The British population has undergone significant changes in its ethnic composition over the years, with a marked decrease in those who self-identify as “white British.”
The BBC says that in 2001, 87.5 percent of the British population identified as “white British,” 4.4 percent as “Asian,” 3.8 percent as “other white,” 2.2 percent as “black,” 1.3 percent as “mixed” and 0.9 percent as “other.”
A decade later, the figures began to show a greater presence of minorities. The Asian population increased to 7.8 percent, the black population increased to 3.5 percent and the mixed population rose to 2.3 percent. The only decrease was in the white British group, which dropped to 79.8 percent.
There are a myriad reasons behind these changes. The first is the increase in migration of young adults who hail from Asian countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Similarly, migrants from eastern European countries such as Poland led to an increase in the other-white category.
Different cultural or religious practices also played a role. The rising numbers in the Asian and black populations may also be due to higher birth rates associated with those communities.
Additionally, Britain’s increasingly multicultural society led to a rise in those who identify as mixed ethnicity.
The changes are not limited to ethnic composition alone. Britain’s population is experiencing other shifts as well, such as a declining birth rate and a larger aging population. This is true especially along the south and east coasts of England, whereas urban centers like London are more youthful.
Moving forward, Britain’s ethnic makeup will likely become even more diverse.