The 2.5 million increase in population over the last decade has been driven entirely by non-‘white British’ people migrating to the country and higher birth rates among ethnic minority groups, official figures have indicated.
By Harry Wallop
18 May 2011
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics have shown that between 2001 and 2009 the population of England and Wales increased by 2.45 million to 54.8 million.
However, the numbers of white British people actually fell by 36,000 in that period, while the group of people the ONS classify as non-‘white British’, increased from 6.64 million to 9.13 million. This group includes everyone from Chinese, black African, Pakistani, mixed white and black Caribbean as well as Australian, Canadian and European.
The proportion of the population in England and Wales that is from an ethnic minority group has increased from 13 per cent in 2001 to 17 per cent in 2009.
The figures have once again opened up the debate over whether levels of immigration were too high over the last decade. Of the 2.45 million extra people in the country, 1.75 million came from net migration, while 733,900 came from births.
The net migration figure would have been far higher had the white British population not suffered from a net migration fall, with 396,000 more white Britons leaving the country than returning.