From which parts of the world have migrants come?


Population Impact: MW 494

From which parts of the world have migrants come?

Summary

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.[1] 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]

2. This paper finds that:

  • Large-scale immigration - continued year after year - has led to huge population growth and change during a very short historical period. This has meant a stark demographic shift for our country despite clear opposition towards high immigration amongst a majority of the UK public. In the midst of failed immigration control, the non-UK born population rose by 4.5 million and immigration-driven population growth amounts to around 7 million.
  • Just under half of the non-UK born population (4.3 million) are from Asia and Africa, while a third (3 to 4 million) are from the EU (para 3).
  • 70% of the non-UK born population in 2019/20 came for family, study or other reasons (6.4 million). Only three in ten indicated they originally came to the UK for work-related reasons. Despite this, it should be noted that many of those who stated they came for reasons other than work will have subsequently moved into employment after arrival. The number of non-UK born estimated to be in employment in 2019/20 was nearly six million (ONS[3]).
  • The number of those of ‘Other White’ background increased by over 2.5 million since 2001. Other ethnic minority populations rose by 4.8 million. The largest portion of the latter increase (a third) was driven by a 1.6 million rise in the population of those of South Asian ethnicity.
  • London, the West Midlands and North West have experienced major population change. The South East and East of England have felt the acute effects of population increase (including congestion, housing and environmental issues and overcrowding) as residents of all backgrounds have moved there. 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.

Part 1 - The foreign-born population

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).

Which segments of the non-UK born population have risen the most?

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 birthNumerical change in non-UK born population by world region of birth, 2001/2 to 2019/20
Eastern Europe (EU8)1,020,000
South Asia784,000
Sub-Saharan Africa523,000
Western Europe (EU14)490,000
Romania / Bulgaria450,000
Middle East / Central Asia245,000
South East Asia215,000
East Asia153,000
Central / South America133,000
North America86,000
Oceania78,000
North Africa71,000
Europe (non-EU)-63,000

For what reasons have people from overseas come to the UK?

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[4].

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[5].

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[6]. The Migration Advisory Committee has said that the family visa stream has been the largest non-EU route leading to settlement[7].

Indirect impact from immigration, by country of birth of mother

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).

Population of Great Britain broken down by ethnicity

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 groupSize of population (GB) in 2020Share of total GB populationShare of Ethnic minority population
Total ethnic minority population13,259,55421%100%
White British51,065,34679N/A
Other Whites4,233,2796.632
Mixed/Multiple1,185,1881.89
Indian1,590,4272.412
Pakistani1,282,718210
Bangladeshi624,11415
Chinese336,5940.53
Any other Asian background760,1051.26
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British2,167,7383.416
Other ethnic group1,079,3911.78
Total GB population64,324,900100%

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).

Year200120112020Numerical change: 2001-20
GB population56,462,35860,590,18264,324,9007,862,542
Total ethnic minority population5,843,02310,304,83713,259,5547,416,531
White Other1,655,5892,998,6964,233,2792,577,690
Other ethnic groups4,187,4347,306,1419,026,2754,838,841
Of which: Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups487,116826,4271,185,188698,072
Of which: Indian926,2481,389,2841,590,427664,179
Of which: Pakistani715,1091,039,2021,282,718567,609
Of which: Bangladeshi252,141432,927624,114371,973
Of which: Chinese172,496230,927336,594164,098
Of which: Any other Asian background240,977754,742760,105519,128
Of which: Black / African / Caribbean / Black British1,152,8061,815,8572,167,7381,014,932
Of which: Other ethnic group240,541816,7751,079,391838,850

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).

200120112020Percentage point increase of EM population as share of GB total
Ethnic minority share of total GB population10.31720.610.3
Non-British Whites34.96.63.6
Other ethnic groups7.412146.6
Of which: Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups0.91.31.80.9
Of which: Indian1.62.32.40.8
Of which: Pakistani1.31.720.7
Of which: Bangladeshi0.40.710.6
Of which: Chinese0.30.40.50.2
Of which: Any other Asian background0.41.21.20.8
Of which: Black / African / Caribbean / Black British233.41.4
Of which: Other ethnic group0.41.31.71.3

Table 5: Change in ethnic group by area of UK, 2001-20 (LFS).

Ethnic change in different parts of the UK (2001-2020)White BritishTotal other ethnicities
North East7585112344
North West-80103651846
Yorkshire and Humberside109524433873
East Midlands91135552838
West Midlands-71972728385
East of England243922657367
London-4304782244423
South East1946891037514
South West364598355625
Wales69426182887
Scotland-52315459429

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 WhiteMixed / MultipleSouth AsiaChineseAny other AsianBlack / African/ Caribbean / Black BritishOther ethnic group
North East309002054448751009763701632123237
North West1854713686520628718665452539983759468
Yorkshire / Humberside1575362912812136496356134095249184
East Midlands228561405811315295866312907081044201
West Midlands13002880906237787119134644012293098381
East of England2531556121010385390997319511366843187
London73419121715947894457739109652310835335903
South East3652131449011713792180111335114576775102
South West183209212025980010930145572313542792
Wales679321891922711744215291948331569
Scotland241494266576523217148218785119435826
Total257769069807216037611640985191281014932838850

Conclusion

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.[8] 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.

24 August, 2021


Notes

  1. Despite this, the latest statistics for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) suggested there had been nearly six million applications by EEA nationals. It was always forecast that the numbers applying would be greater than the estimated stock of 3.5 million in 2018 as it was anticipated that immigration would continue at around previous levels until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. Meanwhile some people who previously lived in the UK will be applying from abroad. However, it was thought that less than a million more than the 3.5 million would apply, even when including non-EEA family members. The largest disparity between EUSS figures and stocks as estimated by the Labour Force Survey / Annual Population Survey are among those from Romania and Bulgaria where the EUSS statistics show a 158% increase.
  2. ONS, Population By Country of Birth tables, 2019/20, ‘Overseas-born population in the United Kingdom, excluding some residents in communal establishments, by main reason for migration’, URL: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationand… ngdombycountryofbirthandnationality
  3. ONS, Employment by country of birth estimates, 2019/20, URL: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/emp… bycountryofbirthandnationalityemp06
  4. The £4.3 billion figure is taken from research conducted by Oxford Economics for the MAC and published in 2018, (in particular, see Fig. 11 on p. 22). URL: https://tinyurl.com/4abd5nec; The £13 billion figure was calculated by Migration Watch UK. See Migration Watch UK, ‘The Fiscal effects of Immigration to the UK, 2014/15’, May 2016, URL: https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/381 and press release: ‘Immigration was a net fiscal cost to taxpayers of £13 billion in 2014/15’, May 2016, URL: https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/press-release/448/mwuk-press-rel… -immigration-on-the-public-finances
  5. ONS, Employment by country of birth estimates, 2019/20, URL: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/emp… bycountryofbirthandnationalityemp06
  6. Home Office, Migrant journey analysis and statistics, May 2021, URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/migrant-journey-2020-report/migrant-journey-2020-report
  7. Show 2 more...
  1. Despite this, the latest statistics for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) suggested there had been nearly six million applications by EEA nationals. It was always forecast that the numbers applying would be greater than the estimated stock of 3.5 million in 2018 as it was anticipated that immigration would continue at around previous levels until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. Meanwhile some people who previously lived in the UK will be applying from abroad. However, it was thought that less than a million more than the 3.5 million would apply, even when including non-EEA family members. The largest disparity between EUSS figures and stocks as estimated by the Labour Force Survey / Annual Population Survey are among those from Romania and Bulgaria where the EUSS statistics show a 158% increase.
  2. ONS, Population By Country of Birth tables, 2019/20, ‘Overseas-born population in the United Kingdom, excluding some residents in communal establishments, by main reason for migration’, URL: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationand… ngdombycountryofbirthandnationality
  3. ONS, Employment by country of birth estimates, 2019/20, URL: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/emp… bycountryofbirthandnationalityemp06
  4. The £4.3 billion figure is taken from research conducted by Oxford Economics for the MAC and published in 2018, (in particular, see Fig. 11 on p. 22). URL: https://tinyurl.com/4abd5nec; The £13 billion figure was calculated by Migration Watch UK. See Migration Watch UK, ‘The Fiscal effects of Immigration to the UK, 2014/15’, May 2016, URL: https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/381 and press release: ‘Immigration was a net fiscal cost to taxpayers of £13 billion in 2014/15’, May 2016, URL: https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/press-release/448/mwuk-press-rel… -immigration-on-the-public-finances
  5. ONS, Employment by country of birth estimates, 2019/20, URL: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/emp… bycountryofbirthandnationalityemp06
  6. Home Office, Migrant journey analysis and statistics, May 2021, URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/migrant-journey-2020-report/migrant-journey-2020-report
  7. MAC review of shortage occupation list, May 2019, p. 15, URL: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/syste… ll_Review_SOL_Final_Report_1159.pdf
  8. ONS births statistics, England and Wales, URL: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsa… rths/datasets/parentscountryofbirth

Despite this, the latest statistics for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) suggested there had been nearly six million applications by EEA nationals. It was always forecast that the numbers applying would be greater than the estimated stock of 3.5 million in 2018 as it was anticipated that immigration would continue at around previous levels until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. Meanwhile some people who previously lived in the UK will be applying from abroad. However, it was thought that less than a million more than the 3.5 million would apply, even when including non-EEA family members. The largest disparity between EUSS figures and stocks as estimated by the Labour Force Survey / Annual Population Survey are among those from Romania and Bulgaria where the EUSS statistics show a 158% increase.
ONS, Population By Country of Birth tables, 2019/20, ‘Overseas-born population in the United Kingdom, excluding some residents in communal establishments, by main reason for migration’, URL: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationand… ngdombycountryofbirthandnationality
The £4.3 billion figure is taken from research conducted by Oxford Economics for the MAC and published in 2018, (in particular, see Fig. 11 on p. 22). URL: https://tinyurl.com/4abd5nec; The £13 billion figure was calculated by Migration Watch UK. See Migration Watch UK, ‘The Fiscal effects of Immigration to the UK, 2014/15’, May 2016, URL: https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/381 and press release: ‘Immigration was a net fiscal cost to taxpayers of £13 billion in 2014/15’, May 2016, URL: https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/press-release/448/mwuk-press-rel… -immigration-on-the-public-finances
Home Office, Migrant journey analysis and statistics, May 2021, URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/migrant-journey-2020-report/migrant-journey-2020-report
MAC review of shortage occupation list, May 2019, p. 15, URL: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/syste… ll_Review_SOL_Final_Report_1159.pdf

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