MORE than half of the births in Oxford last year were to mothers born outside the UK, new figures reveal.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that non-UK-born women living in Oxford gave birth to 810 children in 2019 – 52.6 per cent of all deliveries.

That was up from 2018, when 50.5 per cent of births were to mothers born abroad.

The figure for Oxford is also significantly higher than the national average.

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Across England and Wales, the proportion of births to foreign-born mothers rose from 28.2 per cent to 28.7 per cent last year – the highest rate since records began in 1969 and continuing a general long-term increase.

The ONS said a rise in the proportion of births to non-UK-born mothers 'coincides with increases in immigration since the 1990s, where more international migrants have entered the UK for work and study reasons'.

It added that migration had contributed to the number of births remaining higher than the number of deaths, despite fertility rates nearing their lowest level since records began.

Banbury Cake:

A June report by Georgina Sturge, migration and justice statistics specialist at the House of Commons Library, said the UK’s migrant population was concentrated in London – more than a third of people living in the UK who were born abroad live in the capital.

In Brent, London, 75.2 per cent of newborns had mothers born overseas, while in Staffordshire Moorlands in the West Midlands, the figure stood at just 3.4 per cent.

Data shows that in Oxford, the most common region of origin for non-UK-born mothers giving birth was the Middle East and Asia – 287 births were to mothers born there.

A further 259 were from the EU, 67 from European countries outside of the EU, 92 from Africa and 105 from elsewhere.

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Overall, 1,541 Oxford women gave birth last year, a decrease from 2018.

The figures include long-time residents who moved here when they were younger, as well as those who moved to the UK more recently, the ONS said.

Across England and Wales, Poland remained the most common country of birth for mothers born outside the UK, while Pakistan was the most popular country of birth among non-UK-born fathers.

There were around 640,000 births in the two countries last year, although this includes a small number of mothers whose usual residence was elsewhere.

This was down from 657,000 the year before.

The birth rate for Oxfordshire, and Oxford in particular, has fallen in recent years.

Banbury Cake:

Between 2013 and 2017, the number of births in Oxfordshire fell from 7,867 to 7,352.

That meant the overall 'fertility rate' in the county fell from an average of 1.78 children per mother to 1.7 in 2017.

At the same time, the annual number of death rose from 5,355 to 5,499 in that period.

However, none of that means the population is falling.

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In 2016, Oxfordshire County Council predicted that Oxfordshire's population would rise by 27 per cent in the following 13 years.

The authority said it predicted the number of residents would increase by 187, 500 people between 2016 and 2031, taking the population from 687,900 to 874,400.

Much of the increase would be down to creation of new jobs in the county drawing people in from the rest of the country and abroad.

That is part of the reason the county council signed Oxfordshire up to a Government 'growth deal', to build 100,000 homes.

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