The UK’s Demographic Debate: New Era For The Anglo-Saxons?

Do you think that Britain – and particularly London – is already too over-crowded or that there is still room for plenty more? The ‘Daily Mail’ newspaper has gloomily predicted that the country’s population will double by 2081 to about 109 million. It has also emphasised the disparity between the numbers entering (600,000 pa) and those permanently leaving the UK (400,000 pa), half of them British citizens emigrating to Australia or New Zealand (32%), Spain or France (24%) and the USA (8%). The Government’s own calculations of 77 million (2051) and 91 million (2081) have not entirely convinced those who recall the reassurances that ‘only 13,000’ would arrive from Poland and the seven other new East European EU members after May 1st 2004.  The official Home Office position ( disputed by‘MigrationWatchUK’) is that the pressures on the education system and the  National Health Service (NHS) arising from continuing immigration are balanced by the extra £6 billion added to national production figures. Despite all the concerns  expressed about ‘disappearing British traditions’ there is no prospect for a long while yet that the UK’s ‘Anglo-Saxon’ population (still over 90% of the total) will find itself in a minority. The largest ethnic  groups are Indian (1.8%), Pakistani (1.3%) and Black Caribbean (1%).

This contrasts completely with the situation in the USA. There the population will grow from the current 296 million to 438 million by 2050. Of these, 41 million will be of Asian origin (9%), 59 million Afro-American (13.4%) and 128 million Latinos (29% compared to 14% now). The most significant statistic relates to the white ‘non-Hispanics’, who will drop from 67% (199 million) to 47% (despite increasing to 207 million) within 42 years. Which is why the two presidential candidates (Obama & McCain) are giving so much attention to Hispanic issues. The UK’s Latin American community, though of course much smaller than its US counterpart, has similarly become a vibrant feature of the economic & social scene. According to recent research, there are around 1 million British citizens of Latin American origin, located principally in London, followed by Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Bristol, Milton Keynes, Liverpool and Edinburgh. This does not include the many others – such as an estimated 300,000 Colombians – here as students, visitors, on working visas or seeking residency. Home Office data indicates that from 2006-7 over 500,000 Latin Americans were admitted to the UK as tourists, for business purposes or to follow courses. The largest contingents were from Brasil (182,000), Mexico (119,000), Colombia (38,500), Venezuela (27,800) and Chile (26,600). During the same period, an additional 2625 were granted permanent settlement.  Colombia (880); Brasil (850); Mexico (220); Peru (200); Venezuela (145); Chile (105).

Meanwhile, the attention of Hispanic America from 25-28 August will be focused on the Democratic Party National Convention (DNC) in Denver, Colorado. Latinos comprise 31% of the city’s 566,974 population. Several protests groups will be allowed to march to the Pepsi Center, among them ‘Recreate 68’ and the Hispanic ‘We Are America: Immigration Rights Campaign’. A Denver City Council ordinance has, however, banned them from throwing ‘bottles or buckets’ of human waste and from possessing chains or locks which could be used for forming barricades. Any unauthorised planes straying into restricted airspace could be shot down.There are rumours that the police will use sonic waves, stun prods and pepper-spray guns to control the anticipated 50,000 demonstrators. This  correspondent will be there to report on what happens.

Filed under: Immigration & Visas | Posted on August 21st, 2008 by Colin D Gordon

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