Policy Exchange - Ethnic minorities will make up a third of Britain by 2050

6 May 2014 10:19 AM


Stop treating ethnic minority communities as one voting bloc, says think tank as in-depth study reveals unique traits among different groups.

People from ethnic minority backgrounds will make up nearly a third of the UK’s population by 2050.
A major new study by leading think tank Policy Exchange reveals that the five largest distinct Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities could potentially double from 8 million people or 14% of the population to between 20-30% by the middle of the century.  Over the past decade, the UK’s White population has remained roughly the same while the minority population has almost doubled. Black Africans and Bangladeshis are the fastest growing minority communities with ethnic minorities representing 25% of people aged under the age of five.
The handbook, A Portrait of Modern Britain, draws on an extensive set of survey, census, academic and polling data to build up a detailed picture of the five largest minority groups in the UK – Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Black Africans and Black Caribbeans. The paper outlines the demographics, geography, life experiences, attitudes and socioeconomic status of each of these major ethnic groups. The purpose of the research is to show that there are clear and meaningful differences between each of these communities, which need to be fully understood by policymakers and politicians.
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% of Whites identified themselves as being purely British, with 64% seeing themselves as purely English. All other ethnic minority communities were over four times more likely to associate themselves with being British. 71% of Bangladeshis and 63% of Pakistanis considered themselves purely British. A quarter of the Black Caribbean community see themselves as purely English, while just over half (55%) see themselves as just British.
Other key findings include:

Rishi Sunak, co-author of the handbook, said:
“The face of Britain has changed and will keep changing over the next 30 years. From the post-war arrival of Jamaicans and Indians to the recent influx of Africans, 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, as our research demonstrates 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.”

A Portrait of Modern Britain