Spurred on by conversations with my brother and various Reddit posts making claims about immigrant populations in the UK, I decided to check the ONS website to find some of their recent analyses on the UK population (which are fantastic, by the way)1.
One claim I remember specifically wanting to check out from a Reddit user was that London was now over 50% non-British. Surprisingly (to me at least) this is true for some of the Local Authorities in London (by place of birth as opposed to Nationality), although for the wider picture of London this isn’t the case:
Data source: ONS, Population of the United Kingdom by Country of Birth and Nationality 20152
Through these, we can see that Kensington and Chelsea have the highest percentage of Non-British nationals in Inner London, and Brent has the highest in Outer London. Both Inner London and Outer London have similar percentages for their British and Non-British nationals and places of birth. Kensington and Chelsea, Newham and Westminster are the Local Authorities (LAs) within Inner London that have 50% or more of their population born outside of the UK, and Brent and Harrow are the LAs within Outer London that 50% or more of their population are born outside of the UK.
The ONS data set also contains the top 5 places of birth and Nationality by Region (unfortunately not at LA level so we can’t investigate further into those 5 LAs with more than 50% of their population born outside the UK):
Source: ONS, Population of the United Kingdom by Country of Birth and Nationality 20152
The two countries that appear in both lists are India and Poland, so we can see that of the 293,000 India born residing in London, 173,000 or 59.0% (not taking into account the confidence intervals so this is really just an estimate!!) are British Nationals, whereas of the 170,000 Poland born residing in London, there’s a much, much smaller percentage that are British Nationals (I’m unable to even estimate this, due to the confidence intervals and estimates overlapping). This is echoed throughout the UK, where the ONS state the following: “This reflects that EU nationals have the freedom of movement between EU countries, whereas for non-EU nationals there is an incentive to acquire British nationality. This may also reflect the length of time that individuals have lived in the UK and the numbers born to UK nationals living abroad.”1.
1 Office of National Statistics, 2016
2 Office of National Statistics, 2016