Britain’s black and ethnic minority communities could account for almost a third of the population by 2050, according to a study.
The number of people from minority groups could as much as double by then, it says. One in four children under the age of ten in the UK is already from a minority group and over the next few decades the proportion will soar, according to think-tank Policy Exchange.
Currently, eight million people, or 14 per cent of the UK population, are from ethnic minorities. But they now account for 80 per cent of population growth, while the white population remains constant.
Experts predict that as a result, by the middle of the century between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of the population – up to 16million people – will be from a minority community, the report says. Ethnic minority communities predominantly live in three main cities, with 50 per cent living in London, Manchester and Birmingham alone. They are seven times more likely to live in an urban area than someone who is white.
But over time, ethnic minorities will move out of deprived inner city areas and into suburbs and surrounding towns, echoing the way that white groups migrated in the past with the growth of the middle classes, the report predicts.
Ethnicities are increasingly mixing: one in eight multi-person households contains people from more than one ethnic group.
The report draws on survey, census, academic and polling data to build up a comprehensive picture of the five largest black and minority ethnic (BME) groups in the UK – Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black African and Black Caribbean.
Indians are the largest minority group in the UK, with 1,412,958 people accounting for 2.5 per cent of the population. Britain is home to the second largest Indian population in the western world outside India, after only the US.
There are 989,628 Black Africans in the UK. They are the fastest growing of the main ethnic groups, and also the most diverse, coming from countries both inside and outside the Commonwealth.There are 1,124,511 Pakistanis in the UK, 447,201 Bangladeshis and 594,825 Black Caribbeans.
Minorities account for only 5 per cent of the total over-60 population, but 25 per cent of those under ten. Almost 30 per cent of pupils in state primary schools and around 25 per cent of pupils at secondary schools are classified as being from a minority ethnic group.
‘With such a youthful age structure, it is likely the UK’s BME population will represent a larger proportion of the UK’s population over time,’ the report says. All groups except Indians have unemployment rates that are more than double the rate of the white population.
People from ethnic minority backgrounds also have a far stronger association with being British than the white population, the report says.
It argues that politicians should stop treating ethnic minorities as one homogeneous group and start appealing to the varied political views and concerns of non-white Britons.
Speaking to the DailyMail, Rishi Sunak, co-author of the report, said: The UK is now home to a melting pot of different cultures and traditions. These communities will continue to become an ever more significant part of Britain, especially in future elections.’However, ethnic minorities are not one homogeneous political group. From education to employment, housing to trust in the police, politicians from all parties must understand the different issues affecting individual communities.’