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  1. ITV Report

Harlow sees big rise in non-UK born population, new statistics reveal

  • Video report by ITV News Anglia's Hannah Pettifer

The number of non-UK born citizens living in parts of East Anglia has risen in the last decade, according to new statistics.

The research from the Office of National Statistics has revealed that some places have seen a significant boom in their migrant population since 2007.

In fact, 21% of Harlow's current population wasn't born in the UK - an increase of 17% compared to ten years ago.

That figure means the Essex town has seen the second-biggest rise in the entire country, with only Boston in Lincolnshire seeing a more significant jump (26%).

Increases in migrant populations in East Anglia

Northampton is another place that recorded a big jump. Credit: ITV News Anglia
  • Harlow - 21% non-UK born population (17% increase in last decade)
  • Northampton - 24% non-UK born population (12% increase in last decade)
  • Kettering - 15% non-UK born population (10% increase in last decade)
  • Breckland - 12% non-Uk born population (7% increase in last decade)
  • Ipswich - 16% non-UK born population (6% increase in last decade)

Poland remains the most prevalent place of birth for people settling in the East, but Romania is now the second most-common non-British nationality here.

Romania is now the second most-common non-British nationality in East Anglia. Credit: ITV News Anglia

In Harlow, the local council says that immigration has a huge role to play in the economy.

"Probably, migration in Harlow has increased because we can't find nurses," Cllr Waida Forman told ITV News Anglia.

"We have to employ foreign nurses from the Commonwealth, from the Philippines, from Europe. Every year, we have hundreds of nurses coming.

"I know that they're from all over the place - we cannot get nursing."

However, experts have warned that the statistics need to be taken with a pinch of salt, with integration support services noting that many Polish families have moved back to Europe since the Brexit vote and the extent of that impact will only become clear over the next few years.

In response to the figures, the Home Office said the following:

"We continue to welcome the contribution EU nationals make to our economy and our society," a Home Office spokesperson said.

"But, we have been clear that we will have the opportunity provided to leave the EU and to take control of the numbers of people coming to the UK from the EU in the future."