Foreign-born mothers on a rise in the UK

One out of five children born in Britain in 2007 had an immigrant mother

26 June 2009: The figures released by the Office for National Statistics reveal the number of babies born in the UK to overseas mothers has gone up by almost two thirds between 2001 and 2007.

It is now clear that more than one out of five children born in Britain in 2007 had an immigrant mother. Their total was 160,300, compared with 529,700 British-born mothers.

The increase is being attributed to more immigrants coming to live in the UK. Even as some of the critics insisted the figures point to future problems for social cohesion, some others believe it shows Britain is turning all the more fairer, and non-racist.

They believe a number of immigrant women are also marrying the natives; and the whites by sharing matrimonial relationships with the South Asians and other immigrants, are only tying the knot with equality.

The trend, in fact, is being hailed as it raises the prospect of a non-racist Britain. It has led experts to believe future generations "will not see race in the way we see it".

As of now, half of all men in Britain, having Caribbean heritage and in a relationship, already have partners of a different race.

Robert Whelan, of the Civitas think-tank, on the other hand, said the rise in the number of foreign born mothers showed the impact mass immigration was having on the demography of the country.

He said it was changing the make-up of the population. Many of the children now being born would be brought up in a different culture.

The figures also reveal fertility rates are running at a low level among the women born in Britain. In fact, British-born women will have a theoretical average 1.6 children each.

But mothers born outside Britain have an average 2.2 children. Among women from Pakistan and Bangladesh the average is 4.7 and 3.9 children respectively.

The statistics office report stated that foreign-born women, who generally have higher fertility, are making up an increasing share of the population, which is also acting to push the overall total fertility rate upwards.

“This has resulted in an increase in the proportion of births to foreign-born women, from 15.3 per cent in 2001 to 21.9 per cent in 2007.”
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