Created 2 years ago, updated 4 months 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 110,944 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 (2021).

In 2021, the region of origin which supplied the largest number of births to non-UK-born mothers in London was Asia with 21,394, followed by the Post-2004 EU accession countries which provided 11,090. The region of origin which has seen the largest change since 2001 is the Post-2004 EU accession countries, which went from 1,612 live births per year in 2001 to 11,090 in 2021.

In 2021, the region with the largest number of births to non-UK-born mothers was London with 62,986 live births (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 3,312 live births to non-UK-born mothers, which only represented 13% of all live births in that region.

The data also shows that London accounted for 35% of all the births to non-UK-born mothers in England and Wales in 2021, which was a far higher proportion than any other region.

The data highlighst a couple of other interesting comparisons. Firstly, despite being the second 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 & Wales excluding London and England & 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. %
2021 London 47,958 43% 62,986 57% 7,275 7% 11,090 10% 5,933 5% 21,394 19% 10,725 10% 6,569 6%
2021 Rest of England & Wales 397,036 77% 116,702 23% 11,885 2% 32,731 6% 6,039 1% 40,451 8% 18,415 4% 7,181 1%
2021 England & Wales 444,994 71% 179,688 29% 19,160 3% 43,821 7% 11,972 2% 61,845 10% 29,140 5% 13,750 2%

Births by Mother's Country of Birth by London Borough