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    British Asians increasingly live in ghettoes

    by Sunny
    2nd September, 2005 at 4:16 am    

    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.

    The Guardian has the story, and so does This is London

    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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    Filed in: Culture

    5 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. David — on 2nd September, 2005 at 2:24 pm  

      I tried to find out more about this research from the Royal Geographical Institute, but apparently nothing has been published as yet, apart from the press release from which the above reports were taken. Shame - I would have liked to hear what Poulsen had to say about Coventry.

      Congrats on the new blog, btw (and thanks for the link!). I’ve added you to my RSS reader and you’ll be on my blogroll before long, too.

    2. douglas — on 2nd September, 2005 at 2:32 pm  


      Best of luck with your blog, we need voices like yours.

      Am I missing the good doctors point ? He is saying that 13.6% of Indians in Leicester live together. That means that 86.4% [i]of Indians in Leicester[/i] are living in mixed communities. Is that, necessarily, a problem?


    3. Al-Hack — on 2nd September, 2005 at 4:27 pm  

      It is a problem, I’m assuming, if the number of people living in segregated areas is increasing.

      For places like Wembley and Southall my guess is that affluent Asians are moving out faster than new immigrants are moving in.

    4. Sunny — on 2nd September, 2005 at 5:30 pm  

      Hi David - thanks and that is very kind of you. I’ve always liked your blog, so it would be nice to get a link from there ;)

      If you hear anything more on the study, do let me know if you can too. A few other contacts are trying to find out more too, but to no avail as yet.

    5. jamal — on 3rd September, 2005 at 4:48 am  

      From what i see daily, neither Asains or Blacks have a problem with segregation because we learn to live with it. Though we would rather be more included in society and many of us strive to get our own peice of equality. However, if the segration still continues, im not going to loose any sleep over it!

      London is more multicultural, but then there are some pockets of concetrated ethnicity. Though not always in ghetto areas.

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