'Knock on' effect of immigration on the regions

February 10, 2005

Record levels of international immigration into London and the South East have created a substantial ‘knock on’ effect across much of the southern half of England and in Wales, says a new paper out today from think tank Migrationwatch.

The report charts population movements between the regions of the UK over the past ten years and compares them with the massive growth in international immigration in that time. (Read Report)

The principal finding is that the white population of the UK and the ethnic minority population are becoming increasingly separated as a result of unprecedented changes in London's population.

There has been substantial migration from areas of high ethnic population in the capital to those parts of the country with predominately white populations. In the period 1993-2002, 606,000 more Londoners moved out of the city than came in from elsewhere in the UK. In the same period a net 726,000 immigrants arrived in London.

‘As international immigration into London and the South East has increased, so the outward migration of Londoners to other regions of the UK has accelerated. Indeed, both the inflow and the outflow have doubled in the last five years,’ said Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch. Of the outflow from London, almost 300,000 moved to the South West during the decade with a further 181,000 going to the East of England.

‘This has a number of effects. It places enormous stress on housing, education, health and social services in immigrant areas while at the same time the South-West, South-East and East Midlands are having to expand facilities rapidly to cater for the outflow from London. This, in turn, puts strains on their infrastructure, particularly housing, transport, education, health and the environment,’ he said. ‘A related issue is that many of the same people will continue to work in London leading to an even greater volume of commuting – estimated by the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit to increase by between 10 and 20% in the seven years to 2010.

‘It is self evident that the development of increasingly ‘parallel societies’ in some of our major cities, with self segregation between the various cultures, is an extremely undesirable development in terms of long term community relations. Our study reinforces some of the concerns expressed by the Cohesion Panel which reported to the government in July 2004 that “the pace of change (for a number of reasons) is simply too great in some areas at present.”

Said Sir Andrew: ‘The Panel’s Report was entitled “The End of Parallel Lives” but Government immigration policy (or the lack of it) is exacerbating the trend to parallel living. When the Government encouraged a huge rise in immigration they failed to consider the many consequences that would follow. As our report highlights, our society will be deeply affected by them for many years to come.’

(Please Note: None of the figures in this report make any allowance for illegal immigration, for which the Government has no figure, but is generally thought to run into many hundreds of thousands.)

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