In The Spectator
of London, conservative-leaning American lady novelist Lionel Shriver
writes about Britain:
How mass immigration drives the housing crisisIt’s the one reason for this worsening problem that blinkered liberals choose to ignore
Lionel Shriver17 March 2018… At a Radio 3 Free Thinking event last weekend, I all but came to blows with my panel’s ‘rational optimist’, who believes that continued human population growth will be both modest and benign. The moment I mentioned the inevitable pressures on Europe of mass migration, the poor gentleman exploded, as if I’d tripped the pin on one of those grenades cropping up on the dodgier streets of Sweden. Something about how we screwed up in Libya, and the needs of the NHS…But let’s look at this housing business. It took half a century for the UK population to rise from 50.3 million in 1950 to 59.1 million in 2000. During that period, the foreign-born population rose from 4.3 per cent to 8.8 per cent — so a measure of that increase was already accounted for by newcomers. After an inflow historically unprecedented for this country, this brief century alone has seen the UK population shoot up to 65.6 million (as of January 2017), 14 per cent of whom were foreign-born as of 2016. We’re now adding another half-million every year. …Oxford demographer David Coleman estimates that 85 per cent of the UK’s population increase from 2000 to 2015 is explained by migrants and their children. All these new people have to live somewhere. The pressure on housing, among many other social provisions, is intensified by the fact that on average foreign-born mothers have more children (2.06 in 2016) than women born in Britain (only 1.75). …We’ve heard about Britain’s recent ‘mini-baby boom’, but its primary cause isn’t native-born women hitting up the NHS for IVF in their forties and having triplets. It’s not appreciably caused by immigrants from eastern Europe, either. As of 2011, mothers born in Poland averaged 2.1 children — while mothers born in Pakistan had 3.8, and mothers born in Somalia had 4.2. So even Brexit — assuming it actually happens, and actually curtails freedom of movement (ha! on both counts) — may not appreciably constrain foreign increase.The housing crunch is further complicated by the fact that so many immigrants settle in the southeast, where residential shortages are keenest. The population of Greater London in 2017 was 8.8 million, a rise of 400,000 over the previous five years. Greater London housed only 7.1 million people in 1997, when Blair opened the gates to permanent visitors. That’s 1.7 million more residents in two decades — an increase of over a quarter, two-thirds of which occurred in only the last ten years. …An astonishing 58.2 per cent of births in London were to foreign-born mothers. …Hey, I know all about the fact that immigrants to the UK take up space, because I am a UK immigrant. …Indeed, most immigration statistics are untrustworthy — because they’re too low. … Government has a) no idea how to track people with every motivation to keep off the radar, and b) every motivation itself to underestimate an unpopular social phenomenon, with a range of adverse consequences, that it cannot seem to control.Do I sound bigoted? People can be bigoted, but facts can’t be. …
[Comment at Unz.com
]VDARE.com Note: The Spectator has changed the title from How mass immigration drives the housing crisis to Why mass immigration explains the housing crisis. See archive link here, If you click on a link to https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/03/how-mass-immigration-drives-the-housing-crisis/ , you'll be taken to the URL https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/03/why-mass-immigration-explains-the-housing-crisis/ with no explanation. One explanation for the change. Someone thought "how" or "drives" was racist, because of blaming, or alternatively, might suggest that something could be done about it.