One in 20 Wigan residents born outside the UK, below national average

Nearly one in every 20 people living in Wigan were born outside the UK, figures show, far below the average for England and Wales.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 1:36 pm
The Mayor of Wigan Coun Steve Dawber welcomes new British citizens, at his first Citizenship ceremony at Wigan Mayor. The ceremony is held on the last Wednesday of every month at Wigan Town Hall.

Estimates from the Office for National Statistics show that only three per cent of the two areas’ combined 323,000-strong population last year were born overseas.

The figures are based on the Annual Population Survey, and count people living at private addresses and students in halls of residences whose parents are based in the UK. They exclude people living in communal buildings such as hostels or hotels.

Of the 11,000 people living in Wigan last year who were born outside the UK, most (64 per cent) were from the European Union.

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Across England and Wales, the population born inside the EU has stabilised over the last 10 years, while the share born outside the EU increased gradually.

Rob McNeil, the deputy director of the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, said uncertainties surrounding the UK’s withdrawal from the trading bloc have made the country a less attractive destination for EU citizens.

He described a “lack of clarity” about their status as residents and workers after Brexit, with the falling value of the pound meaning that their potential earnings in the UK are worth less than in recent years.

Despite this general trend, Ann Blake of the Centre for International Migration at the ONS said population patterns differed at a local level.

There was a higher proportion of migrants among people of working age, at 18 per cent.