We would think that Asians are slowly becoming more integrated into society, at least in terms of housing. There are constant stories in the media about affluent Asian families moving out of traditional areas such as Southall and Wembley to more affluent areas.
But that’s not happening, according to a speech made yesterday by an Aussie. Researcher Dr Mike Poulsen, a senior lecturer in geography at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, got the data after comparing the UK 1991 and 2001 census and examing 16 major cities, including Slough, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Luton, Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.
He labelled Leicester, Bradford and Oldham as “ghettos”. London and Bradford were home to the most isolated ethnic communities – primarily Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. But this isn’t just a Muslim thing..
Some 13.6% of the Indian community in Leicester live in “isolated enclaves” – 37th in the table of 276 US and UK cities – compared to 5.4% of LA’s African Americans and 13.3% of blacks in New York, the research revealed.
Generally there was more mixing in since 1991. But…
The research predicts isolated ethnic enclaves will continue to increase in size over time, and Dr Poulsen said immigration was mainly behind the rise. “We are talking about increases of about 30% of the population in terms of each of the ethnic groups that moved into these mixed enclaves over the last decade.
The black community does not have a problem with segregation though, according to the research, though the Asian areas were compared to ‘black ghettoes’ in America.
Rohin adds: “I don’t think the Bangladeshi community in London is segregated to the extent of Bradford or Oldham. Tower Hamlets is in a terrible state, but owing to its central location, the Bangladeshi areas are not very big and surrounded by other localities. Hence there remains at least some mixing with other groups and not complete surburbian social isolation.”
Update - Kulvinder adds: “The appearance of ghettoes cannot be explained (or blamed) solely on one ethnic community regardless of where it occurs, ‘whiteflight’ is as much a contributing factor. From the POV of the Asian communities themselves, it may not be the result of lack of integration but more a sense of alienation largely attributable to an anachronistic sense of identity with respect to their parents country of origin.”
“In the same way that British expats develop a cliched identity with Britain, the Asian immigrants that arrived in Britain have a sense of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka that is decades out of touch with reality. They need to accept that time will move on, and though they should keep the rich fabric of their identity alive, they should also let go of the past.”
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