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At Least 1 Million in England & Wales

young person Mixed-race group doubles in a decade?

The Office for National Statistics has once again released data on the Non-white British population and revealed that the non-white British population grew from 6.6 million in 2001 to 9.1 million in 2009. That's nearly 1 in 6 of the population.

Figures giving a detailed ethnic breakdown for each of the 423 local authorities in England and Wales were published last week in an 'experimental' data release from the Office for National Statistics. They also show there are now almost a million mixed-race people in the two countries.

The mixed-race population is up nearly 50% to almost a million for the first time – up from 672,000 in 2001 to 986,600 in 2009. A third are mixed African -Caribbean and white, followed by Asian/white. The ONS said this was not a result of increasing birthrates but because 'the population is mixing up more'. Haringey, north London, has the highest proportion, at 4.4%.

It is more likely that there is now more information being taken on the numbers of mixed-race individuals due to better awareness and a more general acceptance that mixed-race individuals do not have to identify as just one part of their racial background. There is still quite a way to go but these figures will not go unnoticed by those working in education and other areas of social life.

Of course these figures should not mislead anyone into believing that the England and Wales are racially balanced places. In 225 local authority areas, more than 90% of the local population is white. That figure is highest in Wales and north-east England. The whitest borough is Blaenau Gwent in Wales, where 96.5% of the population is white British, followed by Copeland in Cumbria, where 96.3% of the population is white.

Brent, in north London, is the most ethnically diverse borough. Just over a third of its population counts as white British, with large mixed-race, Asian, black and Irish communities making up the rest. 'Community cohesion is a priority,' said Brent council leader Ann John, 'As a result, Brent is a vibrant place to live and work, a beacon to the rest of the world.'



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