Thursday, September 20, 2012

British birth rate has soared to one of highest in Europe thanks to increase in migrants

Migrants have helped push Britain’s birth rate up to one of the highest levels in Europe.

Women here are now likely to have an average of just under two children – a level exceeded only in two of the other 27 European Union countries.

A decade ago, before large-scale immigration had a major impact on birth rates, Britain was firmly in the middle of the European table.

Since then, high fertility levels among migrants and a rapid rise in birth rates among women born here have helped push up the population faster than almost everywhere else in Europe. Only women in France, with a birth rate just ahead of ours at 2.03, and Ireland, at 2.07, have more children.

Just over 723,000 babies were born in England and Wales in 2010, up from fewer than 600,000 in 2000. The average number of children each woman is likely to have has gone up from 1.64.

The main reason for the increase was immigration, with many migrants of child-bearing age, and with many from cultures where larger families are more common.

The rising birth rate is also partially attributed to those born here in the 1960s and 70s having children later because they have been focusing on careers.

Having children has for many also been delayed by the need for a couple to maintain two incomes to cover mortgage and other costs.

Other European countries where birthrates have fallen have accepted fewer numbers of migrants than Britain and have not so far shown the same resurgence in baby numbers among women who in recent years have been delaying childbirth.

France has had higher birth rates than Britain since the 1990s and its fertility levels are also pushed upwards by the arrival of high numbers of immigrants.

Most recent figures show British birthrates have remained steady since 2010.

The Office for National Statistics said this may be because of ‘Government policy and the economic climate indirectly influencing individuals’ decisions around childbearing and therefore affecting the number of births.’

However it added: ‘The combined effect of multiple government policies and the changing economic climate does not have a clear impact on fertility in a particular direction.’

High birth rates in Britain are generally reckoned to be responsible for around 30 per cent of population increase.

The growing population, especially in the south, has made England the most crowded country in Europe, except for tiny Malta.


Arizona Can Start Immigrant Status Checks, Judge Rules

An Arizona requirement for local law enforcement to conduct immigration-status checks, left standing by the U.S. Supreme Court, can take effect, a judge said.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton in Phoenix lifted a preliminary injunction today on what civil rights groups call the “show me your papers” provision. The judge permanently barred Arizona from enforcing three other provisions of the state’s first-of-its-kind crackdown on illegal immigration that the Supreme Court found were preempted by federal law.

The June 25 ruling by the Supreme Court was an election- year victory for President Barack Obama, whose administration had challenged the Arizona law and who is vying with Republican candidate Mitt Romney for Hispanic votes. Supporters of the law say the federal government isn’t doing enough to crack down on an estimated 11.5 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.

“Today is the day we have awaited for more than two years: the injunction against the heart of SB 1070 has been lifted,” Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said in a statement. “With SB 1070 in effect, state and local officers will be empowered to inquire about an individual’s immigration status, but only as part of a legal stop or detention and when the officer has reasonable suspicion.”

‘Reasonable Suspicion’

The measure left standing by the Supreme Court requires local police to check the immigration status of a person they stop if they have a “reasonable suspicion” that the individual is an illegal alien. The Supreme Court left open the possibility of future legal challenges to the provision.

“It’s good the three provisions are permanently enjoined,” Linton Joaquin, general counsel with the National Immigration Law Center, said in a phone interview. “We’ll continue to fight to have this provision blocked as well.”

Bolton on Sept. 5 rejected a request by a group of civil rights organizations, including the National Immigration Law Center, to temporarily prevent Arizona from enforcing the provision until the courts have ruled whether it violates the U.S. Constitution.

The judge said she wouldn’t ignore the “clear direction” of the U.S. Supreme Court that the provision “cannot be challenged further on its face before the law takes effect.”

The civil rights groups on Sept. 13 filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco to prevent Arizona from implementing the law while they are appealing Bolton’s decision.


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