Believe it or not, more than one in ten people living in Britain today were born abroad.

This inference is drawn from the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, which show that the number of people from overseas living in the UK has almost doubled in the past two decades to 11 per cent and reached 6.7 million.

The figures showed that in 2008 some 11 per cent of the population were born abroad, up from around 8 per cent in 2001 and 6.7 per cent in 1991.

One of the key factors behind Britain’s population surge has been the flow of migrant workers from Poland and six other Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004, ’The Daily Telegraph’ reported.

At the same time, the percentage of children being born to foreign mothers has also reached new levels, according to Jil Matheson, the national statistician.

Britain’s population is on course to pass 70 million in around two decades, Matheson said, adding projections based on past demographic trends suggest a 17 per cent increase in population over the next 25 years to hit 71.6 million by 2033.

It currently stands at 61.4 million and Ministers have said the landmark total will not be reached.

Phil Woolas, the Immigration Minister, said, “These population projections do not take into account the impact of future government policies or those Eastern Europeans who came here, contributed, and are now going home. Projections are uncertain. For instance in the 1960s they said our population would reach 76 million by the year 2000, this was off target by 16 million. And let’s be clear the category ‘foreign born mothers’ includes British people born overseas - such as children whose parents are in the armed forces or those who come to Britain at a very early age.”

“Overall, net-migration is falling, showing that migrants come to the UK for short periods of time, work, contribute to the economy and then return home,” Mr. Woolas said.

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