Friday, December 17, 2004

Racial divide in British cities

There are growing racial divisions in Britain's largest cities according to an analysis of British census data:

The analysis also finds for the first time in Britain evidence of the American phenomenon of "white flight" as whites leave districts with high ethnic minority populations.

In some inner-city areas members of ethnic minorities are becoming more isolated from the white population as a result of whites moving out.

The spread of ethnic minorities to almost every local council area means, however, that the white population in general is becoming less isolated from ethnic minorities, the study by academics at the London School of Economics concludes.

A study of change in the white population in London, the West Midlands, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester between 1991 and 2001 found that white population losses were highest in the districts with the highest ethnic minority populations in 1991. Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy at the LSE and an author of the study, said: "We are getting polarisation and a growing racial divide at one level but dispersal at another."

She said that while ethnic minorities were represented in almost every area, they had become more concentrated in the districts where they had settled on arrival. "The white population in these areas is in decline and ethnic minorities are moving in," Ms Power said. "White people do tend to move but it is not necessarily because of what people call white flight."

It also found that the ethnic minority population grew at twice the rate of the white population. The ethnic minority population increase represented 73 per cent of the overall population growth. The white population grew by 600,000 and the ethnic minorities by 1.6 million.

Overall the population in 2001 comprised 52.4 million whites and 4.6 million from ethnic minority groups.

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