ondon: Britain’s ethnic minority population, including from India, is set to double in numbers to make up nearly a third of the country by 2050, radically changing the face of the country, a new study said today.
The UK’s Policy Exchange think tank presents a detailed picture of the five largest minority groups in the country – Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Black Africans and Black Caribbeans – as part of ‘A Portrait of Modern Britain’ handbook released here.
It also found that the Indian community was the most dispersed all over the UK with most other ethnic minority communities predominantly living in three main cities of London, Manchester and Birmingham.
Also, Indians stood out for their tendency to cluster in the highest skilled professions.
“Almost all minority groups, except the Indian community, have unemployment rates double the national average.
24 per cent of Pakistani men are taxi drivers and half of all Bangladeshi men work in restaurants.
In contrast 43 per cent of Indians work in the highest skilled professions,” the report found.
UK’s five largest minority ethnic groups combined make up eight million people or 14 per cent of the population.
This number has doubled in the past decade, while the white population has remained roughly the same, and so is predicted to increase to between 20 and 30 per cent of the population by the middle of the century, the report found on analysis of census, academic and polling data.
The study’s authors argue that there are “clear and meaningful differences” between the different black and minority ethnic (BME) groups that should be addressed by politicians.
They also note that nearly all BEN communities support the Opposition Labour Party, which will be a cause of concern for Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives.
“This is an important piece of research and an excellent reference point for anyone interested in community engagement,” said Alok Sharma MP, Conservative Party vice-chairman for BME Communities, appointed by Cameron to woo Asian voters.
“The Conservatives are champions of home ownership, which ought to be a strong way to connect with the Indian and Pakistani communities.
They have home ownership levels similar if not higher than the White population and are likely keenly aware of changes in mortgage rates, stamp duty and Help/Right to Buy,” suggests Rishi Sunak, co-author of the report.
The study also reveals that while the face of Britain has changed and is continuing to become even more multi-racial, people from ethnic minority backgrounds have a far stronger association with being British than the white population.
In the 2011 Census, only 14 per cent of whites identified themselves as being purely British, while all other ethnic minority communities were over four times more likely to associate themselves with being British.