Move over India, Poland is now the most common non-UK country of birth for people living in the United Kingdom. Data compiled by the Office for National Statistics figures show that there were an estimated 831,000 Polish-born residents in 2015 – a jump of almost 750,000 compared with the number in 2004, the year the country joined the EU.
As reported by the BBC, India and the Republic of Ireland have traditionally been the sources of the UK’s largest foreign-born groups.
But the latest net migration figures show a slowdown in the numbers settling in the UK from Poland and seven other former Eastern bloc countries, but that was offset by an increase in net migration from Bulgaria and Romania, which hit record levels of 60,000.
Nicola White, ONS Head of International Migration Statistics, said: “Net migration remains at record levels although the recent trend is broadly flat. The influx of Romanians and Bulgarians has also reached a new high, although that’s off-set by falls in non-EU immigration and from other central and eastern European countries.”
White noted, however, that these figures only go up to the end of March and do not cover the period following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
The ONS estimates show 13.3% of the usually resident population of the UK were born abroad, compared with 8.9% in 2004.
The region with the highest proportion of non-UK born residents, at 37%, is London.