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White Britons are now a minority in Leicester, Luton and Slough and Birmingham is set to follow by end of decade All three communities have a white British population of less than 50%, 2011 UK census shows, and Birmingham will be the same by 2020
Slough has the lowest proportion of white Britons in the UK outside London – 35 per centImmigration from Eastern Europe since 2004 a major cause, say academics
10:52 GMT, 10 January 2013
22:54 GMT, 10 January 2013
Three towns and cities have joined London in having a minority white British population.
Researchers say more than 50 per cent of people living in Leicester, Luton and Slough are either foreign or from an ethnic minority.
Birmingham is expected to have a similar make-up by 2020.
Changing face of Britain: Three places outside London have a minority of white Britons. This graph shows the growth of other non-white groups in the UK since 1991 in thousands
Diverse: In Luton (pictured) 55 per cent of residents are non-white British but 80 per cent of its total population say they feel British
The findings are based on the 2011 national census, in which residents were asked which ethnic group they were in.
The census also broke the white
population down into those who see themselves as white British and those
who consider they are ‘white other’ – a group that will include
immigrants from Europe as well as Australasia and America.
London has already been shown to have a white British population of only 45 per cent.
Yesterday’s breakdown showed that
those who call themselves white British amount to 45 per cent of the
population of Leicester, 45 per cent of the population of Luton and only
just over a third, 35 per cent, of the people of Slough.
The white populations in all three are
swollen by the presence of white migrants, including high numbers of
Eastern Europeans who have arrived since their countries joined the EU
and they were given the right to live in Britain in 2004.
The analysis, by academics at the
University of Manchester, said the comparative decline of white British
numbers does not mean that ethnically mixed towns and cities have become
The children of immigrants who were
born in this country tend to regard themselves as British, it said.
‘Eighty-one per cent of Luton’s residents have a British national
identity while 45 per cent are of the white British ethnic group,’ added
‘We already know from other sources
that British identity is felt at least as strongly by those of minority
ethnicity as those of white British ethnicity.’
‘This is the case for people of
similar age and background born in the UK: younger, more highly educated
people, and those born overseas all express less strong British
It also said segregation is decreasing and residential mixing of different groups became more common between 2001 and 2011.
According to the research, two thirds
of Leicester’s 330,000 population were born in the UK. The city, it
found, has 17 ethnic groups more than 1,000 strong.
In Luton, only 91,000 of the 203,000 population say they are white British, but 165,000 people regard themselves as British.
In Slough, of 140,000 people, 48,000 say they are white British but 108,000 say their identity is British.
Results for Newham in East London,
where fewer than one in six are white British, show two thirds of people
say they are British.
Ludi Simpson, professor of population
studies at Manchester University, said: ‘We need to understand changing
ethnic composition to understand our citizens’ changing needs.
‘Housing, school meals, care of older
people, cultural and entertainment facilities, funeral services and many
other aspects of local services are intrinsically affected.’