NEWPORT’s migrant population has more than doubled in the ten years since 2001, new figures have revealed today.
The study by Oxford University’s Migration Observatory was formed through census analysis of migrants in Wales.
Newport had Wales’ second highest population share of non-UK born people at 8.5 per cent. In 2011, there were 12,333 non-UK born residents in Newport, more than twice the amount of 6,023 in 2001.
The top five foreign groups in Newport’s foreign-born residents in 2011 were Polish – 6.4 per cent, Irish – 5.81 per cent, German - 3.59 per cent, Chinese - 1.74 per cent and the biggest being Indian, with 7.42 per cent.
Elsewhere in Gwent, Blaenau Gwent had Wales’ smallest foreign-born population (1,502) and the lowest population share (2.2 per cent), while Torfaen had the smallest numerical increase (651) and percentage increase (36.3 per cent).
Overall, Wales’ foreign-born population increased by 82 per cent in the last decade – proportionally more than England (61 per cent) and Northern Ireland (72 per cent), but less than Scotland (93 per cent).
David Phillips, chief executive at South East Wales Regional Equality Council in Newport said he had seen the rise in migrant population. He said: “I think Newport has got a long history of good race relations. Newport has hundreds of years of migration. We are very diverse and always have been and have very good relations between these groups.”
SEWREC offer a range of services not only to migrants but to anyone who feels they may not be getting equal opportunities. They help facilitate access to education, training and work and offer support to improve basic skills as well as helping overall integration.
Mr Phillips said: “A lot of the feedback we get is that Wales is much friendlier and more relaxed.”
Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva, the Senior Researcher leading the census project at the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, said: “It is worth noting that Wales has the smallest proportion of migrants in its population of all of the nations of the UK.
“Because Wales started with a much smaller migrant population than England – both numerically and in terms of its share of the overall population – smaller numerical growth can be considerably bigger growth in percentage terms. Nevertheless, there has been a large increase in the migrant population of Wales, especially in Cardiff, Swansea and Newport.”