One in five Britons will describe themselves as ‘non-white by 2050’ as minority groups grow in prosperity and status
One in five Britons will be from an ethnic minority by 2050, state-sponsored research predicted yesterday.
The development of minority groups will outpace the increase in numbers of those who describe themselves as ‘white British’, the report said.
Black, Asian and other minority groups will move from cities to affluent suburbs as they grow in prosperity and status, the report predicts.
Increases on the scale predicted in the report by academics from Leeds University mean the non-white ethnic minority population, which numbered under five million in 2001, will be more than three times bigger in 2051, at 15.6 million of a projected total British population of 78 million.
The report, sponsored by the Government’s Economic and Social Research Council, comes in the wake of national census figures which said the non-white ethnic minority share of the population last year was 14 per cent.
According to the census findings, 86 per cent of the population count themselves as white and 80 per cent as ‘white British’ The ‘white British’ population has dropped to 45 per cent, fewer than half, in London, the census said.
The report was by academics from Leeds University and sponsored by the Government’s Economic and Social Research Council
However the ethnic minority population will spread out over coming decades as families who arrived in London looking for work become successful and follow the middle-class flight from the city to outer towns and suburbs where there are better schools and transport and less crime.
Report author Professor Philip Rees said: ‘At a regional level, the ethnic minorities will shift out of deprived inner city areas to the suburbs and surrounding towns.
‘This echoes the way that white groups have migrated in the past with the growth of the middle classes. In particular the Black and Asian populations of affluent local authorities will increase significantly.’ The increase in the ‘other white’ population will be mainly a result of immigration from Europe, Professor Rees said.
Large-scale migration from Eastern Europe has been under way since 2004, when Poland and seven other Eastern European countries joined the EU, and the Home Office predicted 13,000 workers would come to Britain as a result.
More than a million Eastern Europeans have since arrived in Britain to work, and there are more than half a million Eastern Europeans in the population.
Other European countries are also sending greater numbers of migrants. Young French men and women are now arriving in London in numbers to take advantage of work opportunities and lower tax rates than they can find at home.
Apart from non-British whites, the other fastest growing group in the population will be minority groups from countries other than those in Asia and Africa which have long sent migrants to Britain.
Professor Rees said: ‘One of the most surprising findings was the scale of increase in the so-called other ethnic groups representing people from lots of other countries outside of the main origin groups.’
The 78 million prediction for the overall population made by the report means that academics believe the country is bound to exceed the 70 million population point considered by many analysts to be likely to overstretch housing, transport, water, power and education resources.
ONS projections suggest that the 70 million population will be reached in 14 to 15 years’ time.