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Britain becomes mixed race in 21st century: report

Young people in Britain are more likely to be of mixed race as adults, raising hopes that they will not see race in the way it is seen in contemporary UK, a major study suggested.

world Updated: Jan 18, 2009 20:28 IST

Young people in Britain are more likely to be of mixed race as adults, raising hopes that they will not see race in the way it is seen in contemporary UK, a major study suggested on Sunday.

The report produced by the Institute for Social and Economic Research shows the remarkable rise in mixed-race Britain. It shows "young people are now six times as likely to be mixed race as adults and the rate is increasing by the year."

According to the research at Essex University, nine per cent of children in Britain are of "mixed or multiple heritage, meaning they are living with parents of different ethnic backgrounds or are of mixed race themselves."

Among the Indian population, this figure has risen dramatically from three per cent to 11 per cent, for Pakistanis from one per cent to four per cent and for Chinese from 15 per cent to 35 per cent.

The number of children of Caribbean heritage with one white parent has risen from 39 per cent to 49 per cent over the past 14 years, the report said.

Lucinda Platt, author of the report, said that the findings were striking. "There has been dramatic shift over 10 years. What we mean when we talk about minority groups is changing," Platt said.

The report, commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), paints a picture of Britain in which people of Indian, Caribbean, Black African, Chinese and white British heritage are far more likely to fall in love, marry and have children with people of different races.

The vast majority of their mixed-race children will go on to enter relationships with people of yet another ethnic background.

The shift is likely to be most dramatic in London, where more than one in four children in inner city primary schools is already of mixed race.

The EHRC has hailed the findings as evidence of the success of multi-cultural Britain, but says that there is more to be done.