How diverse is your community?

The UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) has just published new population estimates by ethnic group for England & Wales. The “Guardian” newspaper has an article on the subject which includes access to an interactive map.

The headline message is that,  of the 54 million people in England and Wales, the non-white British population has grown from 6.6 million in 2001 to 9.1 million in 2009 – or nearly one in six – and there are now a million mixed-race people in the two countries.

The white British population has stayed the same since 2001  because, even though there has been an increase in births, there has also been a similar number of people migrating. The non-white British population has grown by 4.1% a year, or a total of 2.5 million over the whole period, or 37.4%.

Brent, in north-west London, is the most ethnically diverse borough in the country – just 38% of its population counts as white British – with large mixed race, Asian, Black and Irish communities making up the rest. This is where I have lived for the last three decades.

I am half English and half Italian; my wife is half Welsh and half Czech; and our daughter-in-law is Canadian. In our road, our immediate neighbours include Irish, Spanish, Polish, Indian, Pakistani and Lebanese.  My postman is Nepalese, my doctor is Indian, my dentist is Iranian, my newsagent is Sri Lankan, and my dry cleaner is Pakistani.

I love this diversity. England, more especially London, and most especially Brent, is a microcosm of our diverse world and all the more wonderful for it.


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