600,000 Move Out in Decade of ‘White Flight’ from London: White Britons Are Now in Minority in the Capital
Jack Doyle, Daily Mail (London), February 20, 2013
More than 600,000 white British Londoners have left the capital in a decade.
Census figures show that between 2001 and 2011 the level of ‘white flight’ reached 620,000.
It is the equivalent of a city the size of Glasgow – made up entirely of white Britons – moving out of the capital.
The figures, reported by the BBC yesterday, mean that for the first time, white Britons are now in a minority in the country’s largest city.
At the same time, the census shows, some rural areas have seen a rise in the proportion of people who describe their ethnicity as ‘white British’.
Some 3.7million Londoners classified themselves as white British in 2011 – down from 4.3million in 2001 – despite the city’s population increasing by nearly one million over the decade to 8.2million.
White Britons now make up 45 per cent of the population, compared with 58 per cent in 2001.
London’s population has been boosted by immigrants. Three million foreign-born people now live in the capital.
Five London boroughs saw the proportion of white Britons fall by more than a quarter. The largest decline was in Newham, East London, where the decrease was 37.5 per cent.
In Barking and Dagenham, on the East London/Essex border, 80 per cent of residents were white British in 2001 but by 2011 the proportion was 49 per cent.
There were also big falls in Redbridge, Harrow, Brent, Enfield, Ealing and Waltham Forest. The BBC website was criticised by readers for its depiction of the change as a ‘story of success’ in which many white Britons had moved out to live by the sea or in the countryside.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said: ‘The BBC make a very serious mistake in addressing an issue of such importance to the British public in such a trivial and superficial manner.
‘It’s surely obvious that the main reason for white flight is because people are not willing to live in an environment which has changed beyond recognition and against their own wishes.’
Ralph Baldwin, a Tory councillor in Barking and Dagenham, said: ‘I think people left for a variety of reasons.
‘If you look back to the early 2000s many people were able to retire to Clacton-on-Sea and they saw their friends going and followed.
‘But people also watched all this demographic change going on between 2000 and 2010 and they thought, “We don’t know where we are living any more”.
‘One day they are in a place that they think is Essex and then they are living in another place.
‘It has never been an issue of race. It’s about the inability of people to affect change. The world was changing around them and they couldn’t do anything about it.’
Behind white Britons, the largest ethnic group in London is now Asians – including those born here and those arriving from overseas – who make up 18 per cent of the population.
Black Londoners – including Africans, black Britons and those from the Caribbean – make up 13 per cent.
The census shows the proportion of white Britons in South Derbyshire went up by 13.7 per cent over the decade.
Other rural boroughs that saw big increases included North Kesteven and West Lindsey in Lincolnshire, Uttlesford in Essex, East Northamptonshire, East Cambridgeshire, Mid Suffolk, South Norfolk, Mid Devon and Forest Heath in Suffolk.
The census shows the population of England and Wales was swollen by nearly four million immigrants in a decade of sweeping social change.
In 2011 there were 7.5million people who were born abroad living here, of whom more than half had arrived since 2001.