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August 07, 2003

New London

This article (free) in The Economist has some caption text that states, More foreigners than ever are coming to London, and more Britons are leaving. But more interesting is the comment on the type of immigration that is occurring in London.

Who are these people? The mix has changed since the 1970s brought mostly Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. These days, they come from everywhere—though, according to a Home Office report published in 2002, the proportion from high-income countries (as defined by the World Bank) is relatively high. While 67% of new immigrants to Britain come from high-income countries, 30% of those into Germany and 24% of those into France do. And Britain has more top foreign bosses (see article) than Germany, France or America.

There's something in the standard picture of the American banker and the Somali cleaner. Immigrants are economically polarised. Compared with the locals, more have degrees, but more have no qualifications at all (though that is partly explained by the fact that so many of them are students). On average, they earn 19% more than locals, but that disguises some sharp variations. White immigrants, by and large, earn quite a bit more than locals. Brown and black ones earn less.

Bimodal y'all....

Here's a graph for comparison to other cities, indicating the sheer magnitude (surprised me!):

Any comments David B?

Godless comments:

This statement: Brown and black ones earn less. is a bit inaccurate. Indians earn more than native British, while Pakistanis and Bangladeshis earn less.

The largest group analysed by the research consisted of families below pensionable age with at least one worker. Chinese and Indian working families averaged slightly higher earnings than white people. Overall, Caribbean and African earnings were significantly lower than whites', though this was not true for black women. Pakistani and Bangladeshi families' earnings were much lower than those of any other ethnic group - partly because of low wages, but also because relatively few married women in these groups had a job.

Point: there's bimodality within the Asian population in Britain , just as there is in the immigrant population at large (as Razib remarked) and as there is in the US. Now, as for blacks...here is a very interesting statistic that seems to indicate that black British are *likewise* bimodal:

  1. Indian girls and boys in England and Wales, were more likely to get five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C than their White, Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi counterparts.
  2. 66% of Indian girls and 54% of Indian boys achieved this in 1999.
  3. In 2001/02, people from Chinese, Indian, Black African and Other Asian groups were more likely to have degrees than White people in the UK.
  4. Pakistanis and Bangladeshis were the most likely to be unqualified.

Does anyone else have any data on the sample sizes, ethnic & educational backgrounds, etcetera of the Black Africans present in the UK? I'm aware that blacks in the UK are much more likely to intermarry...but it seems like the intermarrying group is largely that of black Caribbeans. But that's curious - based on the socioeconomic trends for intermarriage in the US detailed in this post, I would have expected black Africans with matched IQs, educations, and incomes to show high intermarriage rates...rather than black Caribbeans. I know there's a bit of confounding data, because black British are also more likely to commit crimes when taken as a monolithic group...so even anecdotal leads would be much appreciated.

Update from Razib:

Here is a chart from an old post:

Posted by razib at 06:28 PM

It is actually a very messy, filthy and dirty place (for the most part - there are beautiful and clean places ofcourse but thats not a description of London generally). I work in London but I dont live in it - thank God.

Posted by: Peter Phillips at August 7, 2003 07:05 PM

I remember reading that Black Africans have the most degrees per capita (or some similar claim) of any ethnic group in the UK, but I can't find a link for it.

Posted by: fredrik at August 7, 2003 11:22 PM

Have been in the UK for a month now and rare moment of agreement with Peter Philips! The LSE is great and London has great academic institutions, but I find quality of life to be poor - it's extremely crowded and congested, the tourist-centred service industries are for the most part mediocre, the dining out is for the most part mediocre, you get kicked out of pubs at 11, etc. No offence to David but why anyone would rather move to Lomdon than Sydney escapes me.

Posted by: Jason Soon at August 8, 2003 12:39 AM

When they said "brown and black ones earn less" weren't they probably referring to newly arrived immigrants, i.e. who haven't gotten PR or citizenship yet?

All those Indians you refer to, may be immigrants but may also have gotten PR/landed/citizenship.

And then you talk about young Indian boys/girls who are probably native Britoners and should be referred to as such or as "Indian-British".

Posted by: Johnny Rotten at August 8, 2003 04:51 AM

The increasing urban ghettoization, as major cities continue to lose any semblance of ethnic and cultural ties to the coutries which house them, does not bode well for national unity. Don`t get me wrong, I was quite happy that London took me for 6 months and that Tokyo is putting up with my gaijin self as we speak. I wouldn`t discourage any law-abiding, self-supporting adult the right to live in major cities, but I`m afraid that this kind of gap between well-heeled urbanites and hicks will soon be as wide as it was between Heian aristocrats and countryside peasants. The foreign element will only exacerbate the problem.

Posted by: duende at August 8, 2003 05:15 AM

London speaks English, it?s prosperous, and is presided over by an immigrant-friendly local government ? the present influx should be no surprise

The quiescence of the IRA also helps - apart from a few witless attempts to blow up Hammersmith Bridge in recent years, Republican activity in the Capital has been nonexistent

I suspect that if London sees a 911-style outrage in the near future, the present inward population flow will rapidly halt or reverse?

Posted by: DefaultUser at August 8, 2003 08:55 AM

Why is it that Pakistani and Bangladeshi women don't work, while most Indian and Sri Lankan women do? And it doesn't appear as if these stay-at-home moms from relatively stable families are doing a particularly good job of child-rearing. Working Indian mothers seem to be doing a better job of raising their kids than their Pak/Bengladeshi counterparts. I'm still perplexed as to how two groups of similar racial & cultural backgrounds are faring so differently in British society.

The exception would be Ismaili East African Indians. Can anyone dig up statistics for this group? I'd also be interested in looking at the birth/fertility rates of these respective groups in Britain (and the US, Australia, & Canada).

I think dysgnenic breeding has the potential of posing problems of grave consequence...


"In spring 2002, the proportion of lone parent families was highest among the Mixed group, at 61% of all families with dependent children, followed by Black Caribbeans (54%)."

Seeing as how mixed relations are overwhelmingly BM-WF, sounds like a lot of black deadbeats? Interracial relationships of the BM-WF variety are overwhelmingly amongst the underclass. This is true from what I see in Canada also.

Posted by: Sen at August 8, 2003 10:35 AM

A successful black man is likely to marry a low class but good looking white woman.

Posted by: Gordon Gekko at August 8, 2003 12:32 PM

I don't know how robust the Economist's stats are (the source is given as ONS (Office for National Statistics), but it doesn't say what survey - 2001 Census?), but I don't see any reason to doubt them. The thing that strikes me most when I use London public transport is the large number of European immigrants - from both East and West Europe. It used to be very rare to hear a Slavic voice in London, but it is now common. I don't know how many of these migrants will stay permanently, but it doesn't worry me if they do. The only ones who worry me are the Islamic nutters.

As to the high proportion of Black Africans with university degrees, just two notes of caution: (a) traditionally, a lot of black Africans from British colonies or ex-colonies came to Britain specifically to study, so no big surprise that they are relatively well-qualified. (The more recent waves of Nigerian and Somali so-called asylum-seekers are another matter.) (b) Since the expansion of higher education in Britain in the 80s and 90s, when a lot of polytechnics and Higher Education Colleges (in US terms community colleges) were reclassified as universities, practically anyone in Britain who wants a degree can get one. It doesn't tell you much about their ability level any more.

Posted by: David B at August 8, 2003 12:51 PM

"The exception would be Ismaili East African Indians. Can anyone dig up statistics for this group?"

That's a group far too small and specific for there to be any readily available stats... (try searching academic journals). But based on anecdotal experience I'd say they are comparable to "high caste South Indians" as godless likes to say.

Posted by: Johnny Rotten at August 8, 2003 02:10 PM

"The only ones who worry me are the Islamic nutters."

The Islamic nutters have been in England for decades, haven't they?

Posted by: Johnny Rotten at August 8, 2003 02:15 PM

England is jam-packed as it is. Does it really need more immigrants?

Posted by: Sen at August 8, 2003 03:07 PM

"England is jam-packed as it is. Does it really need more immigrants?"

Fanatics can never have enough.

Posted by: Peter Phillips at August 8, 2003 05:04 PM