Almost one-third of Britons will be from ethnic minorities by 2050 if current trends continue, according to a new study published by a think tank today.
Black and minority ethnic (BME) communities are growing at a much faster rate than the white population and are radically changing the face of Britain, the Policy Exchange found.
Currently the five largest BME groups – Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Black Africans and Black Caribbeans – make up eight million people or 14 per cent of the population, it said.
This number has doubled in the past decade, while the white population has remained roughly the same, and so is predicted to increase to between 20 and 30 per cent of the population by the middle of the century.
Half of ethnic minority communities live in the cities of London, Manchester and Birmingham, according to the analysis of survey, census, academic and polling data.
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The study found unemployment rates in BME communities were double the national average, with the exception of the Indian community, whose members tend to be more skilled.
By contrast all minority groups have a higher proportion of students staying in formal education beyond the school leaving age of 16 than the white population.
The study’s authors argue that there are “clear and meaningful differences” between the different BME groups that should be addressed by politicians.
However, they note that all BME communities support the opposition Labour party over Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives, regardless of age or social class.