Population Matters

50% of UK population growth due to migration

50% of UK population growth due to migration

Nearly half of all UK population growth over the last 60 years is down to migration, official figures show today.

The total population of England and Wales rose by 28 per cent between 1951 and 2011 but the non-UK born population almost quadrupled.

MPs today said migrants had made a positive impact over the period, but some also added that ministers needed to “learn lessons” from the data.

It also showed the country’s population had become more diverse. The most common non-UK nationalities were Indian, Polish, Pakistani, Irish and German.

It comes as debate rages in Westminster about how to deal with an expected influx of migrants when EU restrictions on the movement of Bulgarians and Romanians are lifted in January.

Tory MP for Enfield North Nick De Bois said: “Whilst immigration through the 50s, 60s and 70s made a massive contribution to Britain’s development, this shows the reality of not being able to control your own borders.

“We are now in a different age which requires us to have more control over the level of immigration. The Government can learn lessons both positive and negative from this data.”

In 2011 some 13 per cent, around 7.5 million, people in England and Wales were born outside the UK, compared to 4.3 per cent, or 1.9 million, in 1951.

The total resident population of England and Wales increased from 43.7 million to 56.1 million, by 28 per cent, between 1951 and 2011, but the non-UK born population almost quadrupled.

It means migration contributed to 45 per cent of the total population growth over the last six decades.

The data from the Office for National Statistics also shows how different populations arrived at different times.

Around 38 per cent of Irish-born residents in 2011 arrived before 1961 while 86 per cent of Polish-born residents arrived after 2004.

Full article here: London Evening Standard

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