside.
18. As for areas which have seen the largest total population increase over the past two decades, since 2000/1, the total population of London rose by nearly two million, that of the South East increased by 1.2 million and that of the East of England ballooned by 900,000.
Table 4: Percentage point change in share of ethnic minority population of Great Britain as proportion of total, 2001-20 (ONS).
|2001||2011||2020||Percentage point increase of EM population as share of GB total|
|Ethnic minority share of total GB population||10.3||17||20.6||10.3|
|Other ethnic groups||7.4||12||14||6.6|
|Of which: Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups||0.9||1.3||1.8||0.9|
|Of which: Indian||1.6||2.3||2.4||0.8|
|Of which: Pakistani||1.3||1.7||2||0.7|
|Of which: Bangladeshi||0.4||0.7||1||0.6|
|Of which: Chinese||0.3||0.4||0.5||0.2|
|Of which: Any other Asian background||0.4||1.2||1.2||0.8|
|Of which: Black / African / Caribbean / Black British||2||3||3.4||1.4|
|Of which: Other ethnic group||0.4||1.3||1.7||1.3|
Table 5: Change in ethnic group by area of UK, 2001-20 (LFS).
|Ethnic change in different parts of the UK (2001-2020)||White British||Total other ethnicities|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||109524||433873|
|East of England||243922||657367|
19. Table 6 below highlights the top four areas of numerical change over the period by different ethnicity. Most impacted regions are in bold italics.
Table 6: Change in ethnic group by area of UK, 2001-20 (LFS).
|Ethnic change in different parts of UK (2001-2020)||Other White||Mixed / Multiple||South Asia||Chinese||Any other Asian||Black / African/ Caribbean / Black British||Other ethnic group|
|Yorkshire / Humberside||157536||29128||121364||96||35613||40952||49184|
|East of England||253155||61210||103853||9099||73195||113668||43187|
20. Unprecedented levels of immigration from all parts of the world since 2001 have driven a rise in the non-UK born population between four and five million. By far the greatest share of the non-UK born population originally arrived for reasons other than to work (although ONS estimates also suggest that many of those who arrived for other reasons will have subsequently moved into employment). The huge range of places from which migrants have come in high numbers, with little apparent attention - let alone control by the government - makes the task of integrating our society into a unified national fabric extremely difficult if not impossible.
21. Ethnic change has been supercharged by uncontrolled immigration since 2001, with the share of births involving at least one overseas-born parent having risen from 23% of births in England and Wales in 2001 to 34% in 2019. By 2019, around two in five births were to ethnic minority mothers (over 200,000 births per year). Rapid and huge shifts in population have particularly affected areas such as London, the West Midlands and Scotland, while substantial growth is leading to increasing overcrowding, congestion and having a major development impact in regions such as the South East and East of England. The population of London gone up by nearly two million over that period, and the total populations of the South East and East of England have increased by around a million each.