Immigration: UK births to women born abroad reach record number

Poland was the most common country of birth for mothers born outside the UK, followed by Pakistan and India

Joe Watts
Political Editor
@JoeWatts_
Thursday 25 August 2016 13:48
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New data shows the highest ever number of births to mothers born outside the UK Getty
New data shows the highest ever number of births to mothers born outside the UK Getty

Last year saw the highest ever number of UK births to women who were born outside the country, official figures have revealed.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that 27.5 per cent of all births in England and Wales were to women who had arrived here from abroad.

It comes as the latest ONS data also showed the Government has significantly overshot its target to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands.

Both sets of figures will add to fears that Theresa May is planning a major crackdown on immigration, with foreign students and low-skilled workers potentially targeted.

Over a quarter of births in England and Wales in 2015 were to women born outside the UK, the highest level on record. It means there were 192,227 live births to women born outside the UK and 505,588 to UK-born women.

The new data showed that the small increase in births between 2014 and 2015 resulted from a 2.5 per cent rise in births to women born outside the UK, while births to UK-born women decreased by 0.4 per cent.

Poland was the most common country of birth for mothers born outside the UK, followed by Pakistan and India. Pakistan was the most common country of birth for fathers born outside the UK, followed by Poland and India.

ONS spokeswoman Elizabeth McLaren said: “The rising percentage of births to women born outside the UK is largely due to foreign-born women making up an increasing share of the female population of child-bearing age in England and Wales. Part of the reason for this is that migrants are more likely to be working-age adults rather than children or older people.

“Alongside their increasing share of the population, higher fertility among women born outside the UK has also had an impact.”

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