Rebecca Camber, Daily Mail (UK), September 10, 2006
Beyond a brief mention in the Domesday Book, Ripley has done little to merit a place in British history above any other archetypal market town.
But now the unremarkable town nestled in a corner of Derbyshire, whose biggest attractions are a railway museum, pottery centre and the odd tea room, has been put firmly on the map – as the “most English” place in the country.
According to a new study of “melting pot” Britain, the industrial town has the largest proportion of residents with an English ethnic background of any place in England.
The revelation comes as a survey of ethnic origin exposes the geographical spread of immigration across the country.
Using electoral records and profession databases, researchers have pinpointed the location of 200 ethnic groups, ranking them by socio-economic success based on their jobs.
According to the report, Armenian immigrants, such as millionaire property tycoon Bob Manoukian, are the most financially and socially prosperous, whilst those arriving from Sierra Leone and Syria have fared the worst.
By comparison, the English are among the least commercially minded races.
According to the anaylsis, Ripley is the most quintessentially English place, with 88.6 per cent of those living there being of English origin, followed by the neighbouring village of Heanor and Sutton-in-Ashfield in Derbyshire.
In contrast, Southall in west London has the lowest concentration of the English gene pool, with just 17.8 per cent of residents being English.
South Tottenham emerged as the most diverse area of Britain with 113 ethnic groups living in that section of north London.
Looking at the surnames and first names of 42.2 million people registered to vote in the UK, experts divided residents into 200 ethnic groups.
Then they compared each group with a marketing database of professions to rank their socio-economic success.
It found that the Japanese and Russians are the most entrepreneurial, with the highest number of company directors per group.
Richard Webber, a professor of spatial analysis at University College, London who developed the Origins Info report said: “The patterns that this analysis have uncovered are striking. We are hoping it will prove a valuable tool for government and business.”
The research revealed that ethnic clusters had formed decades after immigrants first arrived in Britain.
For example, Greek Cypriots have concentrated in Broxbourne, Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire and Margate in Kent, whilst a large Italian population can be found around Bedford and Waltham Cross.
The Dutch live in large numbers in Plockton in the Scottish Highlands and Llanwrtyd Wells, north Wales.
When looking at the ethnic composition of the professions, the report found a disproportionately high number of immigrants in business, law and medicine.
Those from north India are 10 times more likely to be doctors than the population as a whole. Spaniards and Romanians are also significantly “over-represented” as doctors, and Russians, Dutch and Nigerians occupy a high proportion of barristers.
Statisticians also found that one in four restaurants is run by a Muslim and one in four chemists by an Indian or Sri Lankan.