England absorbs virtually all net migration to UK, MPs warn
England has absorbed virtually all of the net immigration to the UK in 16 years, a cross party group of MPs warns.
By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
Last Updated: 3:40PM BST 26 May 2009
Between 1991 and 2007, more than 2.1 million migrants were added to the population of England, which last year became the most crowded major country in Europe.
The nation has taken more than 20 times more migrants than Scotland, even though it is only ten times the size in terms of population.
The study, by the Cross Party Group on Balance Migration, warns the population of England is likely to increase by a further ten million over the next two decades, of which seven million will be migrants.
Nicholas Soames, Tory MP and co-chairman of the group, said: “The political establishment is in denial on immigration even though it is of concern to nearly 80 per cent of the population. If they are to reconnect with the people of England after the current political crisis, politicians must end their timidity, silence and inaction on this critical issue.”
Net international migration to England between 1991 and 2007 was 2,149,000, which accounted for 92 per cent of the total over that period.
Scotland's migrant population increased by 105,000 over the period, Wales by 56,000 and Northern Ireland by 27,000.
England effectively absorbed 11 times more migrants than the other three home nations combined, even though it is only five times as large in terms of total population.
Frank Field, Labour MP and co-chairman of the group, added: “This research shows that immigration is overwhelmingly an issue for England rather than other parts of the UK. England can expect a population increase of nearly 10 million people in the next 20 years or so, of which 7 million will be thanks to new immigration.”
The Daily Telegraph told last year how England's population is growing at the fastest rate since records began and is now the most crowded major country in Europe after overtaking Holland.
Figures showed that the population density is higher than ever before, with forecasts predicting 157 people for every square mile by 2011.
This compares with 111 for every square mile when the figures started to be collected in 1931.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the think-tank Migrationwatch, said: “This paper really underlines that immigration is a problem for England, not the UK.
“Those who favour continued immigration need to explain why we want an extra seven million people in what is already the most crowded country in Europe.
“They also need to explain how we are going to pay for all the extra infrastructure when the public finances are already hugely in deficit.”
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