In some of Britain’s key cities—including London, Manchester, and Oxford—over half of the children are now born to mothers who themselves were born overseas, according to a report by Migration Watch.
The self-styled immigration watchdog says that an analysis of official data shows that over the last half century, the proportion of children born to non-UK-born mothers has more than doubled.
Migration Watch, which often champions a reduction in immigration levels, said that “hyper-diversity” in urban areas could be driving divisions in society, with various social forces already creating trends of organic segregation of communities with different values.
Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said in a statement, “The rapidly changing nature of our towns and cities poses serious risks for integration and will be a real concern to many in this country. This is not inevitable. We can and must reduce the scale of immigration very considerably if social harmony is to be preserved. We shall be putting forward proposals for achieving this.”
According to the report, “The effect of this huge and sustained immigration on our towns and cities—the initial destination of most migrants—has been all the greater because of a lower age structure among arrivals and higher birth rates for some groups.”
In London, 57 percent of children are now born to mothers who were not born in the UK, according to the figures cited by the report.
The highest proportion was in Slough at 62 percent, followed by Luton at 58 percent, Cambridge (57 percent), and Leicester (56 percent). For Birmingham, the second-largest city, the figure was 42 percent.
The report says that 84 percent of population growth in the UK over the last 20 years has been down to immigration, but that the impact has been uneven, felt much more in the cities and towns.
Since 1970, the share of births to non-UK-born mothers in England and Wales has more than doubled in size from 12 percent to 29 percent, according to Migration Watch.
The report does not mention levels of illegal immigration. There are no official records for levels of “illegal” immigration into the UK.
A report by the London School of Economics in 2007 (pdf) estimated the number of “irregular” migrants living in the UK was 533,000—a little under one percent of the population.
According to the Home Office, last year, when migration dropped due to pandemic restrictions, “known illegal entry” was around 16,000 people.