White Britons are ‘retreating’ from areas dominated by ethnic minorities, a study has revealed.
Analysis of census figures shows that white Britons are leaving areas where they are in a minority and are being replaced by immigrants and other ethnic minorities.
As a result, nearly half of ethnic minorities–4 million people–live in communities where whites make up less than half the population, the study by the Demos think-tank found.
Demos said the survey showed a ‘spiral of white British demographic decline’ as white Britons choose to leave minority-dominated areas.
Trevor Phillips, the former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said the findings should make us ‘a little anxious’, and were ‘not good news for the cause of integration’.
He said: ‘What ought to make us a little anxious is the “majority retreat” it has unearthed–white people leaving minority-led areas and not being replaced.’
In 2005, Mr Phillips warned Britain was ‘sleepwalking into segregation’ as the UK was dividing into ‘ghettos’ of particular races and religions.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said: ‘This is extremely serious. It is undeniable evidence that we have indeed been sleepwalking into segregation as Trevor Phillips warned, and it is the clear result of Labour’s mass immigration policy.
‘Public dismay at the pace of change in our communities largely explains why so many voted as they did in last week’s local elections. The case for a sharp reduction in immigration is now overwhelming; we cannot possibly integrate new arrivals on anything like the present scale.’
Demos said the change was the result of ‘white retreat’, where departing white Britons are replaced by migrants and ‘the natural growth of the minority population’.
Its analysis of the 2011 Census showed 4.6million ethnic minorities – or 45 per cent of the total – live in areas where white Britons make up less than half the population.
Some 4.1million ethnic minorities live in council wards in which all whites – including foreign nationals – add up to less than half the total. That compares with only a million ethnic minorities – 25 per cent of the total – in the same situation at the time of the 2001 Census.
Such areas include Yardley in Birmingham and several council wards in East and South London, Demos said.
At the same time, it showed more ethnic minority families were moving into ‘white-dominated’ parts of the country.
There are now just 800 council wards out of 8,850 where the population is 98 per cent white. That compares with 5,000 in 2001.
Mr Phillips said: ‘This very interesting piece of research reveals a number of vital findings about how people in England and Wales are living together.
‘First, it shows a kind of “Ambridge effect” – a welcome minority advance into areas previously only the preserve of the white majority.
‘It also demonstrates a greater degree of ethnic mixing within cities, although unfortunately this appears to be mostly between minorities.’
The ‘Ambridge effect’ refers to the arrival of ethnic minority characters in recent years into plotlines on the Radio 4 soap The Archers.
David Goodhart, director of Demos, said the survey identified a growing population which is ‘geographically separate’ and has ‘limited familiarity with majority cultural codes’. He added: ‘The greater concentration of the ethnic minority population means there is less opportunity for interaction with the white mainstream.’
Eric Kaufmann, a professor at Birkbeck College who carried out the detailed analysis, said: ‘These results present a mixed picture. While ethnic mixing and integration is being helped by more minority people moving into England’s whitest areas, the most concentrated minority areas are just becoming more so.’