Immigrants in Britain double in less than three decades

Over one of 10 East European immigrants in Britain is a child

9th December 2009: Immigrants in Britain have almost doubled in less than three decades; and over one in 10 of East European immigrants living in Britain are children.

The figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal more than 10 per cent of the population, 6.7million, was born abroad; and now the UK has 75,000 youngsters, 15 or under, who were born in Poland and other former communist countries.

The number was hovering around 11,000 in 2004. This is not all. Statistically speaking, 26,000 children were born in the UK last year to East European women.

The figures indicate the number of those born abroad is two million higher than it was just eight years ago.

National Statistician-cum-head of the Government’s ONS Jil Matheson said there were 689,000 migrants from Eastern Europe in Britain. The count had registered an increase of 522,000 since Poland and seven other Eastern European countries joined the EU in 2004. But they make up just one in 10 of the foreign-born population of the country.

She also certified the ONS earlier projections on the UK population hitting the politically sensitive 70million mark in 2029.

Matheson was also of the opinion that a short-term period of falling immigration could be expected, before immigration levels rose again to pre-recession levels.

Reacting to the figures, Sir Andrew Green of the Migrationwatch think-tank said the report confirmed the massive impact of immigration on the population under the present Government.
He added it must be brought under control, but so far Government policies were completely inadequate for the purpose.’

Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas, on the other hand, said the population projections do not take into account the impact of future government policies or those Eastern Europeans who came here, contributed, and were now going home.

Projections were uncertain. For instance in the 1960s they said our population would reach 76million by the year 2000, this was off target by 16million, he said.

Woolas insisted the category "foreign-born mothers" included British people born overseas such as children whose parents were in the armed forces or those who come to Britain at a very early age.

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