Foreign-born population of the United Kingdom

Foreign-born population of the United Kingdom

The foreign-born population of the United Kingdom includes immigrants from a wide range of countries who are resident in the United Kingdom. In the period January 2010 to December 2010, there were 19 foreign-born groups that consisted of at least 100,000 individuals residing in the UK (people originating from Australia, Bangladesh, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United States and Zimbabwe).[1]


Size of the foreign-born population

At the time of the most recent UK census, conducted in April 2001, 8.3 per cent of the country's population were foreign-born.[2] This was substantially less than that of major immigration countries such as Australia (23 per cent), Canada (19.3 per cent) and the USA (12.3 per cent).[3] Figures for each census since 1951 are given in the table below. In 2010, the foreign-born population was estimated at 11.6 per cent, compared to a European Union average of 8.6 per cent.[4][5]

In 2010, there were 7.0 million foreign-born residents in the UK, corresponding to 11.3% of the total population. Of these, 4.76 million (7.7%) were born outside the EU and 2.24 million (3.6%) were born in another EU Member State.[6]

Census Foreign-born
Percentage increase
over previous decade
Percentage of
total population[3]
1951 2,118,600 4.2
1961 2,573,500 21.5 4.9
1971 3,190,300 24.0 5.8
1981 3,429,100 7.5 6.2
1991 3,835,400 11.8 6.7
2001 4,896,600 27.7 8.3
2010 (est.) 7,139,000 46.0 11.6[5]

Countries of origin

The table below lists the places of birth of UK residents according to the 2001 Census, as reported by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.[7] The table also lists population estimates of the foreign-born population for the top 60 foreign countries of birth in the period January 2010 to December 2010, published by the Office for National Statistics.[1][8]

In 2001, the five most common foreign countries of birth were the Republic of Ireland, India, Pakistan, Germany and the United States respectively.[7] In 2010, the most common foreign countries of birth were India, Poland (up from 18th in 2001), Pakistan, the Republic of Ireland and Germany respectively. The United States dropped to eighth place behind South Africa and Bangladesh, despite growth in the size of the US-born population.[1]

The period between 2001 and 2010 saw significant change in the UK's foreign-born population. In particular, the 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the European Union have led to mass migration from the likes of Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Lithuania.[1] The number of Polish-born people resident in the UK increased from 60,711 in 2001 to an estimated 532,000 in the year to December 2010, whilst the Lithuanian-born population increased from 4,363 to an estimated 87,000.[1] The most significant decrease in a foreign-born population resident in the UK between 2001 and 2010 is in the number of those originating from the Republic of Ireland. Whereas in 2001, 533,901 people born in the Republic of Ireland were resident in the UK, this is estimated to have declined to 405,000 by 2010.[1]

Country of birth Population (2001 census) Population (2010 ONS estimate)[9] Corresponding article(s)
 United Kingdom 53,923,642 54,215,000 British people, English people, Cornish people, Scottish people, Welsh people, Northern Irish people
 Republic of Ireland 533,901 405,000
 India 467,634 693,000 Indians in the United Kingdom
 Pakistan 321,167 431,000 Pakistanis in the United Kingdom
 Germany 266,136 296,000 Germans in the United Kingdom
 United States 158,434 200,000 Americans in the United Kingdom
 Bangladesh 154,362 220,000 Bangladeshis in the United Kingdom
 Jamaica 146,401 150,000 Jamaicans in the United Kingdom
 South Africa 141,405 236,000 South Africans in the United Kingdom
 Kenya 129,633 128,000 Kenyans in the United Kingdom
 Australia 107,871 112,000 Australians in the United Kingdom
 Italy 107,244 118,000 Italians in the United Kingdom
 Hong Kong 96,445 75,000 Hong Kongers in the United Kingdom
 France 96,281 111,000 French in the United Kingdom
 Nigeria 88,378 151,000 Nigerians in the United Kingdom
 Cyprus 77,673 56,000 Cypriots in the United Kingdom
 Canada 72,518 81,000 Canadians in the United Kingdom
 Sri Lanka 67,938 117,000 Sri Lankans in the United Kingdom
 Poland 60,711 532,000 Polish in the United Kingdom
 New Zealand 58,286 72,000 New Zealanders in the United Kingdom
 Ghana 56,112 84,000 Ghanaians in the United Kingdom
 Uganda 55,213 48,000 Ugandans in the United Kingdom
 Spain 54,482 68,000 Spaniards in the United Kingdom
 Turkey 54,079 72,000 Turks in the United Kingdom
 China, People's Republic of 51,078 120,000 Chinese in the United Kingdom
 Malaysia 49,886 60,000 Malaysians in the United Kingdom
 Zimbabwe 49,524 130,000 Zimbabweans in the United Kingdom
 Somalia 43,515 110,000 Somalis in the United Kingdom
 Iran 42,494 70,000 Iranians in the United Kingdom
 Singapore 40,474 42,000 Singaporeans in the United Kingdom
 Netherlands 40,438 55,000 Dutch in the United Kingdom
 Philippines 40,118 123,000 Filipinos in the United Kingdom
 Japan 37,535 38,000 Japanese in the United Kingdom
 Portugal 36,555 83,000 Portuguese in the United Kingdom
 Greece 35,169 30,000 Greeks in the United Kingdom
 Tanzania 32,630 35,000 Tanzanians in the United Kingdom
 Iraq 32,236 69,000 Iraqis in the United Kingdom
 Serbia and Montenegro 31,244 (including Kosovo) N/A Serbs in the United Kingdom
 Kosovo N/A (included in Serbia and Montenegro entry) N/A Kosovans in the United Kingdom
 Malta 30,178 23,000 Maltese in the United Kingdom
 Mauritius 27,078 43,000 Mauritians in the United Kingdom
 Egypt 24,700 28,000 Egyptians in the United Kingdom
 Vietnam 23,347 N/A Vietnamese in the United Kingdom
Africa (country not stated) 22,975 N/A
 Sweden 22,525 28,000 Swedes in the United Kingdom
 Belgium 21,668 22,000
 Barbados 21,601 N/A Barbadians in the United Kingdom
 Zambia 21,529 29,000
 Trinidad and Tobago 21,283 23,000 Trinidadians in the United Kingdom
 Guyana 20,872 22,000 Guyanese in the United Kingdom
 Austria 19,503 N/A Austrians in the United Kingdom
 Denmark 18,695 N/A
 Sierra Leone 17,048 N/A Sierra Leoneans in the United Kingdom
 Thailand 16,257 35,000 Thais in the United Kingdom
 Switzerland 16,010 N/A
 Brazil 15,215 44,000 Brazilians in the United Kingdom
 Russia 15,160 40,000 Russians in the United Kingdom
 Afghanistan 14,875 54,000 Afghans in the United Kingdom
 Norway 13,798 N/A
 Hungary 13,159 41,000 Hungarians in the United Kingdom
 Yemen 12,508 N/A Yemenis in the United Kingdom
 Morocco 12,348 22,000 Moroccans in the United Kingdom
 Malawi 12,340 N/A
 Colombia 12,331 N/A Colombians in the United Kingdom
 South Korea 12,310 21,000 Koreans in the United Kingdom
 Czech Republic 12,220 32,000 Czechs in the United Kingdom
 Ukraine 11,913 N/A Ukrainians in the United Kingdom
 Israel 11,892 N/A Israelis in the United Kingdom
 Gibraltar 11,830 N/A Gibraltarians in the United Kingdom
 Finland 11,322 N/A
 Sudan 10,671 N/A Sudanese in the United Kingdom
 Algeria 10,670 21,000 Algerians in the United Kingdom
 Lebanon 10,459 N/A Lebanese in the United Kingdom
 Burma (Myanmar) 9,924 N/A Burmese in the United Kingdom
 Grenada 9,783 N/A
 Libya 9,141 25,000
 Saudi Arabia 8,789 N/A
 Democratic Republic of the Congo 8,569 N/A Congolese in the United Kingdom
 Saint Lucia 8,265 N/A
 Montserrat 7,983 N/A Montserratians in the United Kingdom
 Ethiopia 7,775 N/A Ethiopians in the United Kingdom
 Romania 7,631 79,000 Romanians in the United Kingdom
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7,091 N/A
 Croatia 6,992 N/A
 Argentina 6,796 N/A
 Dominica 6,739 N/A
 Indonesia 6,711 N/A
 Bosnia-Herzegovina 6,692 N/A
 China, Republic of (Taiwan) 6,588 N/A
 Eritrea 6,561 N/A
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 6,519 N/A
 Nepal 5,943 35,000 Nepalis in the United Kingdom
 Angola 5,914 N/A
 Kuwait 5,882 N/A
Asia (country not stated) 5,677 N/A
 United Arab Emirates 5,406 N/A Emiratis in the United Kingdom
 Bulgaria 5,351 52,000 Bulgarians in the United Kingdom
 Slovakia 5,273 48,000
 Chile 5,131 N/A Chileans in the United Kingdom
 Mexico 5,049 N/A Mexicans in the United Kingdom
 Lithuania 4,363 87,000 Lithuanians in the United Kingdom
 Latvia 4,275 48,000
 Bahrain 4,185 N/A
 Syria 4,168 N/A
 Peru 4,066 N/A Peruvians in the United Kingdom
 Venezuela 3,996 N/A
 Gambia 3,924 N/A
 Antigua and Barbuda 3,891 N/A Antiguans in the United Kingdom
 Fiji 3,464 N/A Fijians in the United Kingdom
 Mozambique 3,353 N/A
 Congo 3,266 N/A
 Cameroon 3,233 N/A
 Jordan 3,115 N/A
 Tunisia 3,070 N/A
 Ecuador 3,035 N/A Ecuadorians in the United Kingdom
 Bermuda 2,986 N/A
 Seychelles 2,905 N/A
 Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) 2,794 N/A Ivoirians in the United Kingdom
 Brunei 2,782 N/A
 West Bank (Palestinian territories) 2,483 N/A
 Rwanda 2,373 N/A
 Saint Helena 2,355 N/A
 Albania 2,314 N/A
 Botswana 2,051 N/A
 Oman 2,024 N/A
 Burundi 2,022 N/A
 Estonia 2,005 N/A
 Bahamas 1,797 N/A
 Liberia 1,583 N/A
 Iceland 1,552 N/A
 Macau 1,490 N/A
South and Central America (country not stated) 1,338 N/A
 Macedonia 1,285 N/A
 Belize 1,233 N/A
 Namibia 1,230 N/A
 Slovenia 1,228 N/A
 Luxembourg 1,222 N/A
 Belarus 1,154 N/A
 Netherlands Antilles 1,151 N/A
 Bolivia 1,143 N/A Bolivians in the United Kingdom
 Cuba 1,083 N/A
 Qatar 1,062 N/A
 Papua New Guinea 1,057 N/A
 Falkland Islands 1,044 N/A
 Uruguay 963 N/A
 Kazakhstan 871 N/A
 Swaziland 863 N/A
 Madagascar 789 N/A
 Senegal 723 N/A
 Cambodia 706 N/A
 El Salvador 595 N/A
 Armenia 589 N/A Armenians in the United Kingdom
 Azerbaijan 561 N/A
 Togo 553 N/A
 Georgia 551 N/A
 Dominican Republic 523 N/A
 Uzbekistan 521 N/A
 Guatemala 499 N/A
 Anguilla 498 N/A
 Paraguay 493 N/A
 Panama 492 N/A
Former USSR (country not stated) 483 N/A
 Laos 464 N/A
 Moldova 455 N/A
 Honduras 420 N/A
 Guinea-Bissau 381 N/A
 Costa Rica 376 N/A
 Cayman Islands 369 N/A
 Lesotho 331 N/A
 Cape Verde 328 N/A
 Central African Republic 312 N/A
 Solomon Islands 309 N/A
 Puerto Rico 306 N/A
 Mongolia 293 N/A Mongolians in the United Kingdom
Europe (country not stated) 269 N/A
 Guinea 265 N/A
 Suriname 264 N/A
 Benin 239 N/A
 Djibouti 237 N/A
 Monaco 225 N/A
 Nicaragua 223 N/A
 Maldives 200 N/A
 Chad 183 N/A
 Kiribati 179 N/A
 Haiti 164 N/A
 British Virgin Islands 163 N/A
 Tonga 143 N/A
 Gabon 135 N/A
 Vanuatu 135 N/A
 Kyrgyzstan 133 N/A
 Samoa 125 N/A
 United States Virgin Islands 124 N/A
 Mali 121 N/A
Oceania (country not stated) 108 N/A
 São Tomé and Príncipe 102 N/A
 Tajikistan 101 N/A
 Burkina Faso 99 N/A
 Turkmenistan 99 N/A
 Niger 96 N/A
 Bhutan 86 N/A
 Comoros 62 N/A
 Guam 61 N/A
 Turks and Caicos Islands 56 N/A
 Equatorial Guinea 51 N/A
 Cook Islands 37 N/A
 Andorra 35 N/A
 American Samoa 30 N/A
 Mauritania 28 N/A
 Liechtenstein 23 N/A
 North Korea 22 N/A
 British Indian Ocean Territory 19 N/A
 Nauru 14 N/A
 Tuvalu 10 N/A
 San Marino 9 N/A
 Norfolk Island 4 N/A
 Micronesia, Federated States of 3 N/A
 Niue 3 N/A
 Pitcairn Islands 3 N/A
 Palau 3 N/A
 East Timor 1 N/A
 Aruba 0 N/A
 Cocos (Keeling) Islands 0 N/A
 Northern Mariana Islands 0 N/A
 Tokelau 0 N/A
 Vatican City 0 N/A

Institute for Public Policy Research analysis

In 2005 the Institute for Public Policy Research published an analysis of data from the 2001 Census, revealing the number of people included in the census who were born outside the British Isles, where they lived, and comparing this information against the 1991 Census.[10] The results were made available on the BBC website.[11] Note that this data refers to Great Britain only, rather than the whole of the UK, because of the lack of digital boundaries in the census data for Northern Ireland.[10]

See also

  • Immigration to the United Kingdom since 1922


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Table 1.3: Estimated population resident in the United Kingdom, by foreign country of birth, January 2010 to December 2010". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 4 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Foreign-born: 1 in 12 in UK born overseas". Office for National Statistics. 15 December 2005. Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Rendall, Michael; Salt, John (2005). "The foreign-born population". In Office for National Statistics. Focus on People and Migration: 2005 edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 131–152. ISBN 1403993270. 
  4. ^ Muenz, Rainer (June 2006). "Europe: Population and migration in 2005". Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved 14 December 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Table 1.1: Estimated population resident in the United Kingdom, by country of birth, April 2009 to March 2010". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  6. ^ 6.5% of the EU population are foreigners and 9.4% are born abroad, Eurostat, Katya VASILEVA, 34/2011.
  7. ^ a b "Country-of-birth database". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  8. ^ Ellis, Amy (2009). "UK resident population by country of birth". Population Trends 135 (135): 20–28. doi:10.1057/pt.2009.5. PMID 19391440. 
  9. ^ Figure given is the central estimate. See the source for 95 per cent confidence intervals.
  10. ^ a b Kyambi, Sarah (2005). Beyond Black and White: Mapping new immigrant communities. London: Institute for Public Policy Research. ISBN 186030284X. 
  11. ^ "Introduction and figures for Britain". Born Abroad: An immigration map of Britain. BBC News. 7 September 2005. Retrieved 16 February 2009. 

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