Nearly a third of births in Bolton last year were to mothers born outside the UK, new data has revealed.

According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2019 non-UK-born women gave birth to 1,132 babies in the town, which is 30.8% of all deliveries.

This is slightly higher than the national average of 28.7%, and higher than the figure in 2018, where 29.3% of births were to non-UK-born mothers.

Overall there were 3,676 live births recorded in Bolton in 2019, an increase from 3,607 recorded in 2018.

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.

In Bolton the most common region of origin for non-UK-born was the Middle East and Asia, with 595 births to mothers who were born there.

This is followed by Africa with 248 births, the EU with 246, 24 from European countries outside of the EU and 19 from elsewhere.

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.