Leicester, a 'white minority city'
The continued inflow of families from the Indian subcontinent, particularly from Pakistan and Bangladesh, is poised to reduce the white community into a minority in citiesUpdated: Mar 20, 2006 01:55 IST
The continued inflow of families from the Indian subcontinent, particularly from Pakistan and Bangladesh, is poised to reduce the white community into a minority in cities like Leicester, Birmingham, Bradford and Oldham in north England.
It was earlier predicted that this would take about a decade but the rate of birth in some Asian communities could make Leicester the first English city to have ethnic majority by 2011 and others are set to cross the threshold by 2016.
There are now seven boroughs in London in which whites are in a minority, up from three in 2001. Brent in north-west London, has the highest proportion of non-whites, at 69 per cent.
The race relations watchdog has warned that such a demographic change poses a critical challenge to social stability. Tough decisions will have to be made, said Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) as these cities become “plural cities” where no one race holdsclear demographic majority. There have already been calls for Sharia law in Muslim majority areas.
The warning is based on statistics showing that white and ethnic minority communities are becoming increasingly segregated by growing population and immigration. Segregation was the main reason for race riots in Oldham and Bradford a couple of years ago as it bred mistrust.
First Published: Mar 20, 2006 01:52 IST