Fall in proportion of live births to women born outside UK

By Ian Jones, PA

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%.