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'Indians largest ethnic minority in London'

Even though Indians comprise largest non-white group growth of population has been slower than in other groups.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2003 23:17 IST
Nabanita Sircar
Nabanita Sircar

The non-white population of London has touched the two million mark for the first time. The biggest non-white group in the capital is Indian.

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People from ethnic minorities totalled to 1.3 million a decade ago. Though the overall population has increased by 300,000 or four per cent the white population has fallen by 400,000. The official survey adds to the evidence that London is experiencing a "white flight". In fact, research shows that middle classes, including well-off minorities like the Indians, are moving to the shires. Fear of crime, poor schools and chaotic transport are believed to be some of the resons why families are moving out of London.

Even though Indians comprise the largest non-white group, the growth of population in the group has been slower than most other groups. Observers feel that is due to the community's economic success and high levels of education. There are 436,780 Indians in the capital.

The Bangladeshi population rose nearly 75 per cent, while the Pakistani population has risen by 50 per cent. There are 154,199 Bangladeshis and 142,724 Pakistanis in London. There is another group of other Asians which accounts for 133,400 people. There are only 80,327 Chinese in London.

The fastest growing population group in London is black Africans, up from 163,635 to 378,933. They now account for one in 20 Londoners and have overtaken black Caribbeans.

The white population has, however, fallen from 79.8 per cent to 71.2 per cent. Many of the newcomers in London are found to be recent migrants to Britain. The study found an increase in the number of people saying they were born in Nigeria, Bangladesh, Kenya and Sri Lanka.

The figures were prepared for an anti-racism conference last month by officials working for Mayor Ken Livingstone. They were taken from Census 2001, which has been acknowledged to suffer from inaccuracies because many London immigrants were thought to have avoided participating in the census.

First Published: Dec 25, 2003 21:33 IST