Created a year ago, updated a year ago

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes data on the number of live births by the mother's country of birth in England and Wales each year. Every time a birth is registered in England and Wales both parents are required to state their places of birth on their child's birth certificate, and this information is then collated to produce these statistics.

In order to make it easier to look at what these data tell us about births in London, and how these have been changing over time, the GLA Demography team has extracted the data which relate to London from the main ONS dataset since 2001 and presented it here in an easily accessible format.

For more information about how the ONS produces these statistics, please visit their website: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths

For more information about how we extracted these data and created this report, please this project's Github repository: https://github.com/Greater-London-Authority/births_by_mothers_country_of_birth

Since 2001, the number of live births being recorded in London has changed from 104,162 to 117,893 births per year. The proportion of births which were to mothers who had been born outside the UK has changed from 43% in 2001 to 57% in the most recent year.

In 2019, the region of origin which supplied the largest number of births to non-UK-born mothers in London was Asia with 21,807, followed by the Post-2004 EU accession countries which provided 13,199. The region of origin which has seen the largest change since 2001 is the Post-2004 EU accession countries, which went from 1,612 to 13,199 live births per year.

In 2019, the region with the largest number of births to non-UK-born mothers was London with 67,690 live births (57.0%, 57% of all live births in London). By contrast, the region with the lowest number of births to non-UK-born mothers was the North East with 3,132 live births to non-UK-born mothers, which only represented 12.0%, 12% of all live births in that region.

Conversely, these data show that London accounted for 37% of all the births to non-UK-born mothers in England and Wales in 2019, which was a far higher proprotion than any other region.

These data also highlight a couple of other interesting comparisons. Firstly, despite being the largest region in England and Wales in terms of population, London is not the region with the largest number of births to UK-born mothers. Secondly, London is the only region to have relatively large numbers of mothers from every region of the world according to the way in which the ONS has categorised them, including Africa, non-EU European countries (such as Turkey and Russia) and the 'Rest of the World' (which includes the Americas and Oceania).

The data comparing London with England and Wales as a whole (including London) is provided in the table below:

Total Births - UK Mothers Total Births - Overseas Mothers Pre-2004 EU countries Post-2004 EU accession countries Rest of Europe Asia Africa Rest of the world
Year Region No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. %
2019 London 50,203 43% 67,690 57% 7,540 6.0% 13,199 11.0% 5,956 5.0% 21,807 18.0% 12,579 11.0% 6,609 6.0%
2019 England and Wales 456,246 71% 183,925 29% 18,909 3.0% 48,711 8.0% 11,413 2.0% 60,859 10.0% 30,735 5.0% 13,298 2.0%

Births by Mother's Country of Birth by London Borough