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Yorkshire and the Humber: Census Profile

12 Jun 2013

This briefing summarises key statistics from the 2011 Census for Yorkshire and the Humber, and its constituent districts and unitary authorities. The briefing provides information about population levels; the number, population share, age and gender of foreign-born residents; as well as countries of origin, main languages and passports held. Finally, the briefing compares Yorkshire and the Humber to other regions of England and Wales and the 2001 and 2011 Census results.

  1. Key Points
    • In 2011, the total usual resident population of Yorkshire and the Humber stood at 5,283,733. Close to 9% of those residents (464,691) were born outside of the UK.
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    • Nearly half (47%) of the non-UK born population held a UK passport, and the same proportion held only a non-UK passport in 2011, while 6% of the non-UK born population held no passport.
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    • The majority (55%) of the non-UK born population was concentrated in West Yorkshire. At the more local level, Bradford and Leeds had the highest number as well as highest population share of non-UK born residents.
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    • Between 2001 and 2011, the total non-UK born population grew the most in Leeds (38,508 additional non-UK born residents) and the biggest percentage increase in the non-UK born population occurred in Hull (a 195% increase).
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    • People born in Pakistan represent the most numerous non-UK born group in Yorkshire and the Humber, followed by residents born in Poland, India, Germany and Ireland.
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    • In both 2001 and 2011, Yorkshire and the Humber occupied the 6th position, both in terms of the population numbers and the population share of non-UK born residents, out of the ten regions of England and Wales.
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  1. Understanding the Evidence

    The census is the most complete source of information about the population. It is particularly useful for obtaining population estimates for small geographical areas and information on the characteristics of such a population. Other sources of information on population characteristics in the UK such as the Labour Force Survey have large margins of error at the local level, because they are based on survey data and rely on a limited number of observations at the local level. The census is based on a count of people and households, with efforts to include everyone, but it is supplemented by a survey to detect and estimate those who are missed at first.

    The latest UK censuses were conducted during 2011. In England and Wales the census was conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and in Scotland the census was conducted by the National Records of Scotland, while in Northern Ireland the census was conducted by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. There are different release dates for the data in these censuses (including the migration related data). Therefore, the current briefing uses only information from the ONS 2011 Census releases for England and Wales.

    When analysing the nature of migration, defining who counts as a migrant is of crucial importance. Yet there is no consensus on a single definition of a ‘migrant’. Different datasets—and analyses from these datasets—use a variety of definitions of ‘migrant,’ including (1) country of birth, (2) nationality, (3) passports held, (4) length of stay, (5) reason for migration and (6) being subject to immigration controls. For example, people who are foreign born are not all foreign nationals; likewise, some foreign nationals may have lived in the UK for decades while others reside in the UK for only a year. Perhaps most importantly, not all foreign-born UK residents are subject to immigration control. Some are the children born abroad of UK national parent(s)–e.g. service personnel. Others are long-term residents who have acquired British citizenship. EEA nationals are also not subject to immigration control, yet are often considered migrants in public debate and in ONS net migration counts. This includes EEA nationals born outside the EEA.

    The data analysed in this briefing are based mainly on the census statistics for country of birth as well as passports held, not current nationality. The census collected data on passports held, and this can be used as a proxy for nationality; yet nearly 17% of the total usual resident population of England and Wales held no passport in 2011 (ONS, 2013) and data for passports held are not available for 2001, precluding the measure of change over time. When using data on country of birth, it is important to note that many of those included in the foreign-born category will have British citizenship.

    The data presented include statistics for usual residents only, unless otherwise specified. Usual residents are defined as anyone in the UK on census day who had stayed or intended to stay in the UK for 12 months or more (or were outside the UK but had a permanent UK address and intended to stay outside the UK for less than 12 months). In terms of countries of birth, data are available for 160 countries as part of regional totals. At the local level, however, data have not been provided for all countries of origin. Instead, the ONS has identified 27 key countries of origin most common at the national level, and all local analyses of the most frequent countries of origin only refer to the most frequent countries out of the 27 key countries of origin. As such, particularly at the local level, there may be other more numerous foreign-born groups that the current census release does not include. However, the totals for each region of origin are available for local areas.

    See the Migration Observatory video interview of Peter Stokes, 2011 Census Statistical Design Manager, for further discussion.

In 2011, the total usual resident population of Yorkshire and the Humber stood at 5,283,733. Close to 9% of those residents (464,691) were born outside of the UK and 4.5% (236,270) held a non-UK passport.

As shown in Table 1, in 2011, the total usual resident population of Yorkshire and the Humber stood at over 5 million people, 464,691 of which had been born outside of the UK. This represents almost 9% of the total resident population in the region (a 67% increase from 5.3% in 2001). Moreover, 236,270 residents held only a non-UK passport in 2011, representing 4.5% of the region’s resident population. The non-UK born population of Yorkshire and the Humber accounts for just over 6% of the total non-UK born population of England and Wales (a 10% increase from 5.6% in 2001). Since 2001, the non-UK born population grew by 203,851, accounting for 64% of the total population growth of 318,900 usual residents in the decade. While overall the population of Yorkshire and the Humber increased by 6% between 2001 and 2011, the non-UK born resident population grew by 78% in the same period.

Table 1 – Key Census statistics for Yorkshire and the Humber

 20012011Change (%)
Total usual resident population496483352837336.4%
UK-born resident population470399348190422.4%
Non-UK born resident population26084046469178%
Non-UK born as share of the region's population 5.3% 8.8% +67.4%
Share of non-UK born population of England and  Wales 5.6% 6.2% +10.2%
Non-UK passport holders236270
Non-UK passport holders as share of the region's population4.5%

In 2011, 47% of Yorkshire and the Humber’s non-UK born residents were aged 20-39 years of age (see Figure 1). In comparison, 24% of the UK-born population were between 20 and 39 years old in 2011. The most common age-groups within the foreign-born population were 25-29 and 30-34 years of age, each accounting for 13% of the non-UK born population. Moreover, of the 464,691 non-UK born residents in 2011, 50.3% were men and 49.7% were women. However, the gender distribution differed depending on the age group. A slight majority of the 20-29 age-group was made up by women (50.3%), while of those non-UK born residents aged 30-39 years of age, 53.4% were men.

Figure 1

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Nearly half (47%) of the non-UK born population held a UK passport in 2011, and the same proportion held only a non-UK passport. Only 6% of the non-UK born population held no passport.

In Yorkshire and the Humber in 2011, nearly a fifth (19.4%) of the usually resident population held no passport. At the same time, 4.5% of residents held only a non-UK passport in 2011, amounting to 236,270 persons (see Table 1). It is important to note that for residents with dual passports, priority was given to UK passports and then Irish passports in the census data collection process. Thus, respondents with both a UK and a non-UK passport are included as having a UK passport. In terms of the foreign-born population, only 6% held no passport. In fact, 47% of the non-UK born population (219,347 residents) held a UK passport, as shown in Figure 2. Similarly, 47% of the total non-UK born population (219,279 residents) held only a non-UK passport.

Figure 2

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The majority (55%) of the non-UK-born population was concentrated in West Yorkshire. At the more local level, Bradford and Leeds had the highest number as well as highest population share of non-UK born residents.

The majority (55%) of the non-UK born population was concentrated in the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire; almost half (49.5%) of residents with non-UK passports resided in West Yorkshire. As Figure 3 shows, the highest numbers of both non-UK born residents and non-UK passport-holders resided in the metropolitan boroughs of Bradford and Leeds. In 2011, there were 46,623 residents with non-UK passports in Leeds (6% of local population), and 36,908 in Bradford (7% of local population). At the same time, there were 89,609 non-UK born persons living in Bradford in 2011, making up 17.2% of the local population and 19.3% of the entire non-UK born population of Yorkshire and the Humber (see also Figures 4 and 5). In Leeds, there were 86,144 non-UK born residents in 2011, amounting to 11.5% of the local population and 18.5% of the total non-UK born population of Yorkshire and the Humber. The district with the second highest proportion of non-UK born residents was Sheffield, with 11.7% of the local population born outside of the UK.

Conversely, the districts of Ryedale and Craven hosted the smallest number of non-UK born persons with 2,148 and 2,298 non-UK born residents respectively, representing 4.2% of the total local population in both districts. In terms of residents with non-UK passports, these districts also had the lowest numbers in 2011; there were 1,137 non-UK passport-holders in Ryedale and 1,174 in Craven (representing 2.2% and 2.1% of the local population respectively). These districts also accommodated the smallest proportion, less than half a per cent in both, of all the non-UK born residents of Yorkshire and the Humber. However, when considering the non-UK born population as a share of the total population in that locality, the district with the lowest share was Barnsley in 2011, with 3.4% of the local residents born outside of the UK.

Figure 3

While there were 464,691 non-UK born persons usually resident in Yorkshire and the Humber in 2011, there were also 14,002 short-term residents (defined as staying between 3 and 12 months) born outside of the UK in the region in the same year. While Bradford had the largest foreign-born usual resident population, in terms of foreign-born short-term residents, Leeds was the top locality with 3,761 short-terms residents, amounting to 27% of all the non-UK born short term residents of the region.

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Between 2001 and 2011, the total non-UK born population grew the most in Leeds (38,508 additional non-UK born residents) and the biggest percentage increase in the non-UK born population occurred in Hull (a 195% increase).

Between 2001 and 2011, the non-UK born population increased in each district and unitary authority within Yorkshire and the Humber, but to varying degrees and at different speeds (see Figure 4). The largest numerical increase took place in Leeds, with the number of non-UK born residents rising by 38,508 persons. However, since the non-UK born population was already among the highest in the region, this rise represents an increase of 81%, in line with the overall growth of the non-UK born population of the region.

The biggest percentage increase in the non-UK born population occurred in Kingston upon Hull (commonly known as Hull), where the non-UK born population grew by 14,433 persons, representing a 195% increase between 2001 and 2011. At the same time, the non-UK born population has grown the least in Craven, increasing by 634 persons; this represents a rise of 38%, the lowest in the region.

Figure 4

As shown in Figure 5, although the non-UK born population has increased in each area of Yorkshire and the Humber, its distribution within the region has changed somewhat since 2001. In terms of the non-UK born as a proportion of the total resident population within a given area, the highest increase (from 3% to 8.5%, a 181% increase) took place in Hull. The area with the lowest change in the share of the non-UK born population within the resident population was the district of Calderdale, with a 31% share increase (from 5.7% to 7.5%).

Figure 5

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Residents born in Pakistan represent the most numerous non-UK born group in Yorkshire and the Humber, followed by residents born in Poland, India, Germany and Ireland.

As shown in Figure 6, those born in Pakistan represent the most numerous non-UK born group in Yorkshire and the Humber, with 86,772 Pakistani-born residents in 2011, amounting to 19% of all the non-UK born of Yorkshire and the Humber. This was followed by those born in Poland (47,920 residents), India (33,947 residents), Germany (21,819 residents) and Ireland (19,986 residents).

In terms of non-UK passports held, Polish passports come out at the top with 40,716 residents who hold a Polish passport. Residents with Pakistani passports are still within the top two. There were 21,105 Pakistani passport-holders in Yorkshire and the Humber in 2011.

Out of the Polish-born residents, 40,157 (84%) held a Polish passport and 1,902 (4%) held a UK-passport. Conversely, 20,344 (23%) of Pakistani-born residents held a Pakistani passport and 65,157 (75%) held a UK passport in 2011. An interesting case is the number of residents born in Germany with UK passports (70%)–much of this will likely be accounted for by the children of UK military personnel, who, despite being born in Germany, were born British citizens.

The differences in the relationship between the non-UK born and non-UK passport-holders measures in the case of Poland and Pakistan can be partly explained, on the one hand, by the fact that EU citizens have less need to acquire UK citizenship as they are not subject to immigration controls and on the other, by the historical differences in migration from these countries. In fact, 86% of Polish-born residents living in Yorkshire and the Humber in 2011 arrived in the UK in or after the 2004 EU expansion (92% since 2001). Conversely, 60% of Pakistani-born residents living in Yorkshire and the Humber in 2011 arrived in the country before 2001; as such they have had more opportunity to become eligible and apply for British citizenship.

Figure 6

While residents of Irish, Chinese and Indian origin are fairly evenly spread across the region, the distribution of residents born in Poland, Germany and Pakistan differs significantly across the various areas of Yorkshire and the Humber (see Figure 7). While residents born in Pakistan make up the largest non-UK group in Yorkshire and the Humber, they are also the least evenly distributed within the region. Those born in Pakistan are most numerous in Bradford and Kirklees (40,316 and 15,918 residents respectively) and make up a large share of the total local non-UK born population in these areas (45% and 35% respectively). In other areas, particularly within North Yorkshire, the Pakistani-born resident population is much smaller. In some districts, namely Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale and Selby, it makes up less than 1% of that locality’s non-UK born residents.

Polish-born residents are also distributed fairly unevenly throughout the region, although to a lesser extent. The highest number of persons born in Poland resides in Leeds and Bradford (7,139 and 5,848 respectively). However, Polish-born residents only represent 7% of the foreign-born population in both areas. Those born in Poland make up the largest non-UK born group in Selby (26% of all non-UK born residents), followed by Doncaster (25%). The Polish-born population is smallest in Richmondshire, where the 191 residents born in Poland make up 4.4% of the local non-UK born population. Those born in Germany were most concentrated in Leeds in 2011. However, the 2,816 residents of Leeds who were born in Germany only make up 3.3% of the local non-UK born population. On the other hand, those born in Germany account for the highest share of all non-UK born in Richmondshire, where the 1,101 residents born in Germany make up 25% of local residents that had been born outside of the UK.

Figure 7

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Just over 300,000 residents of Yorkshire and the Humber (around 6% of total population) spoke a language other than English as their main language in 2011.

There were 301,326 residents of Yorkshire and the Humber who spoke a language other than English as their main language in 2011. This total represents 5.9% of the total resident population aged 3 and above. Within this group, the most commonly spoken language was Polish (15.2%), followed closely by Panjabi (14.4%) and Urdu (12.6%). The languages chosen by more than 5% of respondents also included Arabic and Chinese languages (this includes Mandarin, Cantonese and other Chinese languages). Figure 8 shows the top 15 languages (or language groups) in Yorkshire and the Humber. These languages represent 75% of all the languages spoken by those not using English as their main spoken language.

Among the 5.9% of residents of Yorkshire and the Humber who did not select English as their main spoken language in 2011, 35% reported speaking English very well and 38% reported speaking English well. At the same time, 22% reported not being able to speak English well (1.3% of all residents), while 5% reported they could not speak English at all (0.3% of all residents). Compared to the whole of England and Wales, non-UK born residents in Yorkshire and the Humber report a slightly lower English proficiency. For England and Wales as a whole, 79% of those who did not speak English (and/or Welsh in Wales) as their main language stated they could speak English well or very well. This fraction was 73% in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Figure 8

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In both 2001 and 2011, Yorkshire and the Humber occupied the 6th position, both in terms of the population numbers and the population share of non-UK born residents, out of the ten regions of England and Wales.

In terms of a regional comparison, in both 2001 and 2011, Yorkshire and the Humber shared the middle position with the North West among regions of England and Wales concerning the number of non-UK born residents (see Figure 9). This region had the fifth smallest non-UK born population out of the ten regions of England and Wales. The number of foreign-born residents in Yorkshire and the Humber was about 6.5 times lower than London’s 3 million non-UK born (the region with the highest number of foreign-born residents in England and Wales), while 3.5 times higher than in the North East, the region with the lowest proportion of non-UK born population, where there were 128,000 people born outside of the UK in 2011.

Figure 9

The share of the foreign-born population within the total regional population stood at 8.8% in 2011; in this measure, Yorkshire and the Humber shared the middle position with the East Midlands (see Figure 10). The regions with the lowest share of the foreign-born population were Wales and the North East, where those born outside of the UK made up 5.5% and 5% of the residents respectively. On the other hand, the region with the highest proportion of non-UK born residents was London (37%) and the second region with the highest non-UK born population was the South East (12.1%).

Figure 10

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Evidence gaps and limitations

There are two main limitations of the census. Firstly, it is typically only conducted every 10 years. Therefore, other sources of information are important in order to update the information between censuses. Secondly, there are only a limited number of questions included in the census. Therefore, sources of information on the broader characteristics of the population can also complement the census information.

While the census aims to include the entire population, it does have a certain margin of error. For England and Wales as a whole, the relative confidence interval at the 95% confidence level published by the ONS was 0.15% (83,000 people more or less than the estimate). To give an example at the more local level, for Sheffield’s usually resident population, the relative confidence interval at the 95% level was 2.37%, suggesting a 95% probability that the true value of the population lies somewhere between 550,366 and 555,030 persons (ONS, 2012). Specific confidence intervals are not currently available for census data relating to country of birth.

References

  • Office for National Statistics. “Detailed country of birth and nationality analysis from the 2011 Census of England and Wales.” London, May 2013.
  • Office for National Statistics. “Confidence Intervals for the 2011 Census.” London, December 2012.

Related Material

Further Information

Thanks to Jon Simmons of the Home Office and Chris W Smith of the ONS for their helpful comments and suggestions on this briefing.

Authors

Anna Krausova
Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva

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