1 in 4 England and Wales Residents Are Ethnic Minority, Latest Census Reveals

Westminster, Birmingham, and Manchester are among the top 10 most ethnically diverse cities to live, newest census data reveals.

Recent research from UK immigration solicitors, OTS, explores newly published ONS census data which highlights the ethnic origins of people living in England and Wales, and their cities.

The research showed that 1 in 4 England and Wales residents are of an ethnic minority. Some of the key elements of the cultural make-up of England and Wales in 2021 were:

  • White: Other White, 6.2%
  • Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh: Indian, 3.1%
  • Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh: Pakistani, 2.7%
  • Black, Black British, Black Welsh, Caribbean or African: African, 2.5%
  • Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh: Other Asian, 1.6%
  • Other ethnic group: Any other ethnic group, 1.6%
  • Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh: Bangladeshi, 1.1%
  • Black, Black British, Black Welsh, Caribbean or African: Caribbean, 1.0%
  • Mixed or Multiple ethnic groups: White and Black Caribbean, 0.9%
  • White: Irish, 0.9%

In 2021, 74.4% of England and Wales residents were White: English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British. This compares to the 80.5% figure for 2011, showing a marked decrease.

The study also analysed the census 2021 data to find the population percentages for each ethnicity in each city, revealing the 10 most ethnically diverse cities to live in England and Wales. The cities were:

  1. Westminster, 72%
  2. Leicester, 67%
  3. City of London, 67%
  4. Birmingham, 57%
  5. Manchester, 51%
  6. Cambridge, 47%
  7. Oxford, 47%
  8. Wolverhampton, 45%
  9. Coventry, 45%
  10. Bradford, 43%

Interestingly, Westminster is the most ethnically diverse city in England and Wales, with a 7% decrease in White: English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British residents over the past ten years.

Leicester and City of London are also at the top, showing a 12% and 15% decrease in White: English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British residents respectively since 2011, suggesting that these are increasingly multicultural cities to live.

Oshin Shahiean, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at OTS Solicitors, said,

It’s not too much of a surprise to see the population of ethnic minorities in England and Wales having increased since 2011. It’s also no shock to see large cities, like Birmingham and Manchester, up at the top of the list of ethnic diversity.

That said, it’s somewhat of a surprise to see popular cities, like York, Cardiff, Sheffield, Leeds, Bristol and Liverpool not make it into the top 10. In fact, almost all of these cities either met the overall England and Wales average for ethnic minorities, or were lower than this. It seems that our top 10 cities are setting the precedent for welcoming a more diverse population.

If you’re seeking entry to the UK to live, work, study or for any other personal reason, solicitors at OTS can assist you through the immigration process. From finding the best entry route to applying for a visa, OTS can offer some of the best legal guidance and expertise. Head here to contact them.

Written by:  Joanna Cunningham

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