Sunderland’s foreign-born population has doubled since 2001, finds Oxford University study

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THE foreign-born population of Sunderland has almost doubled in a decade, according to a new study.

Research by Oxford University reveals that the number of non-UK-born residents rose from 6,737 in 2001 to 11,305 in 2011, representing 4.10 per cent of the total population in the city.

India was the most popular country of origin, followed by China, Germany, Poland and Pakistan.

Anna Krausova, research officer at the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, said: “What’s interesting about Sunderland is that even though the foreign-born population increased by 68 per cent between 2001 and 2011, which is an above-average increase in England and Wales, the foreign-born population remains relatively small.

“In 2011, four per cent of the population was born abroad, which is lower than the national average of 13 per cent.

“India was the most common country of birth for migrants, just as it is nationally, but something that stands out about Sunderland is that the Polish-born population has dropped down the rankings.

“Nationally, it is the second most common and regionally the third most common foreign-born group.”

Overall, the report shows that the North East has the smallest foreign-born population of any region in the country.

In 2011, the resident population in the region was 2,596,886, with about 128,573, born outside of the UK.

Newcastle has the highest number, 37.579, as well as the highest population share, 13 per cent, of non-UK-born residents. County Durham was second, with 16,663, followed by Middlesbrough, with 11,370.

Residents born in India represent the most numerous non-UK-born group in the North East, 10,375, followed by Germany, Poland, Pakistan and China.

Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva, senior researcher leading the census project, said: “The biggest foreign-born population in the region is those born in India, but this is followed by those born in Germany – many of whom will be children of British service personnel – then those born in Poland, Pakistan and China.”