Indians overtake Poles as biggest migrant group
INDIANS have overtaken Poles as the biggest immigrant population in Britain, official figures revealed yesterday.
It is the first time since 2015 that Poland has not been the country with the largest expatriate population in the UK – and follows a decline in immigration from Eastern Europe.
The shift could mark a turning point in the ebbing of the wave of EU immigration that began in the early 2000s after Tony Blair’s government opened the doors.
The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed immigration has been running at roughly the same level since 2016. In the year to the end of June 2019, the report found there were 212,000 more immigrants into Britain than emigrants leaving. This means net migration was at its lowest level since 2013.
But the ONS – which has been rethinking its methods following defective migration counts – said levels over the past four years have been ‘broadly stable’. However, net migration from EU countries alone has fallen to just 48,000, the lowest level since 2003. In the year to June, there were 837,000 Indian-born migrants living in Britain in the period – overtaking the 827,000 from Poland.
The ONS said: ‘India is now the most common non-UK country of birth, the first time since 2015 that Poland has not been the most common.’
The report found there were an estimated 533,000 people from Pakistan living in Britain, 434,000 from Romania and 358,000 born in the Republic of Ireland.
There are a total of 1.4million people from Eastern European countries.