Deborah Gabriel, BlackBritain.co.uk, October 3, 2006
According to a new report being released today, rapid rates of integration in Birmingham means that by 2010, although Birmingham will become the first non white majority city in the UK, the African Caribbean community will only be a small section of the population.
The report: African Caribbean Education and Employment in Birmingham was commissioned by Partnership for Achievement (PFA) , an organisation established in January this year that works closely with the voluntary and community sector and private organisations to improve the situation of African Caribbean people residing in Birmingham.
The report predicts that by 2010, Birmingham will become the UK’s first “minority ethnic majority city” , due to an “Ageing declining white population.” This is due to rapid levels of integration. Currently 55 per cent of African Caribbean males and 37 per cent of African Caribbean females have white partners.
Dr Joe Aldred, Managing Director of PFA told Black Britain: “I see in this a number of big looming threats.” He said that the term many people are using is to say that Birmingham will become a “black majority city,” but warned: “We must remember that the black bit in it, in terms of African Caribbean is small and shrinking and 4.9 per cent in the 2001 census is not likely to grow very much.”
Commenting on the number of Caribbean descent individuals with white partners, Dr Aldred told Black Britain: “The African Caribbean people as a distinct group, is in fact a shrinking group, being run very closely by mixed heritage groups.”
The report reveals that mixed heritage offspring as the fastest growing ethnic group, currently accounts for 1.6 per cent of Birmingham’s population. But Dr Aldred said that this is not the only reason the African Caribbean population in Birmingham is on the decline: “The threat seems to be coming from the fact that a high percentage of African Caribbean people live alone — more than 40 per cent of us, according to the census.”
The reason the report focused on the African Caribbean community is due in large part to the fact that the 2001 census revealed that whilst 71 per cent of the African community were born outside the UK, 60 per cent of the African Caribbean community were born in the UK and both their experiences and outcomes differ.
For example, 40 per cent of the African community at the time of the census were employed in professional or associate professional jobs, with 39 per cent having higher level qualifications. By contrast, just 25 per cent of the African Caribbean community were in professional positions and just 16 per cent had higher level qualifications.