Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and many others assume that their ancestors immigrated to the new lands. However, we don't often think about immigrants to the "old country" in Europe or the British Isles. We seem to assume that they were always there. New research now shows that more than half of Britons have immigrant ancestors. In fact, 23 per cent originated from Ireland.
One in five Brits is of French or German descent with more than half able to trace their roots to outside the UK, according to social history website Ancestry.co.uk.
Britain's present-day population originates from the following countries:
- Ireland 23%
- France 10%
- Germany 9%
- Scandinavia 6.5%
- Canada 5%