1. About this page

This is a summary of statistics about people from the Indian ethnic group (also referred to here as ‘Indian people’) living in England and Wales.

It is part of a planned series of summaries about different ethnic groups. The first in the series focuses on the Black Caribbean ethnic group.

This page includes:

  • some population statistics from the most recent Census (2011)
  • data on the experiences of people from the Indian ethnic group compared with White British people, in areas including education, crime and policing, home ownership and health

The White British ethnic group is used for most comparisons as it is the largest group, making up 80.5% of the population of England and Wales in 2011.

This is an overview based on a selection of data published on Ethnicity facts and figures or being published soon. Some published data (for example, on higher education) is only available for the broad Asian ethnic group, and is therefore not included here.

2. Population

All data in this section comes from the 2011 Census of England and Wales, unless stated otherwise.

In 2011, there were 1,412,958 people from the Indian ethnic group in England and Wales, making up 2.5% of the total population.

2.1 Where Indian people live

There were 348 local authorities in England and Wales. Half (50.2%) of the Indian population lived in 17 of them.

Leicester was home to the largest Indian population, with 6.6% of all Indian people living there, followed by Birmingham (4.6%) and Harrow (4.5%).

Map: Percentage of the Indian population of England and Wales living in each local authority area (top 17 areas labelled)

Map of England and Wales showing the 17 local authorities where half of the Indian ethnic group population of England and Wales lives.

Source: Census of England and Wales, 2011

Table: Percentage of the Indian population of England and Wales living in each local authority area (top 17)

Local authority Percentage of Indian people living there Number of Indian residents
Leicester 6.6% 93,335
Birmingham 4.6% 64,621
Harrow 4.5% 63,051
Brent 4.1% 58,017
Ealing 3.4% 48,240
Hounslow 3.4% 48,161
Redbridge 3.2% 45,660
Newham 3.0% 42,484
Hillingdon 2.6% 36,795
Wolverhampton 2.3% 32,162
Sandwell 2.2% 31,400
Barnet 2.0% 27,920
Coventry 2.0% 27,751
Croydon 1.8% 24,660
Slough 1.6% 21,922
Bolton 1.5% 21,665
Kirklees 1.5% 20,797

42.9% of people from the Indian ethnic group were born in the UK. 41.9% were born in Southern Asia and 11.1% were born in South and Eastern Africa (for example, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania). Indian people born in South and Eastern Africa were more clustered than those born in the UK or Southern Asia, with 11.0% living in Harrow and 10.6% living in Leicester.

39 local authorities had fewer than 200 Indian residents each. This is around 1 in 9 of all local authorities.

8.3% of Indian people lived in the most deprived 10% of neighbourhoods, the lowest percentage out of all ethnic groups. This compares with 8.6% of White British people. (England, 2012/13)

2.2 Age profile

The Indian ethnic group had a younger age profile than the White British group in 2011.

18 to 34 year olds made up one-third (33.4%) of Indian people, compared with 20.3% of White British people. The younger age profile of the Indian group partly reflects increases in immigration from India since the 1950s (ONS, 2013). In 1951, India was the third most common country of birth for people born outside the UK. From 1961 until 2001, it was the second most common, and in 2011 it became the most common country of birth for people born outside the UK.

In 2011, 12.0% of Indian people were aged 60 and above, compared with 25.6% of White British people.

Chart: Age profile of Indian and White British people

Charts showing the percentage of the Indian and White British populations of England and Wales that are in each age band.

Source: Census of England and Wales, 2011

2.3 Families and households

3.8% of Indian households were made up of lone parents with dependent children, compared with 6.7% of White households.

29.5% of Indian households were made up of married couples with dependent children, compared with 14.1% of White British households.

7.1% of Indian households were made up of pensioners (either couples or single pensioners), compared with 23.0% of White British households.

3. Education

Data in this section covers England in the 2017/18 academic year, unless stated otherwise.

At all key stages, Indian pupils’ attainment was above the national average. Indian pupils had a higher attainment than White British pupils but not as high as Chinese pupils.

Chart: Educational attainment among Indian and White British pupils

Chart comparing the educational attainment of Indian pupils with White British pupils.

Source: England, Key Stage 1 Statistics, 2017/18; Key Stage 4 Statistics, 2016/17; and A Level and other 16 to 18 results, 2016/17. Ethnicity facts and figures and Department for Education (DfE). Figures for Key Stage 2 are rounded to whole numbers by DfE.

3.1 Primary education

76% of Indian pupils met the expected standard in key stage 2 reading, writing and maths, compared with 65% of White British pupils. This was the second highest percentage of all ethnic groups, after Chinese pupils (81%).

3.2 Secondary education

62.0% of Indian pupils got a ‘strong pass’ in English and maths GCSE, compared with 42.7% of White British pupils.

96% of Indian students went into further education (such as A levels), compared with 85% of White British students. This was the second highest percentage out of all ethnic groups after Chinese students (97%). (England, 2016/17)

15.3% of Indian students got at least 3 As or higher at A level, compared with 10.9% of White British pupils. This was one of the highest percentages of all ethnic groups.

3.3 School exclusions

Indian pupils were over 6 times less likely to be temporarily excluded from school than White British pupils. 0.84% were temporarily excluded, compared with 5.23% of White British pupils. (England, 2016/17)

Indian pupils were 5 times less likely to be permanently excluded than White British pupils. 0.02% were permanently excluded, compared with 0.10% of White British pupils. (England, 2016/17)

4. Work and income

Data in this section covers England, Wales and Scotland in 2018, unless stated otherwise.

76% of Indian 16 to 64 year olds were in employment, the same employment rate as for White British people and the joint second highest rate out of all ethnic groups.

4.1 Graduate work and pay

5 years after graduating, 86.3% of both Indian and White graduates were in sustained education or employment (the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups). On average, Indian graduates were earning £28,500 a year and White graduates were earning £26,100. (England 2016/17)

4.2 Professions

31% of Indian workers were employed in ‘professional’ occupations (for example, engineers, teachers or lawyers), the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups. (UK, 2017)

26.4% of Indian workers were employed in the public administration, education and health sector. A further 20.9% were employed in the banking, finance and insurance sector, the highest of all ethnic groups. (UK, 2017)

4.3 Employment gender gap

The gender gap in employment rates for the Indian group was twice as large as for the White British group. In the Indian ethnic group, 83% of men and 69% of women were employed, a gap of 14 percentage points. In the White British ethnic group, 80% of men and 73% of women were employed, a gap of 7 percentage points.

This is likely to be due to the fact that Indian women were twice as likely as Indian men to be economically inactive (28% and 14% respectively), which means they were out of work and not looking for work. 47% of Indian women were economically inactive because they were looking after their family or home (the most common reason).

4.4 Household income

43% of Indian households had a total income of £34,700 a year or more (before housing costs were deducted), the second highest percentage out of all ethnic groups. This was a similar percentage as White British households (42%). (UK, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 combined)

Chart: Income distribution among Indian, White British and all Asian households

Chart showing the percentage of Indian, Asian and White British households that fall into the 2 lowest and 2 highest income groups

Source: UK, Households Below Average Income, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 combined

42% of Indian households had a weekly income of £1,000 or more, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups. This compares with 26% of White British households. (United Kingdom, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 combined)

Data in this section covers England and Wales in 2017/18.

There were 3 stop and searches for every 1,000 Indian people. This was the same rate as for White British people, and among the lowest rates of stop and search out of all ethnic groups.

Stop and search rates fell for all ethnic groups between 2009/10 and 2017/18. The rate fell from 24 to 3 stop and searches for every 1,000 Indian people. The rate for White British people fell from 17 to 3 stop and searches for every 1,000 people.

17.6% of stop and searches among the Indian group resulted in arrest. This compares to 15.7% of all White British stop and searches.

6. Arrests

Data in this section covers England and Wales in 2017/18.

Indian people were less likely to be arrested compared with White British people. There were 6.7 arrests for every 1,000 Indian people, the third lowest out of all ethnic groups. This compares with 10.2 arrests for every 1,000 White British people.

Between 2006/07 and 2017/18, the arrest rate for Indian people went down from 12.6 to 6.7 arrests per 1,000 people. The rate for White British people went down from 23.6 to 10.2 arrests per 1,000 people.

7. Fear of crime

Data in this section covers England and Wales in 2015/16.

27% of Indian people said they thought they were likely to be a victim of crime in the next year, compared with 18% of White British people.

8. Home ownership and renting

Data in this section covers England in 2016/17 and 2017/18 combined.

Chart: Home ownership and renting among Indian, White British and Asian households

Chart showing the percentage of Indian, Asian and White British households that own their own home, rent privately, and rent social housing.

Source: England, English Housing Survey, 2016/17 and 2017/18 combined

74% of Indian households were homeowners, compared with 68% of White British households. This was the highest rate of all ethnic groups.

7% of Indian households lived in social housing, compared with 16% of White British households. This was one of the lowest rates out of all ethnic groups.

9. Mental health

Indian people had the second lowest rate of detention under the Mental Health Act out of all ethnic groups, at 55.7 detentions per 100,000 people. This was lower than the rate for White British people, at 69.0 per 100,000 people. (England 2017/18)

Indian people were among the least likely out of all ethnic groups to use mental health and learning disability services (at 2,520 per 100,000 adults), compared with 3,634 per 100,000 White British adults. (England, 2014/15)

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