A quarter of babies born in hospital in England and Wales has a foreign mother – and it’s costing the NHS a fortune
- The 25.5% rate revealed today is a record, with London leading the way with 56.7% of new mums from outside the UK
- Most came from Poland, India and Pakistan with a total of 184,000 children born in these circumstances in NHS hospitals
- Newham in London has a rate of 77%, the lowest levels were in the north-east
- Net immigration also at more than 200,000, official figures show
PUBLISHED: 11:38, 30 August 2012 |
A record one in four of all babies born in England and Wales last year had foreign mothers, it was revealed today.
Most of these women came to Britain from Poland, Pakistan and India to give birth to a total of 184,000 children in NHS hospitals.
Almost half of all these births were in London, which has a foreign mother rate of 56.7 per cent, far above the national average of 25.5 per cent.
The figures raise fears that more women are travelling to the UK just to give birth at the British taxpayers’ expense, before returning to their home countries to bring up their children.
In Newham, east London, more than three quarters of new mums were born outside the UK but choose to give birth here.
The number of foreign mothers is rising consistently annually, with the numbers now double what they were 30 years ago.
More than 20,000 are from Poland, followed by 18,000 from Pakistan, almost 15,000 from Indian and and more than 8,000 from Bangladesh.
‘It is rising every year because the number of non-uk born women living in the UK of child bearing age is also rising every year,’ an ONS spokesman said.
‘The statistics are simply based on the birth registration process so there is no information about whether the mothers left the UK after having a baby.’
It came as it was also announced that net immigration immigration to the UK is still at 216,000 a year.
This means that means hundreds of thousands more people every year are coming to the UK when compared to numbers who leave.
The number of people arriving for more than 12 months minus those leaving in the year to December 2011 was 216,000, some 36,000 lower than the previous year.
But the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the way the figures are collated means that there could be no change at all.
Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May want to reduce the number to under 100,000 by the end of the Parliament in 2015.
Migration Watch chairman Sir Andrew Green said: ‘These figures are a disappointment. Net migration remains far too high. Today’s numbers underline the huge difficulty of getting immigration back under control after thirteen years of chaos.
The government is on the right track and numbers will come down in future years. Meanwhile, the government must ensure that they pursue the national interest ahead of vested interests. They now need a blitz on bogus students and much tougher action on enforcement and removal. For too many years we have had only a token effort at tackling illegal immigration.’
Long-term immigration fell slightly to 566,000 from 591,000, similar to the level it has been at since 2004, while emigration rose slightly from 339,000 to 350,000.
Study was the most common reason for those coming to Britain, with figures showing 232,000 came last year, similar to the 238,000 in the year to December 2010.
But the number of visas issued for the purpose of study, including student visitors, were down a fifth in the 12 months to June, the ONS figures showed.
There were 282,833 visas issued for study, a fall of 21% compared with the previous 12 months.
The Home Office told MailOnline that the statistics show their measures are working.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘We are now starting to see the real difference our tough policies are making, with an overall fall in net migration and the number of visas issued at its lowest since 2005.
‘At the same time, there are encouraging signs that we continue to attract the brightest and best and to support tourism in the UK.
‘We will continue to work hard to ensure that net migration is reduced from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands by the end of this Parliament. We are doing this by improving the selectivity of our immigration system and increasing enforcement activity to prevent people coming into the UK illegally and removing those with no right to be here.’