What are the ethnic roots of Jamaicans

Country Profiles Migration: Data - History - Politics

Randall Hansen

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Dr. Randall Hansen is professor at the Chair of "Canadian Research on Immigration and Governance" and Director of the "Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies" at the University of Toronto. [email protected]

The high number of immigrants from the former colonies ensured that the United Kingdom developed into a country of immigration after the Second World War. To this day, colonial history has shaped the composition of the country's minority population.

Children at Notting Hill Carnival in London 2009: According to the latest 2011 census, 12.8 percent of the UK population defined themselves as an ethnic minority.

According to the latest 2011 census, 12.8 percent of the UK population defines themselves as an ethnic minority. In the census, respondents are asked to choose one of five general ethnicity categories: white, mixed / multi-ethnic, Asian / Asian-British, black / African / Caribbean / black-British, or "other". More precise distinctions of ethnicity or country of origin are consistently made for the different areas of the United Kingdom only within the categories "Asian" and "Black". A breakdown of the UK population by ethnicity is shown in the table.

Total population by ethnic group in 2011
Total populationEthnic minority population
Number (in thousands)%%
White50.07379,3n / A
Mixed / multi-ethnic1.2502,015,4
Asian / Asian-British4.3736,953,9
Chinese4330,7 5,3
Others Asian8621,4 10,6
Black / African / Caribbean / Black British1.9053,023,5
Total ethnic minority population 8.10912,8100,0
Total population63.182100,0n / A
Source: National Statistics Agency, 2011 Census [Office for National Statistics, 2011 Census]

The "visible minorities" are mainly to be found in English cities - especially in London. According to the 2011 census, white Londoners are now in the minority: 54 percent of the capital's residents feel they belong to an ethnic minority; 37 percent of all Londoners were born abroad, 10 percentage points more than in 2001. In addition to London, the West Midlands (including Birmingham) and West Yorkshire (including Bradford) also have a large ethnic minority population. However, these two now de-industrialized regions are less attractive to new immigrants than the state capital.

This text is part of the United Kingdom country profile.