Record Level Of British Population Is Foreign Born

(Telegraph) – MORE THAN ONE IN TEN PEOPLE living in Britain today were born abroad, a record level, new figures show.

The proportion of the population who are foreign-born has almost doubled in the past two decades to 11 per cent, or 6.7 million people.

One of the key factors behind Britain’s population increase has been the flow of migrant workers from Poland, Lithuania and six other Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004.

At the same time, the percentage of children being born to foreign mothers has also reached new levels, reported Jil Matheson, the national statistician.

The Office for National Statistics figures showed that in 2008 some 11 per cent of the population were born abroad, up from around 8 per cent in 2001 and 6.7 per cent in 1991. Figures are not available for 1997 when Labour came to power but, based on trends, is likely to have been just over 7 per cent.

Britain’s population is on course to pass 70 million in around two decades, Ms Matheson warned. She said projections based on past demographic trends suggest a 17 per cent increase in population over the next 25 years to hit 71.6 million by 2033.

It currently stands at 61.4 million and ministers have insisted the landmark total will not be reached.

The figures are likely to fuel recent claims by a former Government adviser that Labour deliberately ran an open-door policy on immigration to radically change the country and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”.

Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, and both his Conservative and Liberal Democrat counterparts will today stage a key debate on immigration.

Damian Green, the shadow immigration minister, said: “This Government has never had any control over immigration numbers. Some Government insiders have said this was a deliberate plot, others claim it was just a mistake.

“Either way they have left our borders unprotected. It is one of the biggest policy failures of the Labour years.”

The number of Eastern European nationals that are resident in Britain has risen sharply from 114,000 in 2001 to 689,000 last year. More than a tenth of them are children.

Immigration is having a double impact on population numbers because as well as those arriving in the country, the proportion of children born here to foreign mothers has also hit a new high.

Some 24 per cent of the births in England and Wales last year – or 170,834 – were to mothers born outside the country, the highest level since records began in 1969.

That is double the 12 per cent in 1990 and the proportion has increased year on year since, according to the Population Trends report, produced by the ONS.

In England alone, the proportion is now as high as 25 per cent.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: “The proportion of foreign born people in Britain has almost doubled in 20 years. This is a measure of the way in which our society is being changed without the British public ever having been consulted.

“Immigration on this scale can only add to the strains in our society and the pressure on our public services.”

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: “It is difficult for anyone to accurately forecast the population now, let alone in 30 years, after Labour and the Tories abandoned exit checks.

“We cannot know how many people live here if we do not count people out as well as in.”

Phil Woolas, the immigration minister, said: “These population projections do not take into account the impact of future government policies or those Eastern Europeans who came here, contributed, and are now going home.

“Projections are uncertain. For instance in the 1960s they said our population would reach 76 million by the year 2000, this was off target by 16 million.

“And let’s be clear the category ‘foreign born mothers’ includes British people born overseas – such as children whose parents are in the armed forces or those who come to Britain at a very early age.

“Overall, net-migration is falling, showing that migrants come to the UK for short periods of time, work, contribute to the economy and then return home.”

In October, Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett, claimed that the sharp increase in migrants over the past 10 years was partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to boost multiculturalism.

He said Labour’s relaxation of controls in 2000-01 was a deliberate plan to “open up the UK to mass migration”, but ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its “core working-class vote”.

It centred on early drafts of a Cabinet Office report in 2000, which allegedly also had passages of possible links between immigration and crime deleted before it was published.

Cabinet ministers have denied any suggestions of “secret plots”.

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One In Four Will Be Over 65 By 2033

(Telegraph) – A QUARTER OF THE POPULATION will be aged 65 or over within 25 years raising fresh fears of an ageing time bomb.

Those aged 85 or over are alone expected to double to 3.3 million by 2033 to make up one in 20 of the country.

At the same time the proportion of people of working age is expected to fall meaning an increasing individual financial burden to support the elderly.

The Government is already planning to raise the state pension age from 65 in steps to 68 in bid to ease a black hole that could run in to billions of pounds.

Projections by the Office for National Statistics warn the number of people aged 65 or over is expected to increase by 6.5 million to 16.4 million by 2033, at which point they would make up 23 per cent of the population.

The number of “very old people” of 85 or over has already doubled from 0.6 million in 1983 to 1.3 million by 2008 and is expected to double again over the next 25 years.

At the same time, the proportion of the population aged between 16 and 64 is expected to fall from 65 per cent to 59 per cent.

If left unchecked it means the ratio of the working age to state pension age could drop below three to one within four years.

Jil Matheson, the National Statistician, said: “This is due to increasing numbers of people from the 1960s baby boom, who are currently of working age but who will be entering retirement age.

“They will be replaced by smaller numbers of people in the working population.”

Industrial Output Plunges In August

(Reuters) – INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT PLUNGED unexpectedly in August and at its sharpest monthly pace since January, according to official data, denting hopes for a strong rebound in growth in the third quarter of this year.

The Office for National Statistics said manufacturing output fell 1.9% on the month, confounding analysts’ expectations for a 0.3% rise. July’s increase was revised down to 0.7% from 0.9%.

The wider measure of industrial output, which includes power generation and resource extraction, fell by 2.5% on the month, also the sharpest drop since January and against forecasts for an increase of 0.2%.

August’s falls in output more than offset the gains recorded in the previous two months, and, although industry accounts for just 17% of the economy, lessened the chance that Britain has emerged from recession after more than a year in decline.

Analysts now reckon GDP will barely enter positive territory in Q3 and even then only if services output recovers strongly.

‘August’s dismal industrial production figures will dampen some of the recent optimism about the economy’s apparent bounce-back,’ said Vicky Redwood of Capital Economics.

‘Accordingly, a return to positive overall GDP growth in Q3 now looks less certain,’ she added.

The pound fell to a one-week low against the euro and gilt futures hit a contract high as investors scaled back their expectations for a quick recovery and bet that monetary policy would have to remain loose for some time yet.

‘This is a bit of a reality check on the status of the UK economy,’ said Philip Shaw, economist at Investec.

Bank of England policymakers have expressed concern about the strength of any upturn in the economy and Tuesday’s data will reinforce their view that Britain is in for a long, hard slog back to growth, even though some forward-looking indicators have improved in recent months.

Consumer Debt Repayment At Record High Amid Fears Of Unemployment

(Reuters) – THE SCALE OF BRITONS’ BELT-TIGHTENING was laid bare today by data showing record consumer credit repayments in August and a five-year high in households’ savings ratio in the second quarter.

Official data confirmed the economy suffered its worst 12 months since modern records began in 1955, with output falling by 5.5% year-on-year in Q2.

Faced with a growing risk of unemployment, households reduced debt levels and increased savings — as well as finding it harder to access cheap loan deals.

But economists focussed on a more positive outlook ahead, with most expecting a hesitant return to GDP growth in the third quarter amid signs that the economy has passed its low-point.

The Confederation of British Industry’s September retail survey reported the first sales growth since April, which analysts had viewed as a blip caused by the late timing of Easter, while August mortgage lending was much better than expected and its highest since February.

‘The September CBI survey lifts hopes that retail sales are holding up pretty well after losing momentum in August. This is important to overall growth prospects given that consumer spending accounts for some 65% of GDP,’ said Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight.

The positive news from the CBI came despite data from the Bank of England which showed consumers repaid a record net £309 million of unsecured debt — mostly credit card balances — trumping the £259 million record set in July.

This chimed with figures from the Office for National Statistics which showed the household savings rate rose to 5.6% in Q2 from 3.9% in the first three months of the year, its highest since late 2003 and further evidence that the credit boom earlier in the decade is now long gone.

Nonetheless, Bank figures showed growing signs of a turnaround in mortgage finance — a precondition for sustaining tentative rises in house prices, which boost consumer confidence and some types of retail spending.

The number of mortgage approvals slipped fractionally in August to 52,317 but remained close to July’s upwardly-revised 52,404, the highest since April 2008. Net mortgage lending rose by £1.009 billion, the biggest rise since February.

But evidence the Bank of England’s £175 billion quantitative easing policy (printing money to buy assets and boost the economy) was increasing the broad money supply as intended, remained elusive.

The Bank’s preferred measure rose just 0.2% in August after a 0.4% rise in July.

‘There is still enough in this report to keep the MPC concerned about money and credit growth. And although we expect nominal GDP growth to recover in Q3, the current pace is still a far cry from the near 5% trend in nominal demand the MPC wants to see,’ said Allan Monks, UK economist at JP Morgan.

Jobless Claimants Up 24,400 In August

(Reuters) – THE NUMBER OF BRITONS claiming jobless benefit rose by 24,400 in August, broadly as expected, and the rate of unemployment on the wider ILO measure rose to its highest since 1996, official data showed today.

The Office for National Statistics said the claimant count rate rose to 5% in August, the highest since September 1997. The number of Britons out of work on the ILO measure rose by 210,000 in the three months to July, taking the jobless rate up to 7.9% — the highest since Sept-Nov 1996 and also in line with analysts’ forecasts.

Average earnings growth, including bonuses, eased to 1.7% in the three months to July from 2.5% in the three months to June.

Will The Last Briton Please Turn Out The Lights?

FIGURES RELEASED by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) today show that immigration fell around 3%; from 527,000 in 2007, to 512,000 in 2008; but that emigration, from the UK, rose 24% — from 318,000 to 395,000.

The figures also showed that in the second quarter of 2009, the number of people granted settlement in the UK, excluding citizens of Switzerland and European Economic Area countries, rose 26% (to 46,120) compared with the same period in 2008.

The vacancies, it appears, do not last long.

Or should that be the other way around?..

The story is in the figures, and the spin that has been applied to them by the ONS (faithfully reported by Reuters).

This link opens in a new window — so that you can compare both interpretations, side-by-side…

… (14/09/2009) – Asda Launches Asian Clothing Range

… (21/09/2009) – Lib Dems Back Points-Plan To Move Immigrants To Regions

Jobless Rate Hits 13 Year High

(Reuters) – UNEMPLOYMENT HIT ITS HIGHEST RATE since 1996 in the three months to June, official figures showed today, while the number of people claiming jobless benefit rose broadly as expected in July.

The Office for National Statistics said the ILO jobless rate rose to 7.8% in April-June, above forecasts for a rise to 7.7% and the highest since Oct-Dec 1996.

The number of people without a job on this measure rose to 2.435 million, its highest since 1995.

Despite recent signs Britain may be starting to emerge from recession, unemployment is expected to keep rising for some months to come.

… (16/09/2009) – Jobless Claimants Up 24,400 In August