British racial barriers breaking down: population study
AFP - 2 hours 15 minutes ago
LONDON (AFP) - - Almost one fifth of British children are now from an ethnic minority background, according to a new study published Monday.
Research by Dr Lucinda Platt, senior lecturer at Essex university's Institute for Social and Economic Research, found 20 percent of under 16s are now from a minority background, compared to 15 percent of the total population.
Three percent of children are of mixed ethnicity, and around nine percent live in families made up of different ethnic groups, her study found, with these figures likely to increase in the future.
"Britain is changing in a remarkable way," said a spokesman for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which commissioned the study.
"The old, polarising debate about black and white is changing and the next generation will not see race in the same way we see it."
He said it was a "hugely positive" finding but warned: "We need to be alert to tensions within communities that may be exacerbated by the economic downturn and remain vigilant against discrimination and divisiveness."
Britain has a long and chequered history of immigration, particularly from former colonies, and Monday's study reveals the biggest ethnic group remains Indian (about two percent) followed by Pakistanis (1.6 percent).
Platt attributed the increase in mixed-race children in part to a rise in inter-ethnic relationships in Britain.
In the Black Caribbean community -- which makes up one percent of the population -- 48 percent of men and 34 percent of women who are in a couple are with someone of a different ethnic background to themselves.
People from Pakistan and Bangladesh were generally less likely to be in a relationship with someone from a different ethnic group, partly because they tend to be geographically concentrated, Platt said.
The study was based on the Labour Force Survey, a quarterly sample survey of about 60,000 households, between 2004 and 2008.
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London underground sign and historic landmark Big Ben. Almost one fifth of British children are now from an ethnic minority background, according to a new study published Monday.
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