Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Census data shows the fabric of the UK - especially London is rapidly changing

The UK’s Office for National Statistics has just published another tranche of data from the 2011 census. Finding out what the numbers mean is rather like looking for a needles in a row of haystacks. You know they are there but it takes a lot of effort to find them.

Yesterday I wrote my top line observations - here are some more thoughts. Albeit it slowly, the is changing and the divide between London and the rest of the country is growing.

The top line facts appear to be the following:

White ethnic Britons no longer make up the majority of people in London

The total population rose by 3.7m to 56.1m, an increase of 7% from the previous census in 2001. Migration was responsible for 60% of that growth – 2.1m people.

The surge of immigration has been especially striking in London, where more than one in three people – 37 per cent – were born outside the UK. Only 45% London’s population were white people of English, Scottish or Welsh heritage – down from 60 per cent in 2001.

London the first UK region where white ethnic Britons have become a minority.

Home ownership has fallen over the past 10 years, according to this latest data, marking the first decade-on-decade decline since detailed records began 60 years ago. The proportion of residents who either owned their home or owned with a mortgage fell to 64% in 2011, from 68% in 2001.

Not surprisingly, the percentage of the population renting from private landlords rose 6% points from a decade earlier to 15%.

Overall, the population of England and Wales has become better educated than it was a decade ago. A higher percentage have university degrees than have no qualifications.

Levels of educational attainment in London are far higher than the national averages, with 27% of the national population having attained a university degree or better, compared with 50% of those living in inner London.

The percentage of people identifying themselves as Christian fell to 59% from 72% in 2001. Christianity was the only religious group to have experienced a fall in numbers, despite the growth in the population generally.

Marketers could do a lot worse than spend a bit of time over Xmas pondering the impact of these changes to the fabric of the UK and what it means to their business. Dick Stroud 

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