Britain


UK sees drop in expats from Caribbean, rise from Eastern Europe

by Ray Clancy on July 3, 2015

Jamaicans are no longer among the top 10 overseas-born groups in the UK with more immigrants from Europe, especially Eastern Europe, new official data shows.

There are now more expats living in the UK who were born in Poland and the Indian-born population has grown by half since 2004, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.

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The new data marks a historical change

The data marks a historical change. It used to be that people from Ireland made up the largest overseas population and Caribbean nations such as Jamaica became the source of much of the UK’s immigration in the 1950s and 1960s.

But now the number of Jamaican-born people living in the UK has gone up by just 14,000 since 2004, putting it in 11th place, with 152,000 total population in 2013. People born in smaller Caribbean countries such as Barbados and Guyana have dropped out of the list of 60 most populous immigrant groups entirely, and Trinidad and Tobago fell to 59th.

Overall the ONS data shows that the number of immigrants living in the UK has increased by more than 2.6 million in a decade and there is now one immigrant for every seven people born in Britain.

When eight Eastern European Union member states were given the right to work freely in Britain in 2004 there were fewer than 100,000 Polish born people in the UK but now they are the second largest group at 688,000.

The ONS count gives estimates for the number of people who were born overseas and where in Britain they live – effectively a chart of immigrant populations.

In 2004 there were 5.25 million people living in Britain who were born overseas but by 2013 that increased to 7.9 million, the official data shows.

Net international migration reached 259,700 in the 12 months to the middle of 2014 with 582,600 international migrants arriving and 322,900 people leaving to live abroad. Overall net international migration was the highest since the year to the middle of 2011 and up by 76,300 from 183,400 last year.

The data also reveals that some areas are losing people, with Kensington and Chelsea in London seeing the greatest decrease in population size over the last decade, at 5.8%. The main driver of this decrease was a high number of people moving to live elsewhere in the UK. In contrast to all other areas in London, this effect was not offset by international migration as more people moved from Kensington and Chelsea to live outside the UK than moved in from outside the UK.

The majority of local authorities with a population decrease were in the North of England. The populations of Barrow-in-Furness and Cleveland decreased mainly because of people moving to live elsewhere in the UK. The populations of West Somerset, Sefton and South Tyneside decreased, mainly as a result of smaller numbers of people being born versus the numbers dying over the decade.

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