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Population by Country of Birth and Nationality Report, August 2014 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 28 August 2014 Download PDF

Foreword

This article outlines the latest population estimates for the UK by country of birth and nationality, covering the period from 2004 up to the latest data for the year ending December 2013. The report discusses how these figures have changed over this period and highlights any statistically significant changes over the past two years in the resident population of the UK.

Key Findings

  • In 2013, 1 in 8 (12.4%) of the usual resident population of the UK were born abroad. This compares to 1 in 11 (8.9%) in 2004.
  • In 2013, 1 in 13 (7.8%) of the usual resident population of the UK had non-British nationality. This compares to 1 in 20 (5.0%) in 2004.
  • In 2013, there were a higher number of usual residents in the UK that held EU nationality (excluding British) than held non-EU nationality (2,507,000 compared to 2,394,000) – the first time this has occurred since the Annual Population Survey began in 2004.
  • India is the most common non-UK country of birth in 2013. An estimated 734,000 usual residents of the UK were born in India (9.4% of the total non-UK born population resident in the UK).
  • Polish is the most common non-British nationality in 2013. An estimated 726,000 usual residents of the UK have Polish nationality (14.8% of the total number of non-British nationals resident in the UK).

Introduction

This article outlines the latest estimates of the resident population of the UK by country of birth and nationality, for calendar year 20131, and how these figures have changed since 2004. The report also focuses on statistically significant changes in the population between 2011 and 2013.

The report should be read alongside the published tables of Population by Country of Birth and Nationality January 2013 to December 2013 (465.5 Kb Excel sheet) and the underlying datasheets (3.79 Mb Excel sheet) .

The estimates are based upon data from the Annual Population Survey (APS). The 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 most communal establishments. The APS is due to be reweighted next year following the results of the 2011 Census, and so figures for time periods quoted in this article may differ in later publications due to this reweighting exercise.

It is important to note that all figures contained in this report refer to estimates from the APS and do not refer to any data collected as part of the 2011 Census. ONS have released a report on detailed country of birth and nationality analysis from the 2011 Census of England and Wales. Findings from this report are similar to findings from the APS data. The Census report stated that 13.0% of the usually resident population of England and Wales was born abroad, and 7.4% were non-British nationals. It also stated that the most common non-British nationality is Polish. Please see the glossary for more information on the differences between the APS and Census.

Further data from the 2011 Census is available on the Census Data section of the ONS website.

ONS has also released a statistical bulletin entitled Births in England and Wales by Parents’ Country of Birth, 2013, in August 2014.

Notes for Introduction

  1. Country of birth refers to the country that a person was born in and cannot change. Nationality refers to the nationality stated by a respondent when they are interviewed and can be subject to change.

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

Table 1 shows estimates of UK residents’ country of birth by broad country group for calendar year 2013.

Table 1: Estimate of the resident population of the UK by country of birth, 2013

Figures in thousands
UK Born Non-UK Born EU27 EU14 EU8 EU2 Non-EU
54,786 (87.5% of UK population) 7,780 (12.4%) 2,674 (4.3%) 1,361 (2.2%) 1,077 (1.7%) 180 (0.3%) 5,106 (8.2%)

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. EU27 consists of the countries in the EU14, EU8, EU2, Malta, Cyprus, and Croatia (from 1 July 2013). The United Kingdom is not included in this group.
  2. EU14 consists of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain and Sweden. Please note that prior to 2013, Republic of Ireland was not included in this group, and was shown separately.
  3. EU8 consists of the Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004: Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
  4. EU2 consists of the two countries that joined the EU in 2007: Bulgaria and Romania.
  5. Non-EU consists of all those countries not in the UK or EU27 groups. This group excludes Croatia from 1 July 2013 when it joined the EU.

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Table 1 shows that, in 2013, 1 in 8 (12.4%) of the population of the UK were born abroad (7,780,000). Approximately two thirds of the non-UK born population were born outside of the EU (5,106,000).

Table 2 shows the estimates of residents’ nationality by broad country group for calendar year 2013.

Table 2: Estimate of the resident population of the UK by nationality, 2013

Figures in thousands
British Non-British EU27 EU14 EU8 EU2 Non-EU
57,678 (92.1% of UK population) 4,902 (7.8%) 2,507 (4.0%) 1,168 (1.9%) 1,148 (1.8%) 177 (0.3%) 2,394 (3.8%)

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. EU27 consists of the countries in the EU14, EU8, EU2, Malta, Cyprus, and Croatia (from 1 July 2013). Those with British nationality are not included in this group.
  2. EU14 consists of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain and Sweden. Please note that prior to 2013, Republic of Ireland was not included in this group, and was shown separately.
  3. EU8 consists of the Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004: Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
  4. EU2 consists of the two countries that joined the EU in 2007: Bulgaria and Romania.
  5. Non-EU consists of all those countries not in the UK or EU27 groups. This group excludes Croatia from 1 July 2013 when it joined the EU.

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Table 2 shows that, in 2013, approximately 1 in 13 (7.8%) of the population of the UK had non-British nationality (4,902,000). Just under half of non-British nationals (2,394,000) hold non-EU nationality.

Only half of UK residents born outside of the EU actually hold non-EU nationality (46.9%). Compare this to those born within the EU (not including UK born), where nearly all hold EU (not including British) nationality (93.8%).

Comparisons of those born abroad with those who hold non-British nationality, shows that 3,231,000 people born abroad have British nationality.

England has the highest proportion of non-UK born usual residents (7,144,000 or 13.6%), which is higher than the UK as a whole (7,780,000 or 12.4%). Wales has the lowest proportion of non-UK born usual residents (163,000 or 5.4%). The proportion of non-UK born usual residents living in Scotland is 353,000 or 6.8%. The proportion of non-UK born usual residents living in Northern Ireland is 120,000 or 6.6%.

England has the highest proportion of usual residents who are non-British nationals (4,435,000 or 8.4%), which is higher than the UK as a whole (4,902,000 or 7.8%). Wales has the lowest proportion of non-British nationals (103,000 or 3.4%).The proportion of non-British nationals residing in Scotland is 266,000 or 5.1%. The proportion of non-British nationals living in Northern Ireland is 98,000 or 5.4%.

2. What changes have occurred over the period 2004 to 2013?

Figure 1 shows changes in the population of the UK by non-UK country of birth from 2004 to 2013.

Figure 1: Estimate of the resident population of the UK by non-UK country of Birth, 2004 to 2013

Figure 1: Estimate of the resident population of the UK by non-UK country of Birth, 2004 to 2013
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. EU27 consists of the countries in the EU14, EU8, EU2, Malta, Cyprus, and Croatia (from 1 July 2013). The United Kingdom is not included in this group. Between 2004 and 2006 this grouping was known as the EU24 and included the countries in the EU14, the EU8, Malta, and Cyprus. In 2007 this grouping became the EU26, to include Bulgaria and Romania, who acceded to the EU on 1 January 2007.
  2. EU14 consists of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain and Sweden. Please note the data in this chart includes Republic of Ireland for all years, although published data prior to 2013 does not include Republic of Ireland within this group.
  3. EU8 consists of the Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004: Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
  4. EU2 consists of the two countries that joined the EU in 2007: Bulgaria and Romania.
  5. Non-EU consists of all those countries not in the UK or EU27 groups. This group excludes Croatia from 1 July 2013 when it joined the EU.

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In 2013, approximately 1 in 8 (12.4%) of the usually resident population of the UK were born outside of the UK. This equates to 7,780,000 residents. By comparison, in 2004, approximately 1 in 11 (8.9%) of the usually resident population of the UK were born outside of the UK. This equates to 5,233,000 residents. Therefore, there has been a statistically significant increase of 2,547,000 non-UK born usual residents between 2004 and 2013.

Comparing calendar year 2013 estimates with those for calendar year 2012, there was a statistically significant increase in the EU8 born resident population in the UK (1,014,000 to 1,077,000). Further analysis shows that the increase in both the UK born and non-UK born population of the UK between 2011 and 2013 was statistically significant. The UK born population increased from 54,233,000 to 54,786,000, and the non-UK born population increased from 7,509,000 to 7,780,000. The increase in non-UK born has been driven by residents born in the EU, as there were also statistically significant increases between 2011 and 2013 in the non-UK born population from the EU8 (988,000 to 1,077,000) and the EU2 (141,000 to 180,000).

Focusing on usual residents born outside of the UK, the estimated population born in the EU8 saw a statistically significant increase between 2004 and 2008 (from 167,000 to 689,000). This increase occurred following Accession and the widened opportunities for EU8 nationals to live and work in the UK.

On 1st January 2007, Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU. There were an estimated 41,000 usual residents in the UK who were born in these two countries in 2007. In 2013, there were an estimated 180,000 residents in the UK who were born in these two countries. This is a statistically significant increase from 2007.

Figure 2 shows changes in the population of the UK by non-British nationality from 2004 to 2013.

Figure 2: Estimate of the resident population of the UK by non-British nationality, 2004 to 2013

Figure 2: Estimate of the resident population of the UK by non-British nationality, 2004 to 2013
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. EU27 consists of the countries in the EU14, EU8, EU2, Malta, Cyprus, and Croatia (from 1 July 2013). Those with British nationality are not included in this group. Between 2004 and 2006 this grouping was known as the EU24 and included the countries in the EU14, the EU8, Malta, and Cyprus. In 2007 this grouping became the EU26, to include Bulgaria and Romania, who acceded to the EU on 1 January 2007.
  2. EU14 consists of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain and Sweden. Please note the data in this chart includes Republic of Ireland for all years, although published data prior to 2013 does not include Republic of Ireland within this group.
  3. EU8 consists of the Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004: Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
  4. EU2 consists of the two countries that joined the EU in 2007: Bulgaria and Romania.
  5. Non-EU consists of all those countries not in the UK or EU27 groups. This group excludes Croatia from 1 July 2013 when it joined the EU.

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As can be seen by Figure 2, calendar year 2013 is the first year since the APS started that the resident population of EU nationals (2,507,000) was higher than the resident population of those with non-EU nationality (2,394,000).

In 2013, approximately 1 in 13 (7.8%) of the usually resident population of the UK held non-British nationality. This equates to 4,902,000 residents. By comparison, in 2004, approximately 1 in 20 (5.0%) of the usually resident population of the UK were non-British nationals. This equates to 2,946,000 residents. Therefore, there has been a statistically significant increase of 1,956,000 in the estimated number of non-British nationals resident in the UK between 2004 and 2013.

Comparing 2013 estimates with those for the previous year, there were statistically significant increases for nationals of the EU14 (1,092,000 to 1,168,000) and the EU8 (1,074,000 to 1,148,000) resident in the UK. A statistically significant decline was seen in the resident population of non-EU nationals, from 2,509,000 in 2012 to 2,394,000 in 2013.  Further analysis comparing estimates for 2011 with those for 2013 shows that there was a statistically significant increase in British nationals residing in the UK (56,977,000 to 57,678,000). Whilst the increase in non-British nationals residing in the UK over the same period was not statistically significant, there were statistically significant increases for the EU14 (1,091,000 to 1,168,000), the EU8 (1,038,000 to 1,148,000), and the EU2 (135,000 to 177,000).

In 2007 there were an estimated 33,000 usual residents in the UK with Bulgarian or Romanian nationality. In 2013, this figure had seen a statistically significant increase to 177,000.

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

In 2013, India was the most common non-UK country of birth. An estimated 734,000 residents of the UK were born in India (9.4% of the total number of non-UK born residents in the UK). By comparison, in 2004, 502,000 residents of the UK were born in India (9.6% of the total number of non-UK born residents in the UK). Therefore, there has been a statistically significant increase of 232,000 Indian born residents in the UK between 2004 and 2013.

In 2013, the top 5 countries of birth for usual residents born outside the UK were India, Poland, Pakistan, Republic of Ireland, and Germany. Figure 3 shows the usual resident population in the UK for individuals born in these countries for the years 2009 to 2013.

Figure 3: Five most common countries of birth in the UK in 2013, 2009 to 2013

Figure 3: Five most common countries of birth in the UK in 2013, 2009 to 2013
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

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Comparing estimates for 2013 with those for the previous year, there were no statistically significant changes. However, between 2011 and 2013, the increase in Pakistani born residents in the UK (457,000 to 502,000) is statistically significant.

In 2013, Polish was the most common non-British nationality. An estimated 726,000 residents in the UK have Polish nationality (14.8% 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 a statistically significant increase of 657,000 Polish nationals residing in the UK between 2004 and 2013.

In 2013, the top 5 non-British nationalities for usual residents in the UK were for nationals of Poland, India, Republic of Ireland, Pakistan, and Lithuania. Figure 4 shows the usual resident population in the UK for individuals with these nationalities for the years 2009 to 2013.

Figure 4: Five most common nationalities in the UK in 2013, 2009 to 2013

Figure 4: Five most common nationalities in the UK in 2013, 2009 to 2013
Source: Annual Population Survey (APS) - Office for National Statistics

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Comparing estimates for 2013 with those for 2011 and 2012, there were no statistically significant changes, although Lithuania has appeared in the top 5 most common non-British national countries for the first time since the APS began in 2004, replacing the United States of America, which had previously appeared in the top five list every year since the APS began in 2004.

Further analysis of the two most common countries of birth shows that of the 734,000 Indian born residing in the UK in 2013, just over half (414,000 or 56.4%) are British nationals, compared to just 31,000 (4.6%) of the 679,0000 Polish born residing in the UK.  This reflects that those born in Poland do not change their nationality to remain here, whereas for Indian born (and non-EU born in general) there is an incentive to acquire British citizenship. This may also reflect the length of time that individuals have lived in the UK.

Glossary

2011 Census compared to Annual Population Survey

This report presents estimates using data from the Annual Population Survey (APS). There are some differences between the APS and the 2011 Census.

1. It should be noted that the APS:-

  • excludes students in halls who do not have a UK resident parent

  • excludes people in most other types of communal establishments (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites, etc)

The 2011 Census included all usual residents in England and Wales.

2. The APS is a sample survey of households. There are approximately 320,000 persons per dataset.

3. The 2011 Census data refers to a point in time (27 March 2011), whereas the APS dataset relates to a period of one year (January to December).

Country of Birth

The country in which a person was born.

EU27

The EU27 consists of the countries in the EU14, EU8, EU2, Malta, Cyprus, and Croatia (from 1 July 2013). UK born/British nationals are not included in this group.

Between 2004 and 2006 this grouping was known as the EU24 and included the countries in the EU14, the EU8, Malta, and Cyprus. In 2007 this grouping became the EU26, to include Bulgaria and Romania, who acceded to the EU on 1 January 2007.

EU14

The EU14 includes the countries of the EU, other than the UK, as constituted between 1 January 1995 and 1 May 2004 (i.e. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain and Sweden).

EU8

These are the eight Central and Eastern European countries that acceded to the EU on 1 May 2004 (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia).

EU2

These are the two countries that joined the EU on 1 January 2007 (Bulgaria and Romania)

Nationality

Nationality refers to that stated by the respondent during the interview. It is possible that an individual’s nationality may change. If a respondent has dual nationality, only the first one is recorded.

Background notes

  1. A National Statistics publication

    National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They are produced free from any political interference.

    The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

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    • are well explained and readily accessible;

    • are produced according to sound methods, and

    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

  2. Copyright and reproduction

    You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.
    Users should include a source accreditation to ONS - Source: Office for National Statistics (www.ons.gov.uk)
    © Crown copyright 2013

    To view this licence, go to the national archives website or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU

    email: psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

  3. Data supplier:
    Migration Statistics Unit
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    email: migstatsunit@ons.gov.uk tel: +44 (0)1329 444097

  4. A list of those with pre-release access to the Population by Country if Birth and Nationality statistics release is available.

  5. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

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