Indians Now Account For London’s Biggest Foreign-Born Population

 @Gooch700 on May 20 2013 1:36 PM
Prince Charles at Sikh Temple in West London
Prince Charles at Sikh Temple in West London Reuters

Indian people are now the largest-born foreign group in the city of London, England, accounting for 9 percent of the metropolis’ foreign-born population, according to a study by Oxford University.

Nearly a quarter-million (263,000) of London’s residents were born in India as of 2011.

Indians have now supplanted the Irish as the largest foreign-born component of the population in England and Wales. Although, in terms of percentage increase, the number of Poles in the country skyrocketed the most -- by tenfold over the 10-year period.

On the whole, some 3 million people in London (about 37 percent of the city’s present population) were born on foreign soil.

Since 2011, London's foreign-born population surged by 54 percent, while the number of U.K.-born residents actually declined over the decade.

For England and Wales as a whole, fully 13 percent of the population are now foreign-born, up from 9 percent in 2001.

"[India and Poland] alone account for more than a quarter of the increase in the size of England and Wales' migrant population." Oxford University's Migration Observatory Deputy Director Scott Blinder said in a statement.

London also has large numbers of residents who were born in Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  

London's overall population climbed by 14 percent in the decade to 2011 – from about 7.17 million to 8.17 million.

"This underlines the huge impact that mass immigration is having on our society," Migration Watch U.K. said.

Even more astonishing, between 2001 and 2011, almost 3.8 million people migrated to Britain -- a little more than the 3.7 million who arrived over the prior half-century.

At present birth rates, the study noted, foreigners could outnumber native-born Londoners within just a few decades. The Sun newspaper projected that by 2031, London will have 7 million foreign residents and 5 million native-born.

However, Rob McNeil, spokesperson for the Oxford University Migration Observatory, did not endorse The Sun’s estimates.

“We didn’t do any predictions,” he told LondonLovesBusiness.com. “If someone wants to take our data and extrapolate it in a way to say that ‘We think it means this,’ that’s up to them. The Sun is welcome to do things with our data.”

McNeil added: “It’s pretty unlikely that we’re going to see the same sort of flows [in migration]. The rate has already changed. Net migration has been falling over the last two years.”

Gavin Barwell, a Conservative MP for Croydon-London and co-chair of the Migration Matters campaign, also downplayed the Sun’s projections.

“It doesn’t matter where people were born. What matters is, are they contributing to Britain and are they integrating into our society,” he told LondonlovesBusiness.com.

“London does indeed have high levels of immigration; it is also economically the most successful part of the U.K. If we are going to win the global race the Prime Minister [David Cameron] talks about, we can’t shut ourselves off from the world.”

Join the Discussion