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Ethnic minorities “will make up 20% of population by 2051”

14 July 2010

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New research has predicted that ethnic minorities will make up a fifth of the population by 2051.

The ethnic minority share of the population will rise from 8% (2001) to around 20%, according to experts from the University of Leeds.

The study also says that ethnic minorities will move from deprived local authorities to more affluent areas, with ethnic groups becoming much less segregated from the rest of the population.

Another key projection for 2051 is that the UK population will reach almost 78 million, rising from 59 million in 2001.

The three-year study includes population projections for each year until 2051, covering 352 local authorities in England, and projections for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The team discovered significant differences in the growth rates of the 16 ethnic groups studied. White British and Irish groups are expected to grow very slowly, while the Other White group is projected to grow the fastest – driven by immigration from Europe, the US and Australasia.

Traditional immigrant groups of south Asian origin (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) will also grow rapidly in size.

Project leader Professor Philip Rees said: “The ethnic make-up of UK’s population is evolving significantly.

“Groups outside the white British majority are increasing in size and share, not just in the areas of initial migration, but throughout the country, and our projections suggest that this trend is set to continue through to 2051.

“At a regional level, ethnic minorities will shift out of deprived inner-city areas to more affluent areas, which echoes the way white groups have migrated in the past.

“In particular black and Asian populations in the least deprived local authorities will increase significantly.”

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