Life in the United Kingdom, A Journey to Citizenship

Chapter 3 - Part I

 

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POPULATION

In 2001, the population of the United Kingdom was recorded just under 59 million people.

UK population 2001
England 49.1 million 83% UK population
Scotland 5.1 million 9% UK population
Wales 2.9 million
5% UK population
N Ireland 1.7 million
3% UK population
Total UK 58.8 million
Source
: National Statistics

More information on the 2001 Census is available from the Government Statistics website, http://www.statistics.gov.uk

Since 1951, the population has grown by 17 per cent. This is lower than the average growth for countries in the European Union (which is 23 per cent), and much smaller than some other countries, such as the USA (80 per cent), and Australia (133 per cent).

The UK birth rate was at an all time low in 2002 and, although it rose slightly in 2003, Britain now has an ageing population. For the first time, people aged 60 and over form a larger part of the population than children under 16. There is also a record number of people aged 85 and over.

Although there has been a general increase in population in the UK over the last 20 years, the growth has not been uniform, and some areas, such as the North East and North West of England have experienced a decline.

The Census
A census of the population in Britain has been taken every ten years since 1801 (with the exception of 1941, when Britain was at war). The next census will be in 2011.

When a census takes place, a census form is delivered to households throughout the country, and by law must be completed. The form asks for a lot of information to ensure that official statistics about the population are accurate, but is all completely confidential and anonymous as regards each individual. Only after 100 years can the records be consulted freely.

Ethnic diversity
The largest ethnic minority in Britain are people of Indian descent. These are followed by those of Pakistani descent, of mixed ethnic descent, Black Caribbean descent, Black African descent, and Bangladeshi descent. Together these groups make up 7.9 per cent of the UK population.

Today, about half the members of the African Caribbean, Pakistani, Indian, and Bangladeshi communities were born in Britain. Considerable numbers of people of Chinese, Italian, Greek and Turkish Cypriot, Polish, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and American descent are also resident within the UK.

White 54.2 million 92.0% UK population
Mixed 0.7 million 1.2% UK population

Asian or Asian British
Indian 1.1 million 1.8% UK population
Pakistani 0.7 million 1.3% UK population
Bangladeshi 0.3 million 0.5% UK population
Other Asian 0.2 million 0.4% UK population
Black or Black British
Black Caribbean 0.6 million 1.0% UK population
Black African 0.5 million 0.8% UK population
Black Other 0.1 million 0.2% UK population
Chinese 0.2 million 0.4% UK population
Other 0.2 million 0.4% UK population
Source: National Statistics from the 2001 census

Where do people live?
Most members of ethnic minority groups live in England, where they make up nine per cent of the total population. This compares with two per cent each in Wales and Scotland, and less than one per cent in Northern Ireland.
45 per cent of the population of ethnic minorities live in the London area, where they comprise 29 per cent of all residents. Most other members of ethnic minorities in Britain live in one of four other areas: the West Midlands, the South East, the North West, and Yorkshire and Humberside.

 

 

 

 

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