White Britons are a minority for the first time after a rise in the number of residents from other ethnic groups.
Statistics from last year’s census show that 45 per cent of the capital’s 8.2 million population class themselves as white Britons. That compares with a figure of 58 per cent when the last census was compiled in 2001.
One of the key reasons for the change is a sharp increase in the number of foreign born people living in London. They now account for 37 per cent of the capital’s population, compared with only a quarter a decade earlier.
The largest number of such residents come from India, who account for three per cent of the London population, followed by Poles, who make up two per cent. But there has also been a big increase in ethnic minority Britons with the numbers of black, Asian and mixed race Londoners born in this country all rising significantly.
Statisticians said the census figures showed that London was the most diverse part of the country and was leading the way as the number of ethnic minority and foreign born residents rose nationwide.
Other key statistics from the census show that London has:
- The best qualified population in the country.
- The lowest proportion of home
- owners and the highest proportion of people who rent.
- The lowest level of car ownership.
- The highest proportion of Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Buddhists.
Announcing the figures, Guy Goodwin, the Office for National Statistics’ director of census, said: “These statistics paint a picture of society and help us all plan for the future using accurate information at a local level.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg of census statistics. Further rich layers of vital information will be revealed as we publish more detailed data for very local levels over the coming months.”
The most eye-catching findings for London are those on the changing ethnic mix in the capital.
There are now 3.7 million white Britons in London, down from 4.3 million in 2001 despite an overall increase in the capital’s population of nearly one million inhabitants over the decade.
The next largest ethnic group is Asian, including both those who have arrived from abroad and those who were born in this country. They now account for 18 per cent of the capital’s population with a total of 1.5 million residents.
Black Londoners, of whom there are 1.1 million, represent another 13 per cent of the population. They include Africans, black Britons and those from the Caribbean.
The capital’s 405,000 mixed race residents make up another five per cent of the population. Arabs represent 1.3 per cent, while “other” ethnic groups make up two per cent.
A further 13 per cent of Londoners are “white other” – such as Europeans — meaning that the capital still has an overall majority of white residents despite white Britons becoming a minority.
On religion, today’s figures show that the capital has four million Christians. They account for 48 per cent of residents, down from 58 per cent in 2001.
Muslim Londoners, of whom there are now one million, are the next biggest faith group and account for 12 per cent of the capital’s population — up from eight per cent a decade earlier.
London also has the highest proportion of Hindus in the country, who represent five per cent of its population, Jews, at two per cent, and Buddhists, who make up one per cent. Those who say they have no religion totalled 1.7 million, while a further 693,000 failed to answer.
On country of birth, today’s figures show that three million Londoners were born abroad.
More than half of the residents in Brent, Newham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster were born outside the UK.
Half of London’s foreign born residents arrived between 2001 and 2011, reflecting the surge in immigration under Labour and the first years of David Cameron’s premiership.
On qualifications, 38 per cent of Londoners had a degree or better, the highest proportion in the country. Those who have no recognised qualifications represent 18 per cent of the capital’s population, the lowest proportion nationally.
Today’s figures are all based on the 2011 census which shows that London’s population is 8.2 million. That represents a big increase on the 2001 when the number of residents was around 7.3 million.