Migrants UK
Migrants make up around 11.4 percent of the UK's population, but only 6.4 percent of benefits claimants. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

Proportionally fewer migrants to the UK are claiming benefits than the country's own citizens, reveals figures from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

Of the 5.76m benefits claimants in Britain, migrants make up just 6.4 percent - despite representing 11.4 percent of the total UK population.

Fresh research from DWP shows the number of non-UK citizens who put in benefits claims as of February 2011 as 371,100.

DWP stresses that this is not an exact representation of the migrant claimant count, just an estimate, as some may have since become UK citizens.

"It's important for the credibility of our benefits system that we should understand the mix of people who come from other countries who are claiming benefits," Chris Grayling, pensions minister, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Two percent of migrants claiming benefits were doing so despite having "no lawful immigration status".

"We are going to go through all the people who we've not being able to identify to have a system in which people can have confidence," said Grayling.

Asians top the list of migrants on benefits in Britain, representing a third of claimants.

Of the 371,100 migrant claimants, 118,490 were from countries in Asia, amounting to 32 percent.

The next highest geographic group was Europeans, with 61,020, representing 16 percent of the total.