Italian could overtake Irish in list of most common non-British nationalities
Italian could be on course to overtake Irish in a list of the most common non-British nationalities in the UK.
An estimated 322,000 Irish people were living in the UK in the year to June 2019, new figures suggest.
The equivalent number for Italians was 297,000, a difference of just 25,000.
This gap has been narrowing in recent years, down from 45,000 in the year to June 2018, and from 81,000 in the year to June 2017.
In the 12 months to June 2016, the difference stood at 121,000.
Ireland is currently ranked fourth in a list of the most common non-British nationalities, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Two years ago it was ranked third.
Italy, meanwhile, is currently ranked fifth – but could leapfrog Ireland if current trends continue.
Polish remains the most common non-British nationality, though the latest figures show an 8% drop in the estimated number of Poles living in the UK.
The figure has fallen from 985,000 in the year to June 2018 to 902,000 in the year to June 2019.
Romanian has consolidated its place as the second most common non-British nationality, up 6% year-on-year from 433,000 to 457,000.
Indian is ranked third (351,000 nationals).
Countries further down the list include Portugal in sixth place (234,000) and Lithuania in seventh (211,000), followed by Pakistan (205,000), France (192,000) and Spain (184,000).
The ONS figures also show that London is the region of the country with the highest proportion of non-British nationals in its population (22.7%).
The top three local authorities are all in London: Kensington & Chelsea (35.7%), Westminster (34.5%) and Brent (33.1%).
The highest proportions outside London are Cambridge (32.8%), Boston (25.0%) and Luton (24.5%).
The ONS data is based on a survey of households and does not cover most people living in communal establishments, some NHS accommodation, or students living in halls of residence who have non-UK resident parents.