Fall in proportion of live births to women born outside UK

9 October 2019, 12:55 | Updated: 9 October 2019, 12:56

Baby
Baby stock. Picture: PA

Poland remains the most common country of birth for non-UK-born mothers.

The proportion of live births in England and Wales to women born outside the UK has fallen for the first time in nearly three decades.

Some 28.2% of births in 2018 were to women not born in the UK, down slightly on 28.4% in 2017.

It is the first year-on-year decrease since 1990, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Proportion of live births in England & Wales to non-UK-born mother
In total, just over a third (33.8%) of babies born in England and Wales in 2018 had at least one parent who was born outside the UK.

This was also a small decrease on the previous year.

Kathryn Littleboy of the ONS said these parents “could be long-time residents who moved here when they were younger, or those who moved to the UK more recently.”

Areas outside London with highest proportion of live births to non-UK-born mothers in 2018
She added: “Poland and Pakistan remain the most common countries of birth for non-UK-born mothers and fathers respectively.

“Romania is now the second most common country of birth for non-UK-born fathers and the third for non-UK-born mothers.”

Figures on live births to foreign-born women date back to 1969, when the proportion for England and Wales stood at 11.7%.

The number first rose above 15% in 2000, above 20% in 2005 and above 25% in 2010.

Areas outside London with lowest proportion of live births to non-UK-born mothers in 2018
For the third year in a row, Brent in London was the local authority in England with the highest percentage of live births to non-UK-born mothers at 75.4%.

Copeland in Cumbria had the lowest – 3.0%.

The local authority outside London with the highest proportion of non-UK-born mothers was Slough in Berkshire, with 65.2%.

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