The black population in England grew by 40 per cent in the decade to 2001 while the white population hardly grew at all, research showed yesterday.
The number of "white British" people is decreasing, and without immigration from Europe, North America and Australasia, the overall population of white people would also be in decline, researchers say.
Phil Rees, a professor of human geography at Leeds university, presented an analysis of ethnic change and diversity in England from 1981 to 2001, based on the results of the 2001 census, released this year.
"England's population is changing its ethnic composition with rapidity," he told the annual conference of the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.
While the white population grew by only 0.4 per cent between 1981 and 1991, and by 0.2 per cent from 1991 to 2001 (to 44.9 million), the black population, by contrast, grew rapidly, he said, by 30 per cent between 1981 and 1991, and by 40 per cent in 1991-2001 (to 1.28 million).
The greatest contribution to this came from the black African group, with a gain of 53 per cent in the first census period and 141 per cent in the second. "There is a strong immigration flow and very high fertility in this group," Professor Rees said. Growth in England's population of West Indian origin, on the other hand, slowed, going from 567,000 in 1981, 703,000 in 1991, and then to only 772,000 in 2001.
As for other ethnic minorities, the south Asian population doubled during 1981-2001. Growth in the Indian population, the largest ethnic minority, slowed from 38 per cent in 1981-1991 to 27 per cent in 1991-2001, due to lower net immigration, lower fertility and higher mortality because of ageing.
The Bangladeshi population grew rapidly due to high fertility, continued net immigration and a high proportion of young, fertile people within the group. But growth was falling - from 96 per cent in 1981-1991 to 76 per cent in the succeeding decade.
The Chinese population doubled in the 20-year period to 2001, with higher growth (51 per cent) in the second decade than in the first (41 per cent).
The total black and ethnic minority population went from 2.15 million in 1981 to 4.21 million in 2001, its share of the total population rising from 4.6 per cent to 8.6 per cent. The white share, by contrast, fell from 95.4 per cent in 1981 to 91.4 per cent in 2001.Reuse content