THE number of people in England and Wales who were born outside the UK has increased by 2.5 million since 2011, census data shows.
Census data reveals that 42 per cent arrived during the last decade when the government promised to deliver reductions in immigration, the ONS said.
Britain’s immigrant population has increased rapidly
Official figures today revealed how EU free movement has changed the population.
Romanians accounted for the biggest increase after working restrictions on the nationality were lifted in 2014 – up more than 500 per cent since the last major census.
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.
The data showed those who listed Ireland as their country of birth declined from 407,000 in 2011 to 325,000 in 2021.
A No10 spokesperson said of the news: “The UK has always been a diverse and welcoming country and we welcome that.”
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.
“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.”
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