The capital’s migrant mix is shifting once more but it is not just the much reported arrival of people from Eastern Europe that is changing the multi-cultural face of the city. Data from the latest population survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics shows that South Asia and Southern Europe play a significant part too.
The biggest growth in numbers is in the Pakistani and Polish communities. Both have increased by 38,000 between 2011 and last year. Romanians, who were allowed access to work in the UK from the start of 2014, increased by 79% on 2011.
People born in India are the largest non-British group in the capital and their numbers grew by 12% over the period.
But the data also shows the Italian born population has grown by 27,000 and there are 16,000 more Spaniards. That’s an increase of more than 50% for both nationalities.
The biggest rate of growth was for Latvian’s, up 140% but numbers remain small and that high percentage represented 14,000 people.
In contrast, large numbers of South Africans, Bangladeshis, Chinese and Nigerians have left London. The survey does not tell us how many returned to their country of birth and how many did what many UK born Londoners do – move to another part of the country.
The survey spoke to 27,000 people in London and more than 300,000 across the UK. The ONS warns that it is not as robust as the data in last census in 2011, and Urbs has written extensively on population profiles based on that data, but it provides the best estimates of how populations are shifting since 2011.
By comparing London and UK-wide data it is possible to identify the communities who are concentrated in the capital and those who are more dispersed across the UK.
The most London-centric group is from Ecuador. There are 14,000 in the capital; that’s 96% of the UK population. 79% of the people in the UK from the troubled Balkan state of Kosovo are in London.
But it is not just newer migrant groups that favour the capital. Ghana has a long relationship with the UK dating back through colonial times yet nearly three quarters of Ghanaian-born people in the UK are resident in London.
In contrast, a small proportion of the small group of Slovakians in the country has chosen London. Germans seem to be widely dispersed around the UK, as do Chinese and people born in Zimbabwe.