MORE than a third of births in Southampton last year were to mothers born outside the UK, new figures reveal.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that non-UK-born women living in Southampton gave birth to 1,078 children in 2019 – 37.2% of all deliveries.

That was up from 2018, when 36.2% of births were to mothers born abroad.

In Eastleigh the figure was one in seven. That means that 206 children in 2019 – 14.4% of all deliveries were born to non-UK-born women living in Eastleigh.

It was one in ten in the New Forest Data were 135 children born in 2019 were to non-UK-born women– 10.4% of all deliveries.

In Winchester it was also one in seven - 149 children born in 2019 – 13.7% of all deliveries - were to non-UK-born women.

The figure for Fareham was one in eight. Non-UK-born women living in the town gave birth to 111 children in 2019 – 12.1% of all deliveries.

And in the Test Valley it was a fifth - 245 children born in the borough in 2019 – 17.7% of all deliveries - were to non-UK-born women.

Across England and Wales, the proportion of births to foreign-born mothers rose from 28.2% to 28.7% last year – the highest rate since records began in 1969 and continuing a general long-term increase.

The ONS said a rise in the proportion of births to non-UK-born mothers "coincides with increases in immigration since the 1990s, where more international migrants have entered the UK for work and study reasons".

It added that migration has contributed to the number of births remaining higher than the number of deaths, despite fertility rates nearing their lowest level since records began.

A June report by Georgina Sturge, migration and justice statistics specialist at the House of Commons Library, said the UK’s migrant population is concentrated in London – more than a third of people living in the UK who were born abroad live in the capital.

In Brent, London, 75.2% of newborns had mothers born overseas, while in Staffordshire Moorlands in the West Midlands, the figure stood at just 3.4%.

Data shows that in Southampton, the most common region of origin for non-UK-born mothers giving birth was the EU – 506 births were to mothers born there.

A further 44 were from European countries outside of the EU, 343 from the Middle East and Asia, 139 from Africa and 46 from elsewhere.

Overall, 2,899 Southampton women gave birth last year, a decrease from 2018.

The figures include long-time residents who moved here when they were younger, as well as those who moved to the UK more recently, the ONS said.

Across England and Wales, Poland remained the most common country of birth for mothers born outside the UK, while Pakistan was the most popular country of birth among non-UK-born fathers.

There were around 640,000 births in the two countries last year, although this includes a small number of mothers whose usual residence was elsewhere.

This was down from 657,000 the year before.