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1 in 8 of the usually resident UK population were born abroad

ONS analysis of population by country of birth and nationality from the Annual Population Survey

This latest ONS analysis uses Annual Population Survey (APS) data to look at the country of birth and nationality of UK residents for 2012, and compares changes over time since 2004. The findings show that in 2012, 1 in 8 (12.4%) of the usually resident population of the UK were born abroad whilst 1 in 13 (7.8%) had non-British nationality. India was the most common non-UK country of birth in 2012 and Polish was the most common non-British nationality.

What do the latest figures show, and how have these changed since 2004?

In 2012, 1 in 8 (12.4%) of the population of the UK were born abroad (7,679,000). Approximately two thirds of the non-UK born population were born outside of the EU (5,071,000). By comparison, in 2004, approximately 1 in 11 (8.9%) of the usually resident population of the UK were born outside of the UK (5,233,000). Therefore, there has been an increase of 2,446,000 non-UK born usual residents between 2004 and 2012.

In 2012, 1 in 13 (7.8%) of the population of the UK had non-British nationality (4,852,000). Just over half of non-British nationals (2,509,000) hold non-EU nationality. By comparison, in 2004, approximately 1 in 20 (5.0%) of the usually resident population of the UK were non-British nationals (2,946,000). Therefore, there has been an increase of 1,906,000 non-British nationals between 2004 and 2012.

Which countries are non-UK born residents and non-British nationals from?

In 2012, the top 5 countries of birth for usual residents born outside the UK were India, Poland, Pakistan, Republic of Ireland, and Germany. We can see in Figure 1 below the usually resident population of the UK for individuals born in these countries between 2008 and 2012.

In 2012, India was the most common non-UK country of birth, making up 9.5% of the total number of non-UK born residents. 729,000 residents of the UK were born in India in 2012, compared with 502,000 (9.6% of all non-UK born residents) in 2004. This means there has been an increase of 227,000 Indian born residents in the UK between 2004 and 2012.

Figure 1: Five most common countries of birth in the UK in 2012, 2008 to 2012

Figure 1: Five most common countries of birth in the UK in 2012, 2008 to 2012
Source: Office for National Statistics

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What are the most common non-British nationalities?

In 2012, the top 5 non-British nationalities for usual residents in the UK were Poland, India, Republic of Ireland, Pakistan, and United States of America. We can see in Figure 2 below the usually resident population of the UK for individuals with these nationalities in these countries for the years 2008 to 2012.

In 2012, Polish was the most common non-British nationality. 700,000 residents in the UK have Polish nationality (14.4% of the total number of non-British nationals resident in the UK). By comparison, in 2004, 69,000 residents of the UK had Polish nationality (2.3% of the total number of non-British nationals resident in the UK). Therefore, there has been an increase of 631,000 Polish nationals residing in the UK between 2004 and 2012.

Figure 2: Five most common nationalities in the UK in 2012, 2008 to 2012

Figure 2: Five most common nationalities in the UK in 2012, 2008 to 2012
Source: Office for National Statistics

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1The APS, which began in 2004, is a continuous survey, comprising the Labour Force Survey (LFS), supplemented by sample boosts in England, Wales, and Scotland to ensure small areas are sufficiently sampled. The APS is a survey of households in the UK, so does not include communal establishments. The APS data in this report is the latest available.

Where can I get more information about the Population of the UK by Country of Birth and Nationality? 

These statistics were analysed by the Migration Statistics Unit at the ONS using APS data compiled by the ONS and published on the ONS website. If you’d like to find out more about the latest population by country of birth and nationality statistics, please read the Population by Country of Birth and Nationality Report, August 2013, or visit our migration page. If you have any comments or suggestions, we’d like to hear them! Please email us at migstatsunit@ons.gov.uk.

Categories: Population, Migration, International Migration, Population by Nationality and Country of Birth
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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