India became the most common country of origin for foreign mothers in Britain. Almost a third of new babies registered in England and Wales last year were born to foreign mothers, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published on Thursday revealed.
A total of 605,479 live births were registered in the countries in 2022, a 3.1 percent drop from the previous year’s total of 624,828 and the lowest number since 2002. Of the annual figure, 30.3 percent, or 183,309 births were to mothers born outside of the U.K., up from 179,726 in 2021. The majority of foreign mothers originated outside of the European Union, 58,037 babies were born to EU-born mothers compared to 125,272 born to non-EU-born mothers.
India replaced Romania to become the most common country of birth for non-U.K.-born mothers for the first time since reporting began in 2003, the ONS revealed. There were 17,745 live births registered to Indian-born mothers last year, up 16.3 percent in a year, followed by Pakistan, with Romania dropping to third.
Poland and Nigeria made up the top five, while Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Albania, the United States and Germany featured in the top 10. It is the first time that Afghanistan has made the top 10 most common countries of origin for foreign mothers in Britain.
More than a third of new-borns in England were born to either a foreign-born mother or father, accounting for 36.7 percent of all births. This figure rose from the 35.1 percent recorded in 2021. In Wales, just 16.1 percent of new-borns were registered to a foreign-born parent. London was the region across England and Wales with the highest percentage of births where either one or both parents were born outside of the U.K. with 66.5 percent, up one percentage point over 2021.
The northwest London borough of Brent recorded the highest percentage of births to a foreign-born parent with 82.3 percent of all births, while Copeland, hidden away in the rural northwest English county of Cumbria recorded the smallest percentage at 6 percent.
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