2011 Census reveals big rise in foreign-born residents

Welcome to the UK: more diverse, less religious and unaffordable to home buyers

LAST UPDATED AT 16:33 ON Tue 11 Dec 2012

THE NUMBER of people living in England and Wales who were born abroad has rocketed by more than 50 per cent in the past decade to 7.5 million – or 13 per cent of the population - according to figures from the 2011 Census released today.

In London, more than a third of residents were born outside the UK and in the boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea more than four in ten residents do not hold a UK passport. The number of Londoners who describe themselves as white British is down from 58 per cent in 2001 to 45 per cent.

The figures from the once-a-decade census - sent to 26 million households in March last year - “show beyond any doubt that the UK is now in the midst of an astonishing era of demographic change due to globalisation”, says the BBC.

The Daily Telegraph notes the impact of immigration from countries such as Poland. In the 2001 census, Poland did not feature in the list of the top 10 home countries of people born outside the UK. In the new census it was second with more than 500,000 people from Poland now living in England and Wales. (India is number one, with Pakistan at number three, followed by Ireland and Germany.)
 
The latest census also reveals the number of Christians in England and Wales has plummeted by about four million in the past decade to 33.2 million. At the same time the number of people describing themselves as having no religion rose from 15 per cent of the population to 25 per cent. Nearly five per cent of the population of England and Wales are now Muslims.
 
Other key findings from the 2011 census include:

Population: The number of people living in England and Wales is 56.1 million, up 7 per cent since 2001.

Health: Four out of every five (81% or 45.5 million) described themselves as being in good or very good health.

Ethnicity: Most residents of England and Wales are white (86% or 48.2 million). Twelve per cent of households with at least two people had partners or household members of different ethnic groups in 2011, a three per cent increase on 2001.

Property: Home ownership has decreased four percentage points since 2001, but more people own their home outright.

Vehicles: The number of cars and vans increased from 23.9 million to 27.3 million between 2001 and 2011. London was the only region where the number of cars and vans was lower than the number of households.

Education: In 2011 there were more people with Level 4 or above qualifications, eg a bachelor's degree (27% or 12.4 million), than people with no qualifications (23%, 10.3 million). · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.