The 2011 Census is a little out of date now, but it gives the most detailed information about specific characteristics of the migrant population, such as age at arrival, ethnicity and qualifications, even if estimates from the Annual Population Survey (APS) are more current. The 2011 Census can be useful for understanding the characteristics of different migrant groups, for example to inform integration strategies or plan service provision. The data are less useful when examining groups that have arrived more recently, such as Romanian and Bulgarians, most of whom were not yet in the UK in 2011. The 2011 Census is a useful source of information when looking at longer-term residents, including migrants.
Census data are accessed separately for different parts of the UK, and the information available also varies slightly:
- England and Wales. Data on country of birth and passports held. Breakdowns by age, age at arrival, ethnic group, health status, highest level of qualification, number of children in the family, the passport the person holds, religion, year of arrival in the UK and more. This information can be accessed using the NOMIS data finder: tick ‘Country of Birth’ on the left hand side to show relevant tables.
- Scotland. Data on country of birth. Breakdowns by age at arrival, ethnic group, language proficiency, national identity, religion, year of arrival in the UK and more. This information can be accessed on Scotland’s Census portal: select ‘Ethnicity, Identity, Language and Religion’ to access relevant tables.
- Northern Ireland. Data on country of birth. Breakdowns by age, age at arrival, health status, proficiency in English, year of arrival and more. This information can be accessed on the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) data portal: select the ‘Migration’ subset to filter for relevant tables. Note that year of arrival is not available for over 40% of respondents so these figures may not be reliable. The available data are not disaggregated by local authority.