Census 2021: Ethnic minorities represent over 50% of Birmingham’s population

New data has revealed that Birmingham is one of the first ‘super-diverse cities’ in the UK

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Birmingham is famous for the warm welcome it offers to all who come to our city – it is one of our strengths and why it is home to people from 187 different nationalities.

The notion of being Birmingham becoming a ‘super-diverse’ city - where ethnic communities represent more than half our population - has long been forecast by academics.

From the arrival of the Irish, who came to Birmingham looking for work, through to the Windrush era when people from the Caribbean answered the call to help rebuild the country after the Second World War – through to the expansion of the European Union, various conflicts and political situations, which most recently saw refugees arrive from Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine – the city has a long history of welcoming people from around the world.

And figures from the 2021 census, reveal that the city’s ethnic minorities now represent 51.4 per cent of the city’s population, making Birmingham one of the first ‘super-diverse’ cities in the UK.

Birmingham city centre Birmingham city centre
Birmingham city centre

How does it compare with the rest of the UK?

The ONS data shows that there are seven other areas, which are all in London, with a non-white population above 50%.

These areas include: Harrow, Hounslow, Tower Hamlets, Ealing, Barking & Dagneham, Hillingdon and Croydon. See the percentage figures in full below.

Ethnic population

  • Harrow: 63.5%
  • Tower Hamlets: 60.6%
  • Ealing: 56.8%
  • Hounslow: 55.9%
  • Croydon: 51.6%
  • Hillingdon: 51.8%
  • Barking & Dagenham: 55.1%

What about regionally?

London remains the most ethnically diverse region of England and saw an 8.1 percentage point decrease of people who identified as “White: English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British” (36.8%, 3.2 million in 2021, down from 44.9%, 3.7 million in 2011).

In other regions, the percentages identifying their ethnic group this way ranged between 71.8% (4.3 million) in the West Midlands to 90.6% (2.4 million) in the North East.