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Percentage of births to non-UK born women grows from 2007-11

Released: 25 October 2012 Download PDF

In the UK 24 per cent of births in 2011 were to mothers born outside the UK, an increase of two percentage points since 2007, according to a report published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This increase is caused by a 24 per cent rise in the number of women of childbearing age who were born outside the UK, and a fall of 5 per cent in the number of UK born women of childbearing age since 2007.

Of the 808,000 births in the UK in 2011, 612,000 were to UK born women and 196,000 to non-UK born women.
Fertility rates for non-UK born women are higher than for UK born women. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) for non-UK born women in 2011 was 2.28 children per woman, compared with the rate for UK born women of 1.89 children per woman. However, the differences are narrowing over time, due to an increase in the TFR of UK born women and a decrease in the TFR of non-UK born women.

The report analyses ONS births and population data from the period 2007-2011. It investigates changes in births over time and variation between areas of the UK, as well as the differences between the fertility patterns of UK born and non-UK born women.

Other findings from the report include:

  • Poland is the most common non-UK maternal country of birth for 2011 UK births, with around 23 thousand births in 2011. It is the most common in each of the four UK countries and London, reflecting the wide geographical distribution of women born in Poland.

  • The report looks at the top five non-UK maternal countries of birth (Poland, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nigeria). GFRs for the UK show that women born in Pakistan have the highest fertility rates of these five individual maternal countries of birth, with around 180 births per thousand women in 2011, compared with around 60 births per thousand for UK born women.

  • The impact of non-UK born women on fertility is largest in London. This is due to a high proportion of the childbearing population in London being non-UK born, and lower fertility of UK born women in London than the UK average.

Read the full report

Background notes

  1. The TFR is the average number of children that a group of women would each have if they experienced the age-specific fertility rates for a particular year throughout their childbearing lives.
  2. The fertility rates used in this report are calculated using survey data, which have not yet been reweighted in line with the 2011 Census.
  3. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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