Further rise in UK population born abroad

The number of people living in the UK who were born overseas increased by 200,000 last year, according to official figures.

UK border control
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the total number of non-British nationals living in the country was 6.2 million in 2017, a four per cent increase on the six million the previous year. However, the annual rise was smaller than the eight per cent increase recorded between 2015-16.

UK population shifts

Figures for the total population of total number of people living in the UK who were not born in the country, which includes those who have obtained UK citizenship, increased from 9.2 million in 2016 to 9.4 million in 2017, a rise of three per cent.Until 2015, the largest group of non-UK residents came from Ireland, with India in second place. Since then, about a million Poles have constituted the largest population, although the latest figures showed that Romanians had now moved into second place with their numbers last year estimated at 411,000, a rise of 25 per cent on 2016.The number of non-British nationals originating from other European Union countries was estimated at 3.8 million, representing 61 per cent of the total. London continued to be the most popular settlement city.Nicola White, from the migration statistics division of the ONS, said, “Non-UK born and non-British populations continued to increase in 2017, as more people continued 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. However, the largest increases in population were seen from those born in Romania and those with Romanian nationality.”
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Welcoming foreign workers to the UK

The data was released hours after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson insisted the UK needed to retain a “welcoming” approach to foreign workers after Brexit.Speaking in Chile on the last leg of a five-day visit to South America, Mr Johnson was asked by reporters if the government needed to relax its immigration policy to encourage the arrival of overseas skills.Mr Johnson said, “I have never made any secret, in my time as mayor of London and since, that I believe we should have a welcoming approach in the UK for people of talent who want to come and enrich our society.“I do think however that it is a matter for government to control and we should have a policy that suits the needs of the UK economy.“But certainly we want to remain open to talented people from Chile, such as the Chilean community we have in London in the financial services industry.”Top 20 most common non-British nationalities living in the UK in 2017:1. Poland 1,021,000
2. Romania 411,000
3. Republic of Ireland 350,000
4. India 346,000
5. Italy 297,000
6. Portugal 235,000
7. Lithuania 199,000
8. Pakistan 188,000
9. Spain 182,000
10. France 181,000
11. Germany 154,000
12. China 147,000
13. United States 133,000
14. Latvia 117,000
15. Nigeria 102,000
16. Hungary 98,000
17. Netherlands 97,000
18. Australia 87,000
19. Bulgaria 86,000
20. Bangladesh 84,000* The numbers do not include people living in communal accommodation, such as undergraduates in halls of residence.For related news and features, visit our Immigration section.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory 

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