Third of mothers not born in the UK
Around one third of babies born in some areas of the Black Country have mothers born outside the UK, according to official new figures.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) says that last year 1,687 of the 4,696 births in Sandwell had non-UK mothers (35.9 per cent), while in Wolverhampton it was 1,140 of the 3,537 births (32.2 per cent).
The most common place of origin for mothers in both areas was the Middle East and Asia, according to the data, making up 46 per cent of the group.
In Walsall 23.7 per cent of babies had mothers who were not born in Britain (919 of the 3,876 births), and in Dudley the figure was 14 per cent (517 of the 3,713 births).
Across Staffordshire 11.5 per cent of births (980) were to non-EU mothers – way below the England and Wales record average of 28.4 per cent.
South Staffordshire had one of the lowest rates of children born to foreign mothers in the country, at just 3.7 per cent.
The ONS report said that the figures for non-UK born mothers includes those who moved to the UK as children and have lived there most of their lives, as well as those who have recently migrated.
It also said that the figures for UK-born mothers include the children of second or third generation immigrants.
Analysis of the Annual Population Survey by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford found that there is a higher proportion of migrants among people of childbearing age.
In 2017, 28 per cent of 30 to 39-year-olds were not born in the UK – compared with 14 per cent of the population overall.
Migration Observatory director Madeleine Sumpton said that this partly explains why the national numbers are high.
"People migrate at all ages, but in general it's harder for families to migrate," she said.
"People in their 20s and early 30s generally have fewer attachments, and it's more worthwhile for them to move."
The Migration Observatory also reported that 62 per cent of foreign-born residents have been in the country for more than 10 years, and that a third arrived in the UK when they were under 18.
Ms Sumpton added: "Migrants who arrived in the country as children are relatively settled, and in many cases they will be socio-economically indistinguishable from the UK-born."
The ONS said Poland has been the most common country of birth for mothers born outside the UK since 2010, with 10.8 per cent of non-UK-born mothers in 2017 born in the country.