Census 2021: data shows how many Greater Manchester residents were born outside the UK

The number of residents who have moved to this country has increased since the previous Census was done in 2011.

Greater Manchester is becoming a more international place with increasing numbers of residents born outside the UK, data from the latest Census shows.

Analysis of the 2021 Census by the data team at our sister title NationalWorld shows that when the survey, which is conducted once every 10 years, was done last year residents born in another country made up a greater proportion of the population in each of the city-region’s local authorities than had been in the case in 2011.

This follows the broader trend across England and Wales which analysis of the figures in the Census has shown. Around one in six residents in England and Wales in the 2021 Census were not born in this country, the statistics show.

What do the figures show for Greater Manchester?

In every one of Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs residents who were born outside the UK made up a greater percentage of the population in the 2021 Census than in the 2011 survey.

The most international place in the city-region is Manchester itself, with 31.4% of residents in the 2021 Census not being born in the UK. That was an increase from 25.3% in the 2011 Census and means 173,208 residents living in Manchester were born in another country and have moved to the UK at some point during their lives.

The next-highest proportion of foreign-born residents was in Salford, at 19%. Wigan is the least international of the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester, with 6.2% of its residents born outside the UK (an increase from 3.5% in the 2011 Census).

What do the national figures show and what has been said about them?

The census data shows the number of foreign-born people living in England and Wales has risen by 2.5 million to 10 million in the past decade, which means around 17% of the two countries’ 59.6 million residents have moved here.

India remained the most common country of birth outside the UK in 2021, with more than 900,000 residents, but there was a significant increase in the number of people putting Romania as their country of birth on the Census. The United States and Jamaica have both fallen out of the top 10 non-UK countries of birth.

Census deputy director Jon Wroth-Smith said: “The census paints a picture of how the make-up of the population has changed in the past decade. That decade, of course, saw us leave the EU as well as live with the pandemic.

“While these events may have had an impact on people’s decisions or ability to migrate or travel at a given time, the census tells us about the change over the whole decade – who was living here in March 2021, compared with March 2011. We can see Romanians have been a big driver in this change, while there have also been increases due to migration from India, Pakistan and Poland, as well as southern European countries such as Italy.

“We can also see that migration in the year prior to census was lower in 2021 than it was in 2011. This is likely, in large part, due to the various travel restrictions in place during the coronavirus pandemic.”