James Lyons, Mirror, May 6, 2014
Up to a third of the population will be black or from another ethnic minority by 2050, new research forecasts today.
There are currently eight million non-white people–14% of the total–across England and Wales, according to the study by the Tory think tank Policy Exchange.
But the so-called BME (black and minority ethnic) population has doubled in the past decade and now accounts for 80% of growth while the white population has remained constant.
While ethnic minorities make up just 5% of the over-60s, they account for a quarter of under fives.
That means between 20% and 30% of people will be black or ethnic minority by the middle of the century.
And it is a time bomb for the Tories who struggle to win votes from BME communities which overwhelmingly back Labour.
The findings should act as a wake-up call for politicians to stop treating people from non-white backgrounds as one, single group, the think tank said.
Since the Second World War immigration from the Caribbean , the Indian subcontinent and Africa has produced in diverse groups with widely differing opinions, experiences and traditions, it said.
There are “clear and meaningful differences between each of these communities which need to be fully understood” but politicians are not doing that, the report says.
Author Rishi Sunak said: “These communities will continue to become an ever more significant part of Britain, especially in future elections.
“However, as our research demonstrates ethnic minorities are not one homogeneous political group.
“From education to employment, housing to trust in the police, politicians from all parties must understand the different issues affecting individual communities.”
The research draws on survey, census, academic and polling data to build up a detailed picture of the five largest minority groups in the UK – Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black African and Black Caribbean.
With the exception of those from an African background a majority of non-white Britons describe themselves as “British-only”, the report said.
BME communities also overwhelmingly support the Labour Party “regardless of class or association with Conservative policies”.
Some 68% voted for Gordon Brown’s party at the 21010 General Election, compared with 16% for the Conservatives and 14% for the Liberal Democrats.
Last month Adam Afriyie, the first black Tory MP and once touted as a future party leader, said the Conservatives will not be able to completely detoxify its brand in the eyes of ethnic minority voters in time for next year’s general election.
He admitted that even if Prime Minister David Cameron “does everything perfectly” in the run up to the 2015 General Election, the party’s lack of support among minorities will persist.
But Mr Afriyie said the party would be making a mistake if it changed its policies to suit individual groups in a “political gamble” for more popularity.