Ethnic populations

Changes to the ethnic composition of the population

By 2031 minority ethnic groups are estimated to make up approximately 15 per cent of the UK population, up from 12 per cent in 2011. The increase is driven not only by the impact of migration but by differences between fertility rates of some ethnic groups (1).

Across England, mixed populations are the fastest growing, followed by newer immigrant groups and traditional communities of South Asian origins. London has the greatest diversity in its population and by 2031 ethnic minority populations are predicted to rise to 37 per cent of the total (1).

The ethnic profile of the population is important because of the differing rates of disease in different ethnic groups. For example, Asian and black groups have higher rates of diabetes than the general population, and many minority ethnic groups have lower rates of cancer (1).

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  1. Wohland P, Rees P, Norman P, Boden P, Jasinska M (2010). Research paper. ‘Ethnic population projections for the UK and local areas, 2001-2015’. University of Leeds

Actual and projected period expectation of life at birth, England, 1981 - 2085