White Britons now a minority in London


LONDON–For the first time ever, white British people are now a minority in London as migrants from India, Pakistan, Ireland, Germany and Poland added up to over three million people over the past decade, a government report said Tuesday.

Just 3.7 million Londoners described their ethnicity as “White British” in 2011, down from 4.3 million in 2001. They made up 44.9 per cent of the city’s population, the Daily Mail cited the data released by the Office of National Statistics as saying.

A major change also came in the decreasing number of Christians. There were four million lesser Christians, and a quarter of Britons said they had no religion.

In 2011, 7.5 million were foreign-born, or one in eight of the population.

The proportion of Muslims rose from three per cent to 4.8 per cent. The third most popular religion was Hinduism, with 1.5 per cent of the population, while 0.8 per cent were Sikhs, according to the report.

In what was termed a joke, nearly 180,000 people claimed to be followers of the Jedi religion featured in “Star Wars”. In 2001, around 400,000 jokingly put the faith down on their form.

Knowsley in Lancashire was the most Christian town with 80.9 per cent of residents following the faith, while in London’s Tower Hamlets 34.5 per cent of the population were Muslims, the data showed.

Norwich was the “most godless place” in the country — 42.5 per cent said they had no religion.

Around 7.5 per cent of the total population in England and Wales are Asians, while 3.4 per cent described themselves as black.

London was also home to the most immigrants — 37 per cent of residents were born abroad and 24 per cent were not citizens of Britain.—