Number of foreign-born residents rises to 10million in England and Wales with 576% boom in Romanians


One in six people living in England and Wales were born outside the UK with ten million non-UK nationals now calling the two countries home, census data has shown. 

Figures released on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed a huge 576 per cent surge in people who were born in Romania – up from 80,000 in 2011 to 539,000 in 2021.

The number of usual residents of England and Wales born outside the UK had risen by 2.5million since 2011. 

The large increase in the number of those born in Romania followed the lifting of working restrictions across the European Union in 2014.

The news comes as statisticians from the ONS today revealed: 

  • One in six usual residents of England and Wales were born outside the UK, an increase of 2.5million since 2011, from 7.5million to 10million; 
  • London was the region with the largest proportion of people born outside the UK with 40.6 per cent in all; 
  • England and Wales’s population grew by more than 3.5million from 56,075,912 in 2011 to 59,597,542 in 2021;
  • The vast majority of foreign-born nations arriving in England and Wales – 4.3million – were aged 18 to 29;
  • India remained the most common country of birth outside the UK with 925,000 people;
  • The number of people who were born in Romania grew by 576 per cent from 80,000 in 2011 to 539,000 in 2021;
  • 5.9million usual residents held a non-UK passport;
  • 545,000 usual residents had an address outside the UK one year before the census
One in six people living in England and Wales were born outside the UK with 10million non-UK nationals now calling the two nations home, new census data has shown

One in six people living in England and Wales were born outside the UK with 10million non-UK nationals now calling the two nations home, new census data has shown

Populations of England and Wales are the oldest they’ve EVER been 

The census data reveals the population of England and Wales continues to grow year-on-year.

Currently, both nations are the oldest they’ve ever been, with more than 11million people (or 18.6% of the population) aged 65 or above.

The local regions with the highest median ages in 2021 were:

North Norfolk (with 33.5% of residents were aged 65+)

Rother (with 32.4% of residents 65+)

East Lindsey (with 30.4% of residents 65+)

More than half of the total population increase in the past decade is because of positive net migration – the difference between those who immigrated into and emigrated out of England and Wales.

India remained the most common country of birth outside the UK – with those 925,000 people making up 1.5 per cent of the population. 

It was followed by Poland, which had 743,000 people – or 1.2 per cent – and Pakistan, with 624,000.

Meanwhile, the countries no longer in the top 10 non-UK countries of birth were the US and Jamaica. 

But Italy entered the table in sixth place behind Romania, fourth, and Ireland, fifth, and ahead of Bangladesh as seventh, eighth-placed Nigeria, Germany, ninth, and South Africa at tenth. 

The data showed those who listed Ireland as their country of birth declined from 407,000 in 2011 to 325,000 in 2021. 

Commenting on the figures, census deputy director Jon Wroth-Smith 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.

‘While these events may have had an impact on people’s decisions or ability to migrate or travel at a given time, the census tells us about the change over the whole decade – who was living here in March 2021, compared with March 2011. 

‘We can see Romanians have been a big driver in this change, while there have also been increases due to migration from India, Pakistan and Poland, as well as southern European countries such as Italy.

Divorce rates shot up by nearly 10% in 2021, the census data found

Divorce rates shot up by nearly 10% in 2021, the census data found

Divorces shoot up by nearly 10% in 2021, data finds

In 2021, 113,505 divorces were granted in England and Wales, the new data reveals.  This is a 9.6% increase compared with 2020 when there were 103,592 divorces and the highest number of divorces since 2013. 

Helen Morrissey, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the data could be indicative of the pressure Covid lockdowns put on couples, but also noted many divorce applications were delayed throughout the pandemic.

‘Of course, the pandemic will have played its part with disruption to court activity meaning many applications have been delayed but the fact remains the figures are still up on pre-pandemic,’ she said. 

‘Looking ahead we could see numbers continue to swell as pandemic lockdowns will have put even the strongest relationships to the test.’

Ms Morrissey also cited the implementation of no-fault divorces earlier in 2022 as a further driver to couples splitting, as there is now no longer any need to assign a reason to the split.  

She said: ‘In theory this has the potential to take a lot of acrimony and time out of the process which could save you a lot of money as well as stress.’

Of the divorces in 2021, 111,934 were among opposite-sex couples while 1,571 were among same-sex couples.

Female couples made up 67.2% of the same-sex divorces.

The statistics also revealed 10 per cent of couples married in 1965 had filed for divorce by their 10th wedding anniversary. This number spiked to 25 per cent in those married in 1995, but the number decreased for couples married in 2011, which 18 per cent filing for divorce by the 10-year mark.

Prior to the pandemic, data suggested the divorce rate was on a steady decline.  

‘We can also see that migration in the year prior to 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.’

The census showed London has stayed as the region with the largest proportion of people born outside the UK and the largest proportion of people with non-UK passports. 

In 2021, more than four in ten (40.6 per cent) usual residents in the capital were non-UK born, and more than one in five (23.3 per cent) had a non-UK passport. 

By contrast, both Wales (6.9 per cent) and the North East (6.8 per cent) had approximately one in 14 usual residents born outside the UK.

Similarly, Wales (4.0 per cent) and the North East (3.7 per cent) also had the lowest proportions of the population with non-UK passports. 

The ONS calculated the average size of households, which remains broadly the same as in 2011. 

Census statistics also showed the usual resident population in England and Wales grew by more than 3.5million in the 10 years between censuses, from 56,075,912 in 2011 to 59,597,542 in 2021.

Figures revealed that of the 10million people born outside the UK, four in 10 arrived in the last decade, while a third came to England and Wales before 2001. 

As well as shining a light on the breakdown of foreign-born families, the ONS study also unveiled the makeup of the 25million households in England and Wales – including marital status. 

For the first time in its history, the official census figures revealed the number of same-sex married couples across the two countries. 

Brighton and Hove was celebrated as the same-sex capital of England and Wales, with the area having the biggest proportion of residents living in same-sex marriages or civil partnerships than any other local authority. 

In all, there were 3,867 people – about 1.4 per cent – living in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership in 2021, up from 1 per cent in 2011.

 Brighton and Hove was followed by Lambeth and Islington, which had 1 per cent of people in a same-sex relationships and Southwark, with 0.8 per cent. 

Meanwhile, divorce rates for both single-sex and opposite-sex couples have risen, but the statistics may appear higher than expected due to a backlog during Covid. 

In 2021, 113,505 divorces were granted in England and Wales, the new data reveals. This is a 9.6% increase compared with 2020 when there were 103,592 divorces and the highest number of divorces since 2013. 

Meanwhile. the census showed London had remained the region with both the largest proportion of people born outside the UK and the largest proportion of people with non-UK passports. Pictured are shoppers in Oxford Street in October

Meanwhile. the census showed London had remained the region with both the largest proportion of people born outside the UK and the largest proportion of people with non-UK passports. Pictured are shoppers in Oxford Street in October 

6% rise in households in England and Wales 

There are now 24.78 million households in England and Wales, marking a 6.1 per cent increase (or 1.4 million more houses) on the data for 2011.

The boroughs of Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster experienced drops in the number of households by up to 14.8 per cent. 

The population grew in each of the nine regions of England and also grew in Wales. The region with the highest population growth was the East of England, which increased by 8.3% from 2011 (a gain of approximately 488,000 residents). 

Another trend addressed in the census was millennials opting to live at home for longer.

There are now 180,000 non-dependent children living at home – a 56.1 per cent increase on the 115,000 recorded in 2011. 

 

Four in 10 people in London are foreign-born

Since the 2011 Census, there has been an increase in the number and percentage of people born outside the UK, and new census data reveals four in 10 people in London are now foreign-born.

Of the 10.0 million residents in England and Wales in 2021 who were not born in the UK: 

– 4.2 million (42.4%) had arrived since 2011

– 2.7 million (26.9%) had arrived between 2001 and 2010 

– 3.1 million (30.7%) had arrived before 2001

Three million residents were below the age of 18 when they arrived in the UK, while 4.3 million were between 18 and 29 years old. 

Just 79,000 of migrants were older than 65 when they arrived in the UK, which is 0.2 per cent more than 10 years ago.

Albanian Channel migrants face being removed ‘within days’ of arrival in the UK under new proposals to clampdown on crisis – as ministers plan modern slavery act reform to stop system being ‘abused’

by David Wilcock, Deputy Political Editor and Rory Tingle, Home Affairs Correspondent For Mailonline and Harriet Line, Deputy Political Editor For The Daily Mail

Ministers are drawing up plans to deport thousands of Albanian asylum seekers almost immediately after they arrive in a bid to ease the Channel migration crisis.

They want to avoid giving those who fail to be granted asylum having time to launch an appeal against the decision by shipping them back to eastern Europe ‘within days’. Currently the legal process means that arrivals have to be put up in hotels at huge cost to the taxpayer because they can only be held briefly in arrival centres like Manston. 

Another proposal being examined is toughening up the Modern Slavery Act, which ministers say has become the ‘biggest loophole’ in the immigration system. Home Office figures show the number of Albanian migrants claiming to be victims of modern slavery is set to double this year to 5,000.

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick told the Telegraph that Albanians were ‘abusing’ the act and delaying deportation attempts. By paying people-smuggling gangs to get them to the UK, up to two per cent of all Albanian men have either attempted a Channel crossing or are thinking of doing so.

So far this year, more than 12,000 Albanians have illegally crossed the Channel into Britain – 10,000 of whom were single, adult men. 

However, experts last night warned that attempts to remove arrivals before the legal process was complete would break international law. One told the Times: ‘How can you exercise your appeal rights if you’re not in the UK? It would be extrajudicial, and contravene rights under the Refugee Convention.’ 

There will also be questions over the ability of the system to be sped up. Taxpayers are currently paying nearly £7million a day to house tens of thousands of asylum seekers in hotels after the Home Office managed to process just four per cent of asylum claims from people who crossed the Channel last year.

As Home Secretary Suella Braverman came under increasing pressure to tackle the crisis, it emerged:

  • French police have been ordered not to stop boats in the water departing for UK due to fears of legal action; 
  • Robert Jenrick insisted the Manston processing centre if ‘fit for purpose’ despite a damning inspection; 
  • Sir Keir Starmer sought to change the law so Channel migrants with a ‘fear of return’ could qualify for asylum; 
  • 10,000 more migrants could cross in next two months, bringing total this year to 50,000, Mr Jenrick warned;
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent on October 27

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent on October 27

A group of people thought to be migrants at Dover on October 13

A group of people thought to be migrants at Dover on October 13 

‘Don’t scupper the migrant dinghies’: French police are ordered not to halt boats bound for UK amid fears of legal action

Tom Kelly, Investigations Editor for the Daily Mail  

French police have been ordered not to stop migrant boats in the water departing for Britain because of fears of facing legal action.

The diktat has left ‘overwhelmed’ officers powerless to intervene as people smuggling gangs ruthlessly exploit the system to send thousands more migrants on perilous cross Channel crossings.

The policy was introduced after a campaign group filed a complaint accusing police of endangering human life after officers punctured an overloaded small boat just a few yards from the shore to prevent it leaving.

A subsequent notice from France’s Departmental Board of the National Police issued on August 26 banned officers from targeting boats already in the water. Only those on the beach or on the road could be intercepted.

People smugglers swiftly responded, setting up almost untouchable ‘taxi boat’ services.

Instead of taking dinghies to the beach by road and inflating them on the sand, as before, gangs now pilot boats along the coast and pick up groups of migrants waiting on the shore at pre-arranged spots.

The Government is desperate to will crack down on young Albanian men – some with ‘criminal intent’ – crossing the Channel to come to the UK. 

Robert Jenrick said yesterday the Government would work on a ‘fast-track’ system to speed up the removal of migrants with no right to stay in Britain.

He said an agreement signed last year had already led to 1,000 Albanians being returned, but insisted he wanted to see ‘far more’ sent back in the coming months.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said that the intense pressure at the Manston migrant processing centre will not be solved quickly.

He told Sky News that work was ongoing to get migrants from the site quicker but said ‘it is reasonable to say it is not going to happen overnight’.

‘There are no simple solutions here. 

‘They’re very difficult. The Government is putting the steps in place to procure more accommodation.’

Former home secretary Priti Patel signed an agreement last July which strengthened existing arrangements to remove Albanian nationals who have no right to be in the UK, including failed asylum seekers.

The Home Office said then that Albanian nationals made up the largest number of foreign national offenders in UK prisons totalling 16 per cent of the foreign national offenders population.

Mr Jenrick yesterday described many of those arriving in Britain from Albania as ‘young males who are fit, healthy, prosperous enough to pay the criminal gangs to get here’.

The minister said Albania was a ‘demonstrably safe country’ – and people coming to the UK from there have travelled via other safe countries.

‘We should not be seeing these individuals coming to the UK,’  he said. 

‘You should claim asylum in the first safe country, and a very large proportion of Albanians coming to the UK are coming as economic migrants – some intent on criminality.’

People thought to be migrants wait to be processed at the Border Force compound in Dover

People thought to be migrants wait to be processed at the Border Force compound in Dover

TikTok videos show dozens of Albanian migrants making the crossing, with this group unfurling the nation's flag on the boat

TikTok videos show dozens of Albanian migrants making the crossing, with this group unfurling the nation’s flag on the boat

Number of migrants crossing could hit 50,000 this year  

Another 10,000 migrants could cross the Channel over the next two months, bringing the total who arrive in Britain this year to 50,000, the Immigration Minister warned yesterday.

Robert Jenrick said the Government would look at ‘more radical options’ to tackle the crisis, but admitted the challenge is ‘very significant’. And he put up a partial defence of Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s description of the Channel crossings as an ‘invasion’ on the South Coast.

‘Fifty thousand people, and the number could well be significantly higher over the course of this year, is a major challenge for this country,’ he told Sky News. ‘It is leading to the infrastructure that we have in terms of reception centres, like Manston, in terms of hotel accommodation, and asylum and social housing, essentially being overwhelmed.

‘Invasion is a way of describing the sheer scale of the challenge. That’s what Suella Braverman was trying to express. She was also speaking, I think, and this is an important point, for those people who live on the south coast, who day in, day out are seeing migrant boats landing on their beaches.’ 

Mr Jenrick, who is planning to visit Albania shortly, said the Government would work on a quicker system to remove Albanians with no right to be in the UK. 

He said: ‘We want to find a way to have a fast-track so that Albanians who are coming here – most of whom are young males who are fit, healthy, prosperous enough to pay the criminal gangs to get here – are assessed swiftly, have their claims dismissed if that’s the right answer, and then are removed from the country.’

Meanwhile, the leader of a council which has taken High Court action against the Home Office to prevent it hosting asylum seekers in specific hotels has accused the department of showing a ‘total lack of consultation and engagement’ with local authorities.

Sheila Oxtoby, chief executive of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘First of all, I’d like to say that we have a long history of welcoming refugees and economic migrants to our town and to our borough.

‘We have always, right from the beginning, offered to work with the Home Office to find the most suitable accommodation and the best solution for both the asylum seekers and the existing community – but that has largely fallen on deaf ears and our offer has not been taken up.

‘I think you used the word ‘imposed’ and that’s how we feel that two properties running as successful hotels in a prime tourism area have been selected to accommodate asylum seekers.

‘That’s what we object to – the method and process upon how they have been selected and the total lack of consultation and engagement with us as the local council.’

Ms Oxtoby added there were limits to the number of refugees that her council would take and urged the Government to recognise immigration is a ‘national issue’.

Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, said yesterday the Government would work on a 'fast-track' system to speed up the removal of migrants with no right to stay in Britain.

Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, said yesterday the Government would work on a ‘fast-track’ system to speed up the removal of migrants with no right to stay in Britain.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said that the intense pressure at the Manston migrant processing centre will not be solved quickly.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said that the intense pressure at the Manston migrant processing centre will not be solved quickly.

Ministers want to avoid giving those who fail to be granted asylum having time to launch an appeal against the decision by shipping them back to eastern Europe ‘within days’.



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