White children are set to become a ‘minority group’ in Birmingham, a census is expected to show.
A study by the University of Manchester has predicted that more than half of children in Birmingham will be from black and Asian communities when the census is carried out at the end of March.
In 2006, 53 per cent of children under 16 were from white families and this figure is expected to drop substantially to 47 per cent when the census is carried out in two months’ time.
Various public bodies have attempted to predict when the ‘tipping point’ will be reached which will push Birmingham’s ethnic minorities into a clear majority.
Although children from white families will still make up the largest single group, youngsters from ethnic backgrounds will be in the majority which means the white children will be classed as a ‘minority’.
Researchers from the university calculated four years ago that the proportion of children aged under 16 who are from black and ethnic minorities will rise to about 64 per cent by 2026.
The study suggests one reason for the reduction of white families is movement out of Birmingham to other areas of the West Midlands and the UK.
More than half of children in Birmingham will be from black and Asian communities, making white families a minority group, a report said today
Another reason is the continued immigration of people from Pakistan, African countries and China.
Ten years ago, the 2001 census showed that 70.4 per cent of the Birmingham population was white and 29.6 per cent were a mixture of various ethnic backgrounds, with British Asians and African-Caribbean dominating.
The impact of these changes in the population is already being felt in the city’s education system.
The council’s education department has warned that language difficulties among non-English speaking pupils is contributing to poor performances by some schools.
Last year Asian children were reported to outnumber white pupils in Birmingham primary schools for the first time, according to city authorities.
The figures are likely to re-ignite a debate about whether and when Birmingham will beat Leicester and Bradford to become the first majority ethnic UK city.