British white people will soon become minority in UK city, report says
British white people are set to become the minority in Birmingham – with nearly 50,000 locals unable to speak English, a new report says.
Residents from almost 200 countries are thought to currently be living in the city in the West Midlands, according to Birmingham Live .
The city has been deemed "super diverse " in the local council’s new cohesion strategy, benefiting from its "diverse migrant communities".
And soon, it is expected to become a "majority minority" area.
But while there are recognised benefits to a multi-cultural society such as trade links, the city’s varied ethnicity has also been identified as major factor in social segregation and community ‘tension’.
The draft policy, which was due to be tabled before the council’s cabinet yesterday, states that 42.1 per cent of people in Birmingham classified themselves as non-white British in the 2011 census.
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That was an increase of 12 per cent from the 2001 survey and if the rate continues by the time of the next census in 2021 more than half of the city’s 1.2 million-plus population will be from an ethnic minority.
This is already the case for under 18s with 60 per cent coming from a non-white British background in the last poll.
"Birmingham is soon to become a majority minority city," the report states.
One of the main issues is that areas where there is a ‘high concentration’ of ethnic minority groups, particularly black and Asian communities, have become more disadvantaged.
Another problem is in employment, where Birmingham’s rates are languishing way below the national average – 65% of working age residents in jobs compared to the national average of 74% in 2016.
This is reportedly not helped by the fact that high numbers of Pakistani and Bangladeshi residents have no qualifications. Meanwhile, at least 47,005 citizens are said to be unable to speak English.
But there are recognised positives to a multi-cultural society.
The report states: "Ethnic diversity can bring many benefits such as transnational trading links and high levels of cultural resource.
"Birmingham has benefited from its diverse migrant communities who have settled in the city and successfully contributed to its economic vitality, becoming leaders in education, medicine, sports, arts and business and providing employment opportunities to local people.
"Our demographic landscape is increasingly becoming ethnically and socially ‘super diverse’, which means a greater understanding of the changes in cultural norms, identities and social shifts in how we live work and learn is needed."
The strategy aims at tackling a number of other barriers in the way of community cohesion including economic growth, gender inequality, job security, deprived neighbourhoods, educational attainment, income inequality and an ageing population.
Equalities chief Cllr Tristan Chatfield said: "Birmingham faces a number of difficult social issues that have an impact on cohesion; whilst these are not unique to our city, we cannot assume that national government policy will address them.
"These are complex challenges and they are also rapidly evolving.
"Collectively, Birmingham should lead by example in challenging anything that prevents our citizens from reaching their full potential, including discrimination, poverty, segregation or a lack of ambition."
The cabinet was expected to approve that the draft strategy goes out to public consultation.
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