Census data shows white British people are now in a minority and 100 different languages spoken in almost every London borough.
- More than 300,000 people living in London can’t speak English
- Census data also shows 78pc of residents have English as first language
- Nearly 1.7m people don’t have English as first language
- Just 45% of Londoners describe themselves as ‘white British’.
UK census data has revealed that white British people in London are in the minority.
The last census revealed that just 45% of Londoners describe their ethnicity as white British and in Newham, East London, the figure is just 16%.
The BBC’s home editor Mark Easton hears from locals that the changes are causing much soul-searching among London’s residents.
Mark analysed and mapped the census data and discovered a much more complex and intriguing story than many of the headlines would have us believe.
See BBC report: Where have London’s white British gone?
London’s population has become increasingly diverse with more than 100 different languages are spoken in virtually every borough.
Statistics from the 2011 Census show that 78 per cent of the capital’s residents speak English as their main language. But the remaining 22 per cent — equivalent to just over 1.7 million people — have another first language.
Of these nearly 320,000 say that they cannot speak English well or at all. That figure will prompt renewed concern about the levels of integration of some overseas nationals.
The most striking revelation, however, is the scale of linguistic diversity. The Office for National Statistics, which compiled today’s figures, says that overall there are 53 “main” languages in the capital spoken by at least 0.1 per cent of residents.
There are also another 54 which include variants of established languages such as Chinese or those, such as Caribbean Creole, Cornish or Gaelic, spoken by a small number of people.
The most common other language is Polish, spoken as the main language by nearly two per cent of residents, followed by Bengali, Gujarati, French, Urdu and Arabic. The most diverse borough is Hillingdon, where all of the 107 languages defined by the Census are spoken, followed by Newham, where 104 languages are spoken.
Newham also has the weakest standards of English with nine per cent of residents — equivalent to 25,000 people — unable to speak it. They are among the 41 per cent of the borough’s population that does not have English as their main language.
Figures also reveal that more than 100 languages are spoken in 30 of the capital’s 33 boroughs with only the City, Richmond and Havering falling below this benchmark. Ealing, where Poles are the largest group of those speaking another first language, and Haringey, where Turkish is the top alternative to English, are among other linguistically diverse areas.
Brent and Harrow top the list for Gujarati, while Arabic is the second most popular language in Westminster. Kensington and Chelsea has the highest proportion of French, Spanish, Italian, German and Filipino speakers.
The figures on languages apply to 7.8 million London residents aged three and above. Of those Londoners who have a foreign language as their main tongue, 47,917 say that they cannot speak English at all.
Other statistics show that London has the highest proportion of people reporting that they are in good health and the lowest percentage suffering disabilities.
Cycling has also soared in popularity with four per cent of workers, equivalent to 161,700, using a bike to commute. That is more than double the figure a decade ago. Source: Census, BBC, Evening Standard.
During the 1950’s and 1960’s thousands of London born white working class families were re-housed to new towns or developments outside of the capital such as: Harlow, Basildon, Stevenage, Crawley and Borehamwood.
The so-called ‘slum’ houses they were moved from in places like Camden and Kings Cross are now worth millions of pounds!
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