Almost 10pc of births to foreign-born mothers in Mid and East Antrim

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Almost 150 babies were born in Larne, Carrick and Ballymena in 2012 to mothers who were themselves born outside the UK or Republic of Ireland, new statistics have revealed.

Of that figure, 14 were in Larne, 30 in Carrick and 103 in Ballymena. This represents 9.3 per cent of all births registered.

The stats were contained in a report carried out by the Northern Ireland Strategic Migration Partnership.

In 2001, 700 out of 22,000 births (three per cent) in NI were to foreign-born mothers. By 2012, this had risen to 2,459 out of 25,269 in 2012 (10 per cent).

Also in that year, 310 National Insurance Numbers were allocated to non UK residents in Ballymena, compared to 60 in Carrick and 30 in Larne. The data also showed that since 2003, Ballymena has had a consistently higher number of allocations than either Larne or Carrick, with a peak of 830 in 2006.

Meanwhile, the number of newcomer pupils (defined as those without satisfactory language skills) in Mid and East Antrim has increased by 135 per cent between 2007 and 2013.

In 2007, there were 210 newcomer pupils enrolled at schools in Larne, Ballymena and Carrick, compared 495 with in 2013.