How has population structure and ethnic diversity changed in a named place in the UK since 2001?

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Boston, Lincolnshire

Boston is a market town located in eastern England in the county of Lincolnshire. It has a population of about 65,000 people.

  • Between 2001 and 2011, the population of Boston grew at a faster rate (+15.9%) than Lincolnshire (+10.4%) and the UK as a whole (+7.9%).
  • The main reasons for this was an influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe. About 1 in 10 people in the town come from ‘new’ EU countries who joined the EU in 2004 (e.g. Poland, Lithuania and Latvia). In 2008 Bulgaria and Romania also joined the EU and more migrants from these countries moved to Boston.
  • Most of the migrants are aged between 20 and 30. The proportion of population in this age group has increased significantly between 2001 and 2011.
  • Migrants have chosen to move to Boston in search for better paid jobs. Many of the migrants have found jobs on farms in and around Boston or in fruit and vegetable processing factories where there is demand for cheap labour. Although the wages are low by UK standards, they are much higher than in eastern European countries such as Poland. This enables workers to earn good wages and send money back home to their families.
  • As a result of this migration, many new shops specialising in eastern European products have opened on the high street and some aspects of local culture have been introduced to the town. With many younger migrants, there has been increased pressure on child-care services and healthcare. However, there have also been increased employment opportunities in shops and services. Also, migrants contribute taxes to the UK economy.

BBC News – How immigration changed Boston, Lincolnshire

The Independent – Boston: How a Lincolnshire town became ‘the most divided place in England’