London, Feb. 25 (ANI): One in every nine persons living is Britain was born abroad. With an increase of 290,000 people from last year, the number of foreign-born people residing in Britain has reached a record 6.5 million, an official estimate revealed.
The figures included 4.1 million foreign nationals living in the country in the year to June 2008, up from 3.8 million in the previous 12 months, according to the Office for National Statistics.
With 619,000 Indians-origin people living in Britain, they became the largest community of foreign-born residents last year, reflecting generations of links with the sub-continent, the Independent reports.
Polish-born residents came second, with 461,000 living in the country, indicating rise in number of people working in Britain after the expansion of the European Union.
Work applications from the eight EU accession countries, which include Poland, Lithuania, Hungary and the Czech Republic, fell to 29,000 in the past three months of 2008, compared to 53,000 in the same period of the previous year. Approved applications from Poland fell from 36,000 to 16,000.
In separate Department for Work and Pensions figures, the number of National Insurance numbers allocated to foreign workers fell sharply to seven per cent in the last 12 months.
The number of short-term migrants coming to Britain for work or study was also down 13 per cent on 2006 levels, indicating how the slump in the economy is affecting the number of people travelling to Britain.
Phil Woolas, the Immigration minister, said the Government's new points-based immigration system would mean "that during these economic times, when people are losing jobs, people already here have the first crack of the whip at getting work".
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman, Chris Huhne, argued, "The sharp decline in economic migrants from eastern Europe is a clear demonstration of how unappealing the recession has made the UK to foreign workers. The national dish is chicken tikka masala, half of London's nurses are immigrants and both of the last two England cricket captains were born in South Africa."
Net immigration into Britain has increased sharply since the early 1990s. Overall in 1992, 13,000 more people left Britain than arrived here. However by 2007, the numbers moving to the UK outstripped those leaving by 237,000. (ANI)