More children in Britain born to Polish mothers than those from any other foreign country
By Jack Doyle
Last updated at 12:56 PM on 19th September
More than one in every 40 newborns in the UK
are born to Polish mothers, it has emerged.
More children are born in Britain to women
from Poland than those from any other foreign country, research shows.
Last year nearly 20,000 babies were born to
Polish migrants – that is more than 50 a day and amounts to one in every 37
Official figures show that in just six years
the number of children born to Polish women has increased nearly six-fold. In
2005 –the year after Britain opened its borders to workers from the former
Eastern Bloc countries –the number was lower than 3,500.
The figures illustrate the scale and speed of
Polish migration since the expansion of the European Union, and the effects of
the Labour government’s decision not to impose restrictions on worker
The so-called ‘migrant baby boom’ means that
across the country, one in four of all children is born to a mother who was born
That figure has doubled in just ten years as
migrant numbers have exploded.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch,
said: ‘This is an extraordinary increase. There must be concern that the
numbers will grow even more rapidly now that Eastern Europeans have full access
to the welfare state in Britain.’
Department of Health figures show the number
of children born here to Polish mothers hit a new high last year.
Between 2001 and 2009, mothers from Pakistan
gave birth to the highest number of foreign-born babies in England and Wales,
but last year it was women from Poland.
The figures show that there were 1,392 births
to Polish mothers in 2003, the year before EU expansion, and this rose to 1,830
the following year.
In 2005, it nearly doubled to 3,403 and then
rose sharply again to 6,620 in 2006. Last year the figure stood at 19,762.
Poland is one of the former Eastern Bloc countries which joined the EU in 2004,
and the Government is hamstrung in its ability to restrict immigration.
Before the door was opened, Labour predicted
13,000 migrants would come to this country as a result.
But with other EU counties restricting access
to their labour markets, Britain became a target destination for workers.
Critics say the
flood of arrivals has placed huge pressure on housing, education and the health
service –especially maternity units.
Since 2004, up to 900,000 Poles have been
granted a National Insurance number, which is needed for them to get a job.
At the peak, between 2006 and 2008, some
20,000 Poles every month were coming to the UK for work.
Numbers of Eastern Europeans fell during the
recession but have picked up again in recent months – despite no sign of an
British taxpayers fork out for child benefit
payments to tens of thousands of migrant workers, because EU rules allow them to
live at home while claiming here. Approximately 50,000 children of migrant
workers receive the benefit –even though the youngsters still live in their home
Treasury figures show that Poles make up the
vast majority of the payments – accounting for 37,941 children last year – at a
cost of £24million a year.
Critics say the flood of arrivals has placed
huge pressure on housing, education and the health service – especially
The Polish influence has also been felt in
schools. Five years ago, just 200 students sat a Polish GCSE – last year, the
figure was 1,900.
Figures for the numbers of children born to
foreign-born mothers in specific regions of the country are not broken down by
But figures show Eastern European migrant
mothers accounted for more than one in four babies in Boston, Lincolnshire. In
total last year, one in every four children born in England and Wales was to a
foreign-born mother –a total of 181,827 children.
In May, rules restricting access to welfare
benefits for Eastern European workers coming to Britain were scrapped because of
EU rules restricting how long they can be held in place – raising fears of mass