Friday, 4 March 2011

Multicultural London

Check out these statistics from the Evening Standard's 1st March feature on the capital's modern workforce!

"In the past six or seven years, London has become the Babel of the modern world. More than a third of Londoners are now foreign born - that's around 2.5 million people. Our city encompasses more than 270 nationalities and 300 languages.

New official figures last week showed that in 2010 an estimated 572,000 migrants entered the country on a long-term basis, 226,000 more than Britons who emigrated. Almost 238,000 foreigners were granted settlement rights in the UK last year.

Before the growth in immigration from around 1998, London was already by far the most important destination for migrants to the UK. But in 1986, half the city's immigrants were made up of those from just five countries with Commonwealth ties -India, Kenya, Jamaica, Cyprus and Bangladesh - as well as Ireland.

Since 1990, those have been joined by significant numbers from nations both from outside the EU - Nigeria, Turkey, Somalia and others - as well as from Europe. And since 2004 especially, when 10 new states joined the EU, large numbers of Eastern Europeans, especially Poles, have arrived. In fact, almost 40 per cent of all the UK's migrants now live here.

So it is that London has achieved what one recent report calls "superdiversity", a melting pot of nationalities, ethnicities and languages unequalled in Europe. It's a fantastically complicated picture - and one that's full of surprises. Who knew that Americans, for example, are one of the biggest groups from outside the EU? Many foreign-born Londoners - 43 per cent - are now British citizens, and that rises to more than four out of five of the city's foreign-born Afro-Caribbeans."

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