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The Mayor of London The London Assembly

Where were London’s mothers born?

An analysis of data on mothers’ country of birth, based on ONS data, shows that in 2014, 58 per cent of live births in London were to mothers born outside the UK, compared with 27% in England & Wales. However within London there are still considerable differences between boroughs – in Havering, only 28 per cent of live births are to non-UK born mothers compared to nearly 77 per cent in Newham.

Migration from Eastern Europe to the UK has dominated headlines in recent years following an increase in the number of EU member states by 13 countries (all countries who joined the EU in 2004, 2007 and 2013).  The proportion of live births to mothers born in one of these so-called new-EU countries can be seen in the map below which shows that they are concentrated in the northern and western outer London boroughs.
Births to new EU-born mothers as % of all live births, 2014
Although not available at local authority level, the data shows that nationwide (England & Wales), Poland is the most common country of birth for non-UK born mothers – over 22 thousand births in 2014 (equivalent to over three per cent of all live births). Although the rate of growth has slowed down since the mid-2000s, Poland’s rise to the top has been rapid, as seen in the chart below.
Top countries of birth for non-UK born mothers
In 2013, both Romania and Lithuania entered the top ten most common countries of birth for mothers born outside the UK. Even though they are unlikely to threaten the position of the big three (Poland, India and Pakistan), it suggests that births by mothers born in the new-EU will continue to increase in London in the years to come.

A more detailed analysis of recent trends in parents’ country of birth can be found in GLA Update 11-2015 and also via the interactive Tableau visualisation.