The population of non-UK born citizens rose to 9.4m last year, up three per cent from 9.2m in 2016. Romanians have now become the second most common non-British population living in the UK.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show that the total number of Romanian nationals rose by 25% from 2016 to 2017, reaching 411,000.
Poland is the most common country of birth of non-UK born citizens living in the country since 2007, with an estimated one million Polish people living in the UK.
Out of the 65,176,000 residents in the UK, at least 6.2 million were non-UK nationals – up by 4%.
Brexit doesn’t seem to have affected the number of EU national living in the UK which has remained high.
Nicola White of the ONS migration statistics division said: “Non-UK born and non-British populations continued to increase in 2017, as more people continue to come to the UK to live than move to live abroad for a year or more.
“Poland-born residents and Polish nationals were the most common populations from outside the UK, with an estimated one million Polish nationals now living in the UK. However, the largest increases in population were seen from those born in Romania and those with Romanian nationality.”
The Republic of Ireland takes the third place with 350,000 nationals in the UK. India falls to fourth with 346,000 nationals in the UK – a place formerly held by Romania.
Commenting on the fact that Romanians have now become the second most common non-British population living in the UK, Mircea Maer, Editor of Ziarul Românesc, the weekly newspaper for Romanians in the UK, said it was to be expected. “The Romanians continued to come to the UK despite Brexit. Many Poles have returned home, European citizens have ceased to come here because of insecurity. Instead, the social, economic and political issues in Romania are pushing citizens to take the road to wandering. It is a reality that we must accept it. On the other hand, I cannot help but notice that again we are pointed in the Brexit context. In Brexiteers opinion, this fact is a kind of demonstration that the 2016 referendum was perfectly legitimate. Let us not forget, however, that in terms of ethnicity in the UK, things are totally different. There are almost 1.5 million ethnic Indians and 1.2 million ethnic Pakistani people in the UK. So, there are shades in this statistic.”