Over 600,000 leave London in “white flight” between 2001 and 2011

White flight is not just an American phenomenon; Census figures from Britain show over 600,000 white residents left London in the last decade.

Census figures show that between 2001 and 2011 the level of ‘white flight’ reached 620,000.

It is the equivalent of a city the size of Glasgow – made up entirely of white Britons – moving out of the capital.

The figures, reported by the BBC yesterday, mean that for the first time, white Britons are now in a minority in the country’s largest city.

At the same time, the census shows, some rural areas have seen a rise in the proportion of people who describe their ethnicity as ‘white British’.

Some 3.7 million Londoners classified themselves as white British in 2011 – down from 4.3 million in 2001 – despite the city’s population increasing by nearly one million over the decade to 8.2million.

White Britons now make up 45 per cent of the population, compared with 58 per cent in 2001…

Behind white Britons, the largest ethnic group in London is now Asians – including those born here and those arriving from overseas – who make up 18 per cent of the population.

Black Londoners – including Africans, black Britons and those from the Caribbean – make up 13 per cent.

This is quite a change in a short amount of time for London, which is truly a multiethnic city.

I would enjoy seeing more comparisons in the urban sociology literature between the major American cities and London which is located in a country with some similar social and cultural background. How does this white flight differ from what took place in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s? How are both the city and the suburbs affected?

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