The majority of the usual resident population in England and Wales gave their ethnic group as White in the 2011 Census, In all, 86.0% of the population (48.2 million people) did so, compared with 91.3% in 2001 and 94.1% in 1991.
Within this White ethnic group, White British was the largest, with 45.1 million people (80.5%), followed by Any Other White with 2.5 million people (4.4%). Indian was the next largest ethnic group with 1.4 million people (2.5%) followed by Pakistani (2.0%). This is consistent with census findings on international migration, which found that South Asian countries (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) continued to rank highly among the most common non-UK countries of birth. The remaining ethnic groups each accounted for up to 2% of the population in 2011.
Figure 1: Ethnic groups in England and Wales, 2011
Figure 2: Ethnic Groups, 2001-2011, England and Wales
- Excludes White British (80.5% in 2011, and 87.5% in 2001)
- Comparability issues exist between these ethnic groups for the 2001 and 2011 censuses
- No comparable data exists for these ethnic groups in 2001 Census
Between 2001 and 2011, the proportion of the population identifying as White British and White Irish decreased. The remaining White ethnic groups increased; the Any Other White group had the largest increase of 1.1 million people (1.8%).
London was the most ethnically diverse area, with the highest proportion of minority ethnic groups and the lowest proportion of the White ethnic group at 59.8%. The West Midlands was the second most diverse area with the White ethnic group at 79.2%. Wales was the least diverse area, followed by the South West and North East. Over 95% of the population identified as White in these areas.
The local authorities with the highest proportions of White British were Redcar & Cleveland and Allerdale at 97.6% each. The lowest proportions of White British were found in Newham (16.7%). Kensington & Chelsea had the highest percentage of people indentifying with Any Other White at 28.9%. Leicester had the highest percentage of those reporting to be Indian at 28.3%.
An interactive map is available for users to explore all ethnic groups further at the local authority level:
*Background notes in the main release contain information on ‘Other’ ethnic group categories.
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