Population of the UK by country of birth and nationality: July 2017 to June 2018

Latest population estimates for the UK by country of birth and nationality, covering the period from 2004 to the year ending June 2018.

This is not the latest release. View latest release

This is an accredited national statistic.

Contact:
Email Ann Blake

Release date:
29 November 2018

Next release:
24 May 2019

1. Other migration outputs in this release

As part of our ongoing work to improve bulletins, commentary on other international migration outputs released today can be found on the following pages:

Back to table of contents

2. Analysis of the population of the UK by country of birth and nationality

Non-UK populations vary across the UK

Figure 1: Percentage of non-UK born and non-British national populations in Great Britain, by local authority, July 2017 to June 2018

Embed code

Notes:
  1. Data is unavailable for the Districts of Northern Ireland, and so the title of the map has been updated to reflect that data covers Great Britain only.

Download the data

The proportion of the population in local authorities who were born outside the UK, or who held non-British nationality, varied across the UK. The interactive maps (Figure 1) allow you to explore these patterns in more detail.

Non-UK populations continue to increase

Since reporting began in 2004, the non-UK populations (non-UK born and non-British nationals) of the UK have increased year-on-year as more non-UK people continue to come to the UK to live than move to live abroad for a year or more.

The non-UK born population in July 2017 to June 2018 (9.4 million) was similar to July 2016 to June 2017 (9.3 million), and the same was seen for the non-British population, which was 6.2 million in July 2017 to June 2018, compared with 6.1 million the previous year.

The increase in non-UK populations in the last few years has been largely accounted for by EU populations, particularly the EU2, with those born in Romania, or with Romanian nationality, seeing the largest increases.

Poland remains the most common non-UK country of birth, taking over from India in 2015 (which reflected longer-term migration trends); Polish has been the most common non-British nationality in the UK since 2007.

In 2017, there were 3.7 million people resident in the UK who were born abroad and held British nationality – people born outside the EU are more likely to hold British nationality than those born in the EU.

The largest non-UK born and non-British national populations were in London in the period July 2017 to June 2018 (which is the region with the highest proportion of non-UK born residents, at 37%, and non-British residents, at 23%), as seen in Figure 1.

There were three local authorities (all within London) where just over half of the population were born outside of the UK (Newham at 53%, Westminster at 52%, and Brent at 51%).

Back to table of contents

3. Migration data

Estimates of the population of the UK by country of birth and nationality are from the Annual Population Survey. The latest data are for the year July 2017 to June 2018.

Population of the UK by country of birth and nationality

Dataset | Released: 29 November 2018
UK residents by broad country of birth and citizenship groups, broken down by UK country, local authority, unitary authority, metropolitan and London boroughs, and counties. Estimates from the Annual Population Survey.

Population of the UK by country of birth and nationality: individual country data

Dataset | Released: 29 November 2018
UK residents by individual countries of birth and citizenship, broken down by UK country, local authority, unitary authority, metropolitan and London boroughs, and counties. Estimates from the Annual Population Survey.

Population by Country of Birth and Nationality, Scotland

Dataset | Released: 29 November 2018
Further detail for Scottish Residents by Scottish Council Areas.

Back to table of contents

4. Glossary

Country of birth

The country that a person was born in. This cannot change.

Nationality

The nationality stated by the respondent when they are interviewed. This is subject to change.

Full details of definitions can be found in International Migration – terms, definitions and frequently asked questions.

Back to table of contents

5. Measuring these data

Estimates of the population of the UK by country of birth and nationality are based upon data from the Annual Population Survey (APS). The APS is a survey of households in the UK, so does not include most communal establishments.

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 latest data are for the year July 2017 to June 2018. We release data twice a year, in May (calendar year) and November (mid-year).

More information on the methodology can be found in the Population by country of birth and nationality Quality and Methodology Information report.

The Government Statistical Service Migration Statistics Transformation Plan is working towards putting administrative data at the core of international migration statistics. In December 2018, Office for National Statistics (ONS) will publish their findings from the feasibility research on using linked administrative data to provide international migration flows and be seeking feedback on user needs across the international migration evidence base.

Back to table of contents

6. Strengths and limitations

The Annual Population Survey (APS) is a household survey and so does not cover most people living in communal establishments, some NHS accommodation, or students living in halls of residence who have non-UK resident parents. As a result, the population totals used in APS estimates are not directly comparable with mid-year population estimates, which refer to the entire UK population.

All estimates produced are subject to sampling variability – confidence intervals are used as a measure of the precision of the estimate.

Estimates are not directly comparable with estimates of long-term international migration (measured using the International Passenger Survey (IPS)). The APS measures non-UK populations in the UK and is a stock of the population. The IPS measures the numbers of long-term migrants arriving in or leaving the UK, so is a population flow. In addition, the coverage of the two surveys is different.

The Population by country of birth and nationality Quality and Methodology Information report contains important information on:

  • the strengths and limitations of the data and how it compares with related data

  • uses and users of the data

  • how the output was created

  • the quality of the output including the accuracy of the data

Back to table of contents

7. More about migration

Building our understanding of the migration evidence

Bulletin | Released: 23 August 2018
Section 9 provides an update of the migration statistics transformation programme for August 2018.

Report on international migration data sources: July 2018

Article | Released: 16 July 2018
An update on our migration statistics transformation plans, our recent analysis of Home Office administrative data, in collaboration with Home Office experts, and our International Passenger Survey (IPS) data assurance review.

Migration statistics transformation update: May 2018

Article | Released: 24 May 2018
An update of the migration statistics transformation programme for May 2018.

Back to table of contents

8. You may also be interested in

ONS international migration articles

All Office for National Statistics (ONS) articles relating to international migration.

International migration – table of contents

Dataset | Released: 29 November 2018
Tool to locate the reference tables for all ONS international migration outputs.

Local area migration indicators, UK

Dataset | Released: 23 August 2018
Spreadsheet bringing together different migration-related data sources at local authority level.

Home Office Migration Research and Analysis

Released: 3 July 2013 (updated 31 October 2018)
Research and statistics on migration to support Home Office policy development and operational activity.

Home Office Developments in migration statistics since 2010

Article | Released: 23 August 2018
Recent changes introduced by Home Office statisticians to a wide range of UK migration statistics.

Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is an independent, non-statutory, non-time limited, non-departmental public body that advises the government on migration issues.

Back to table of contents

Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Ann Blake
migstatsunit@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1329 444097