Country of birth

Key points

  • The proportion of residents in Lancashire-14 born outside the UK has increased from 7% (105,000) in 2011 to 10% (151,000) in 2021
  • Pakistan remained the most common country of birth outside the UK in 2021 (31,618 people, 2.1% of all usual residents of Lancashire-14)
  • At 2.1% of the Lancashire-14 population people born in Pakistan now replaced Scotland (1.6%) as the second largest group after people born in England (87.4%)
  • In line with England and Wales, the number of Lancashire-14 residents born in Romania has increased dramatically, by 1,407% (from 458 to 6,900). This boosts the rank of Romania to 4th from 27th most common country of birth in Lancashire-14 (not including residents born in the UK).
  • Those born in the European Union (EU) made up 59,892 (39.0% of all non-UK born usual residents) of the population of Lancashire-14, an increase from 36,320 (34.4%) in 2011 (including Croatia, which joined the EU in 2013). The remaining 92,153 (61.0%) were born outside the EU, up from 69,114 (65.6%) in 2011.
  • Preston has the largest increase in the number of residents born outside the UK in Lancashire-14 with an increase of 9,762 (52.1%) from 18,732 to 28,494. The most common country of birth outside of the UK in Preston is India with 4.6% of all residents (6,859), followed by Poland at 2.4% (3,594)
  • Chorley has the highest proportion of all residents in Lancashire born in the UK with 111,902 (95.0%) of its 117,733 residents indicating on the survey that they were born there. Chorley also has the largest increase in the number of residents from any given country with an increase in English born residents of 8,656 (8.6%) from 100,281 to 108,937
  • Pendle has the highest proportion in England of residents who were born in Pakistan, up from 3rd in 2011 and remaining at the top for Lancashire-14
  • Pendle has the largest percentage point increase of any country of birth in Lancashire-14 with residents born in Pakistan increasing from 6.5% to 9.9% (an increase of 3,681 residents, the largest population increase in Lancashire-14 other than those born in England)
  • The increase by 4,569% (from 23 to 1074) of Romanian born residents in Pendle was the highest rate of increase for persons born in any single country who now reside in the Lancashire-14 area
  • Pendle has also seen the highest increase rate (805%) of residents born in Italy from 93 in 2011 to 842 in 2021
  • Blackpool is ranked 3rd in England for residents born in Scotland, with Fylde ranked 5th
  • Blackpool has the largest decrease in residents from any given country with a decrease of 3,033 (2.4%) residents born in England from 126,154 to 123,121. (Given its tourist-centric economy, it's likely that Blackpool's census results have been more affected by the Covid-19 pandemic than non-tourist districts).

Interactive report

Source: Country of birth Census data: Office of National Statistics, dataset TS012

Country of birth data has been obtained from


In line with England and Wales, residents of Lancashire-14 who listed Romania as their country of birth increased to 6,900 in 2021, from 458 in 2011, an increase between censuses of 6,442 (1,407%), making Romania the fourth most common non-UK country of birth. This increase was the highest out of any country and is driven by migration restrictions for Romanian workers being lifted in 2014. (Note 2) Italy also entered the top 10 non-UK countries of birth (from 14th to 8th), rising to 3,916 persons from 1,757 between 2011 and 2021, a 123% increase.

The three most common non-UK countries of birth for usual residents in 2021 were the same as in 2011 although Poland has moved from 3rd to 2nd place, swapping positions with India:

  1. Pakistan, up to 31,618 persons (2.1% of the population in Lancashire-14), from 20,632 in 2011
  2. Poland, up to 17,921 persons (1.2%), from 11,521 in 2011
  3. India, up to 16,627 persons (1.1%  compared to 1.5% in England and Wales), from 14,603 in 2011

Ireland retained its position in the top 10 between 2011 and 2021, but was the country for which there was the greatest decrease, a decline of 22.8%, from 7,254 persons in 2011 to 5,597 in 2021.

The United States and South Africa fell out of the top 10 non-UK countries of birth in 2021. The number of people in Lancashire-14 who were born in the United States and South Africa actually increased between censuses (United States from 1,483 in 2011 to 1,756 in 2021 and South Africa 2,051  in 2011 to 2,400 in 2021), but even greater increases for other countries meant that they no longer feature in the top 10.


Please note that even in the detailed dataset (TS012) not all countries are listed, even if some residents were born there. These countries have been included in various 'other' categories by ONS. Please refer to the 'Information' page in the Power BI report for the complete list of categories.

Residents of the 'accession states' of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, which joined the European Union in May 2004, became entitled to move to the United Kingdom to seek work according to Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Prior to 2004/05 there had been no immigration from most of these countries to Lancashire with the exception of Poland. Although Romania and Bulgaria were admitted to the European Union in January 2007, there was a transitional period of seven years in which other member states could impose restrictions on workers from the two countries. It was predicted that there might have been a mass exodus from the countries, which have some of the lowest levels of economic activity in the EU. The restrictions were lifted in January 2014, after which the number of registrations by Romanian and Bulgarian nationals increased rapidly.

Page first published March 2023