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East Midlands: Census Profile

04 Jul 2013

This briefing summarises key statistics from the 2011 Census for the East Midlands, and its constituent districts and unitary authorities. The briefing provides information about population levels; the number, population share, age and gender of foreign-born residents; as well as countries of origin, main languages and passports held. Finally, the briefing compares the East Midlands to other regions of England and Wales and the 2001 and 2011 Census results.

  1. Key Points
    • In 2011, the total usual resident population of the East Midlands stood at 4,533,222. Close to 10% of those residents (448,211) were born outside of the UK, which represents an increase of 77.7% in the foreign-born population of the region since 2001.
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    • In 2011, 46% of the non-UK born population held a UK passport, and 49% held only a non-UK passport in 2011. Only 5% of the non-UK born population held no passport.
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    • Nearly a quarter (24.7%) of the foreign-born population of the East Midlands resided in Leicester. Leicester was also the locality with both the highest number (110,843) and highest population share (33.6%) of non-UK born residents in 2011.
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    • Between 2001 and 2011, the total non-UK born population grew the most in Leicester (46,283 additional non-UK born residents) while the biggest percentage increase in the non-UK born population occurred in Boston (a 467% increase).
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    • Residents born in India represent the most numerous non-UK born group in the East Midlands (68,463 residents) followed by residents born in Poland, Ireland, Pakistan and Germany.
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    • In both 2001 and 2011, the East Midlands occupied the 5th position in terms of the population share and the 7th position in terms of population numbers of non-UK born residents, out of the ten regions of England and Wales.
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  1. Understanding the Evidence

    The census is the most complete source of information about the population. It is particularly useful for obtaining population estimates for small geographical areas and information on the characteristics of such a population. Other sources of information on population characteristics in the UK such as the Labour Force Survey have large margins of error at the local level, because they are based on survey data and rely on a limited number of observations at the local level. The census is based on a count of people and households, with efforts to include everyone, but it is supplemented by a survey to detect and estimate those who are missed at first.

    The latest UK censuses were conducted during 2011, with 27 March 2011 as the official census day of record. In England and Wales the census was conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the National Records of Scotland in Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency in Northern Ireland. There are different release dates for the data in these censuses (including the migration-related data). Therefore, when comparing the East Midlands to other parts of the UK, the current briefing uses only information from the ONS 2011 Census releases for England and Wales.

    When analysing the nature of migration, defining who counts as a migrant is of crucial importance. Yet there is no consensus on a single definition of a ‘migrant’. Different datasets—and analyses from these datasets—use a variety of definitions of ‘migrant,’ including (1) country of birth, (2) nationality, (3) passports held, (4) length of stay, (5) reason for migration and (6) being subject to immigration controls. For example, people who are foreign born are not all foreign nationals; likewise, some foreign nationals may have lived in the UK for decades while others reside in the UK for only a year. Perhaps most importantly, not all foreign-born UK residents are subject to immigration control. Some are the children born abroad of UK national parent(s)–e.g. service personnel. Others are long-term residents who have acquired British citizenship. EEA nationals are also not subject to immigration control, yet are often considered migrants in public debate and in ONS net migration counts. This includes EEA nationals born outside the EEA.

    The data analysed in this briefing are based mainly on the census statistics for country of birth as well as passports held, not current nationality. The census collected data on passports held, and this can be used as a proxy for nationality; yet nearly 17% of the total usual resident population of England and Wales held no passport in 2011 (ONS, 2013) and data for passports held in not available for 2001, precluding the measure of change over time. When using data on country of birth, it is important to note that many of those included in the foreign-born category will have British citizenship.

    The data presented include statistics for usual residents only, unless otherwise specified. Usual residents are defined as anyone in the UK on census day who had stayed or intended to stay in the UK for 12 months or more (or were outside the UK but had a permanent UK address and intended to stay outside the UK for less than 12 months). In terms of countries of birth, data are available for 160 countries as part of regional totals. At the local level, however, data have not been provided for all countries of origin. Instead, the ONS has identified 27 key countries of origin most common at the national level, and all local analyses of the most frequent countries of origin only refer to the most frequent countries out of the 27 key countries of origin. As such, particularly at the local level, there may be other more numerous foreign-born groups that the current census release does not include. However, the totals for each region of origin are available for local areas.

    See the Migration Observatory video interview of Peter Stokes, 2011 Census Statistical Design Manager, for further discussion.

In 2011, the total usual resident population of the East Midlands stood at 4,533,222. Close to 10% of those residents (448,211) were born outside of the UK.

As shown in Table 1, in 2011, the total usual resident population of the East Midlands stood at over just over 4.5 million people, 448,211 of which had been born outside of the UK. This represents 9.9% of the total resident population of the region (a 63.5% increase from 6.1% in 2001). The foreign-born population of the East Midlands accounts for 6% of the total non-UK born population of England and Wales (an increase of 10% from 5.4% in 2001).

Since 2001, the foreign-born population grew by 195,901 persons, accounting for 54% of the total population growth of 361,048 usual residents in the decade. While overall the population of the East Midlands increased by nearly 9% between 2001 and 2011, the non-UK born resident population grew by 78% in the same period.

Table 1 – Key Census statistics for the East Midlands

 20012011Change (%)
Total usual resident population417217445332228.7%
UK-born resident population391986440850114.2%
Non-UK born resident population25231044821177.7%
Non-UK born as share of the region's population 6.1%9.9% +63.5%
Share of non-UK born population of England and  Wales 5.4% 6% +9.9%
Non-UK passport holders239940
Non-UK passport holders as share of the region's population5.3%

In 2011, 42% of East Midlands’ foreign-born residents were aged 20-39 years of age and 70% were aged 20-59 years of age (see Figure 1). In comparison, 24% of the UK-born population were between 20 and 39 years old in 2011. The most common age-groups were the 25-29 and 30-34 age groups, accounting for 12% and 11% of the non-UK born population respectively. Moreover, of the 448,211 foreign-born residents in 2011, 49% were men and 51% were women. However, the gender distribution of the foreign-born differed somewhat depending on the age group; a slight majority of the both those aged 0-19 and 30-39 were men. Non-UK born residents within the other age-groups were more likely to be women, and this likelihood increased with age.

Figure 1

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In 2011, 46% of the non-UK born population held a UK passport, and 49% held only a non-UK passport. The rest (5%) held no passport.

In 2011, a fifth (20.3%) of all residents of the East Midlands held no passport. At the same time, 74.4% held a UK passport and 5.3% (239,940) held only a non-UK passport (see Table 1). It is important to note that for residents with dual passports, priority was given to UK passports and then Irish passports in the census data collection process. Thus, respondents with both a UK and a non-UK passport are included as having a UK passport. In terms of the foreign-born population, 46% of the non-UK born population (206,974 residents) held a UK passport, while 49% (219,279 residents) held only a non-UK passport (see Figure 2). Only 5% of the foreign born population held no passport.

Figure 2

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Nearly a quarter (24.7%) of the foreign-born population resided in Leicester. Leicester was also the locality with both the highest number (110,843) and highest population share (33.6%) of non-UK born residents in 2011.

Nearly a quarter (24.7%) of the foreign-born population of the East Midlands resided in Leicester (see Figure 3). Leicester was also the locality with the highest number of non-UK born residents with 110,843 residents, amounting to 33% of the local population. This was followed by Nottingham with 59,729 residents, accounting for 13% of all foreign-born residents living in East Midlands and 20% of the local population. This means that more than a third (38%) of the non-UK born residents of East Midlands resided in the unitary authorities of Leicester and Nottingham.

Conversely, the smallest proportion of the foreign-population lived in the county of Derbyshire; its 25,642 foreign-born residents represent 6% of the total non-UK born population of the region and 3% of the local population. At the more local level, the district with the smallest foreign-born population was Bolsover (2,292 residents representing 0.5% of East Midlands’ non-UK born population).

Leicester also had the highest number of residents with a non-UK passport. In 2011, there were 50,174 residents with a non-UK passport, representing 15% of the local population and 21% of all those with a non-UK passport resident in the East Midlands (see Figure 3). In this measure, Derbyshire also had the smallest percentage of residents with only a non-UK passport in 2011, with the 12,652 residents representing 1.6% of the local population and 0.7% of all non-UK passport-holders in the region.

Figure 3

While there were 448,211 non-UK born persons usually resident in the East Midlands in 2011, there were also 11,255 short term residents (defined as staying between 3 and 12 months) born outside of the UK in the region in the same year. While Leicester had the largest foreign-born usual resident population, in terms of short-term residents, Nottingham was the top locality with 3,916 short terms residents, amounting to 35% of all the non-UK born short term residents of the region.

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Between 2001 and 2011, the total foreign-born population grew the most in Leicester (46,283 additional non-UK born residents) and the biggest percentage increase in the foreign-born population occurred in Boston (a 467% increase).

Figure 4

Between 2001 and 2011, the non-UK born population increased in each county, district and unitary authority within East Midlands, but to varying degrees and at different speeds (see Figure 4). The largest numerical increase took place in Leicester, with the number of foreign-born residents rising by 46,283 persons. However, since the non-UK born population was already the largest in the region in 2001, this rise represents an increase of 72%, in line with the overall growth of the foreign-born population of the region.

The biggest percentage increase in the non-UK born population occurred in Boston, where the non-UK born population grew by 8,063 residents (from 1,727 in 2001 to 9,790 in 2011), representing a growth of 467%. At the same time, the non-UK born population has grown the least in the Rutland unitary authority, increasing by 445 residents; this represents a rise of 23%, the lowest in the region.

Figure 5

As shown in Figure 5, although the non-UK born population has increased in each area of the East Midlands since 2001, its distribution within the region has changed somewhat since 2001. In terms of the foreign-born as a proportion of the total resident population within a given area, the highest increase (from 3% to 15%, a 389% increase) also took place in Boston. The area with the lowest change in the share of the foreign-born population within the resident population was also Rutland, with an increase of 12% (from 5.7% in 2001 to 6.4% in 2011).

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Residents born in India represent the most numerous non-UK born group in the East Midlands (68,463 residents) followed by residents born in Poland, Ireland, Pakistan and Germany.

As shown in Figure 6, residents born in India represent the most numerous foreign-born group in the East Midlands with 68,463 residents, amounting to 15% of the region’s non-UK born population. This is followed by residents born in Poland (53,400), Ireland (22,202), Pakistan (20,770) and Germany (20,441). Within the top 10 countries of birth are also Kenya, Zimbabwe, China, South Africa and Latvia. The resident population born in these 10 countries represents 54% of total foreign-born population of the region.

In terms of passports held, residents with Polish passports were the most numerous group (of those residents that held only a non-UK passport) with 50,740 residents holding a Polish passport in 2011. In this category, residents with Indian passports come second with 25,104 residents. Of those residents born in India, 34% held an Indian passport only (38% held a non-UK passport only), while 62% held a UK passport and less than 1% held no passport. In terms of residents born in Poland, 85% held a Polish passport (86% held a non-UK passport only), 4% held a UK passport and 9% held no passport.

The differences in the relationship between the non-UK born and non-UK passport-holders measures in the case of Poland and India can be partly explained, on the one hand, by the fact that EU citizens have less need to acquire UK citizenship as they are not subject to immigration controls and on the other, by the historical differences in migration from these countries. In fact, 92% of Polish-born residents living in the East Midlands in 2011 arrived in the UK after the 2004 EU expansion (94% since 2001). Conversely, 62% of Indian-born residents living in the East Midlands in 2011 arrived in the country before 2001; as such they have had more opportunity to become eligible and apply for British citizenship.

Figure 6

It is important to note that the non-UK born groups were not evenly distributed across the region (see Figure 7). Residents born in India were largely concentrated in the Leicester unitary authority, with 337,224 Indian-born persons residing there in 2011, accounting for 54% of all Indian-born residents of East Midlands and 34% of Leicester’s foreign-born residents. The smallest Indian-born population was in Rutland, where the estimated 79 residents born in India represented 3% of the non-UK born population.

Figure 7

Residents of Polish birth were somewhat more evenly distributed within the region. Northamptonshire had the largest Polish-born population out of the 9 unitary authorities and counties of East Midlands, with 12,475 residents born in Poland in 2011, representing 23% of all Polish-born residents in the region and 17% of the local foreign-born population. In terms of the Polish-born as proportion of the local foreign-born population, the top area in this category is the district of Mansfield, where 35% of the local non-UK born was born in Poland. The area with the smallest Polish-born population was also Rutland, with 101 residents of Polish origin in 2011, accounting for 4% of local-born residents.

The most populous foreign-born group in Rutland was German-born with 355 residents born in Germany, accounting for 15% of the local non-UK born population, but still just fewer than 2% of the total German-born population of the region.

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In terms of main spoken language, 269,717 residents of the East Midlands (6% of total population) spoke a language other than English as their main language in 2011.

There were 269,717 residents of the East Midlands who spoke a language other than English as their main language in 2011. This total represents 6.2% of the total resident population aged 3 and above. Within this group, the most commonly spoken language was Polish (19%), followed by Gujarati (17%) and Panjabi (12.6%). The languages chosen by 5% or more of respondents also included Urdu and Chinese languages (this includes Mandarin, Cantonese and other Chinese languages). Figure 8 shows the top 15 languages (or language groups) in the East Midlands. These languages (or language groups) account for 74% of all the languages spoken by those not using English as their main spoken language.

Among those residents of the East Midlands who did not select English as their main spoken language in 2011, 36% reported speaking English very well and 39% speaking English well. At the same time, 21% reported not being able to speak English well (1.3% of all residents above the age of 3), while 4% reported they couldn’t speak English at all (0.3% of all residents above the age of 3). Compared to the whole of England and Wales, foreign-born residents the East Midlands report a slightly lower English proficiency. While 75% stated they could speak English very well or well, for England and Wales as a whole this was 79% of those who did not speak English (or Welsh in Wales) as their main language.

Figure 8

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In both 2001 and 2011, the East Midlands occupied the 5th position in terms of the population share and the 7th position in terms of population numbers of non-UK born residents, out of the ten regions of England and Wales.

In terms of a regional comparison, in both 2001 and 2011, the East Midlands held the 7th position among regions of England and Wales concerning the number of non-UK born residents (see Figure 9). The number of foreign-born residents in the East Midlands was about 6.7 times lower than London’s 3 million non-UK born residents (the region with the highest number of foreign-born residents in England and Wales), while 3.5 times higher than in the North East, the region with the lowest proportion of non-UK born population, where there were 128,000 people born outside of the UK in 2011.

Figure 9

The share of the foreign-born population within the total regional population stood at 9.9% in 2011; in this measure, the East Midlands occupied the 5th position of the 9 regions of England and Wales in both 2001 and 2011 (see Figure 10). The regions with the lowest share of the foreign-born population were Wales and the North East, where those born outside of the UK made up 5.5% and 5% of the residents respectively. On the other hand, the region with the highest proportion of non-UK born residents was London (37%) and the second region with the highest non-UK born population was the South East (12.1%).

Figure 10

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Evidence Gaps and Limitations

There are two main limitations of the census. Firstly, it is typically only conducted every 10 years. Therefore, other sources of information are important in order to update the information between censuses. Secondly, there are only a limited number of questions included in the census. Therefore, sources of information on the broader characteristics of the population can also complement the census information.

While the census aims to include the entire population, it does have a certain margin of error. For England and Wales as a whole, the relative confidence interval at the 95% confidence level published by the ONS was 0.15% (83,000 people more or less than the estimate). To give an example at the more local level, for Leicester’s usually resident population, the relative confidence interval at the 95% level was 2.21%, suggesting a 95% probability that the true value of the population lies somewhere between 322,550 and 337,128 persons (ONS, 2012). Specific confidence intervals are not currently available for census data relating to country of birth.

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References

  • Office for National Statistics. “Detailed country of birth and nationality analysis from the 2011 Census of England and Wales.” London, May 2013.
  • Office for National Statistics. “Confidence Intervals for the 2011 Census.” London, December 2012.

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Further Information

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Authors

Anna Krausova
Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva

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