One of the things I still find most bizarre about having a step-daughter in her late teens, and one who is very smart at that, is some of the more peculiar conversations we have. This evening it was about the demography and diversity of the population in London.
For a little bit of context, Regan is starting a degree in socio-anthropology in the autumn so for her at least this is not that peculiar a topic – it’s simply her area of interest.
We were talking about all the different nationalities and languages we encounter, travelling by public transport everyday. Curiosity struck and I decided I might as well share some of the facts we learned.
Contrary to seemingly-popular belief, the largest ethnic group in London is ‘White’ with 59.79% of respondents in 2011 census. Over half the population of London identify as white. And the majority of these (44.89%) are ‘White-British’.
Asian/Asian-British come in at 18.49%, Black/Black-British at 13.32%, ‘Mixed’ at 4.96% and ‘Other’ (including Arab) at 3.44%
Clearly, London is being over-run with foreigners, just like shock media would want you to believe…
The census also recorded that 36.7% of Londoners are foreign born – with 24.5% being born in a non-European country. London has the second highest immigrant population in the world.
Although, that’s still only marginally over 1/3 being foreign born.
We then looked into languages.
77.9% of the population spoke English as a main language, with a further 19.8% speaking it as a second language or well to very well. That’s a total of 97.7% for those playing along at home. Yes, we’re being so taken over by foreigners that don’t speak English that… oh.. only 2.3% of Londoners don’t have English as first or second languages.
In fact, only 0.6% of those surveyed didn’t speak English at all. Not quite 2500 people out of a population of over 8 million.
The main languages, other than English, spoken here are Polish, Bengali, Guajarati, French, Urdu, Portuguese, Turkish and Spanish. Arabic is the 10th most common language with a grand total of 0.9% of the population.
The last thing we looked at was religion. And, like me, 48% of Londoners identify as Christian. The second most stated was ‘no religion’ at 20.73, with Muslim coming in third at 12.39%.
The remaining 18.88% was made up of ‘not stated’, Hindu, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist and, like Jade Rachel, ‘other’.
I found all this absolutely fascinating to learn about to be honest with you. I love the diversity of the population of this city and was actually quite surprised by a lot of those figures. It just goes to show you the difference between the truth and what popular media wants you to believe.