Bri­tish white peo­ple ‘soon to be mi­nor­ity in city’

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

BRI­TISH white peo­ple are soon to be­come the mi­nor­ity in Birm­ing­ham while nearly 50,000 res­i­dents in the city can­not speak English, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port.

There are thought to be res­i­dents from nearly 200 coun­tries liv­ing in Birm­ing­ham which has been de­scribed as ‘su­per di­verse’ in the city coun­cil’s new co­he­sion strat­egy.

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 tabled be­fore the coun­cil’s cabi­net, said that 42.1 per cent of peo­ple in Birm­ing­ham clas­si­fied them­selves as non­white Bri­tish in the 2011 cen­sus.

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 said.

“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 to tackle 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.

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