Mothers from the subcontinent propelling population in Britain

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London, Dec 12 (UNI) Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi-born women are fuelling a population boom in Britain as they have the highest fertility rates among the immigrant mothers, accounting for five per cent of all British babies born last year.

Immigration is affecting the fertility rate in the UK and last year more than one in five births was to a woman from overseas, the first official analysis by the Office for National Statistics said.

Immigrant mothers are propelling the population growth and the proportion of births to foreign mothers is up by a third since 2001 and by almost half since Labour came to power, the analysis added.

The Pakistani woman has the highest rate of fertility with an average of 4.7 children per mother, which is about thrice the British-born rate of 1.7.

Immigration has led to increase of more than one million to the British population in last five years and an estimate says that higher birth rates, an ageing population and record immigration would altogether lead to population of more than 100 million in 70 years, Daily Telegraph reported.

This rise in birth rate and immigration level is affecting the public services adversely.

Expressing concern over the situation, National Statistician Karen Dunnell said, ''While an average of 1.7 children are born to UK mothers, among immigrant mothers the number averages 2.5.'' Professor of demography at Oxford University David Coleman said, ''The higher fertility rates among foreign-born women are a direct consequence of the very substantial increase in immigration.'' However, the study found that the birth rate is also rising among British mothers due to changes in maternity leave, taxation and benefits for those with children.

UNI

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