Half of UK’s migrants arrived in just one decade, says census

NEARLY four million people came to England and Wales in the ten years between 2001 and 2011, according to official census data released yesterday.

The total number of immigrants arriving in the country between censuses in 2001 and 2011 outstripped all recorded arrivals for the previous half a century.

New countries drive recent migration Many immigrants came from countries that have joined the EU since 2004, while the number of new arrivals from some of the more established EU nations like Ireland and Germany has been low or actually falling.

The number of Polish people living in the UK rose ten-fold in the period, from 58,000 to 579,000, accounting for 14 per cent of new arrivals. In total 158,000 Polish people moved to London, more than any other UK region. The vast majority of migration from eastern Europe occurred after 2004, when 11 new countries entered the EU.

In September 2012, Poland’s central statistics office suggested that while some migrants had returned home as unemployment rose during the recession, net migration to the UK began to rise again from 2011.