More than 600,000 white British Londoners have left the capital in the last ten years, according to new census data available in the United Kingdom. The numbers show that between 2001 and 2011 the number of whites departing from London reached 620,000. This number is equal to the population of the city of Glasgow, Scotland, where the ethnic makeup is almost entirely white. This white flight from London has now made whites a minority in the British capital. The census also shows some rural areas have seen an uptick in the proportion of people who describe their ethnicity as ‘white British’. Some 3.7million Londoners classified themselves as white British in 2011, despite the city’s population increasing by nearly one million over the decade to 8.2million. In 2001, the number of white Britons living in London was 4.3 million.
White Britons now make up 45 per cent of the population, compared with 58 per cent in 2001. Immigrants have boosted the population of London over the last ten years with three million foreign-born people now living there. Five London boroughs saw the proportion of white Britons fall by more than 25 percent. The largest decline was in Newham, East London, where the decrease was 37.5 per cent. In Barking and Dagenham, on the East London/Essex border, 80 per cent of residents were white British in 2001 but by 2011 the proportion was 49 per cent.
Comments came from both politicians and those who watch population trends closely. A town councillor of Barking and Dagenham said that Britons have left London for a variety of reasons, including retirement. Councillor Ralph Baldwin said the former residents of London thought "'We don’t know where we are living any more”.
‘One day they are in a place that they think is Essex and then they are living in another place...It has never been an issue of race. It’s about the inability of people to affect change. The world was changing around them and they couldn’t do anything about it."
The largest ethnic group now living in London consists of Asians, many of whom are of Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi parentage who come from overseas and born in the UK. They make up 18 per cent of the population. Black Londoners from Africa, the Caribbean and native-born, now make up 13 per cent.
Elsewhere in England and Wales, the census showed the proportion of white Britons in South Derbyshire went up by 13.7 per cent over the decade.
North Kesteven and West Lindsey in Lincolnshire, Uttlesford in Essex, East Northamptonshire, East Cambridgeshire, Mid Suffolk, South Norfolk, Mid Devon and Forest Heath in Suffolk also showed increases.
The census recorded that the population of England and Wales grew with an influx of four million immigrants during ten years of great social change. The census noted that in 2011 there were 7.5 million people born abroad living in England and Wales, while more than half had arrived since 2001.
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