Regional ethnic diversity
Last updated 7 August 2020 - see all updates
- 1. Navigate toMain facts and figures section
- 2. Navigate toThings you need to know section
- 3. Navigate toAreas of England and Wales by ethnicity section
- 4. Navigate toEthnic groups by area section
- 5. Navigate toEthnic groups by type of location (urban or rural) section
- 6. Navigate toEthnic diversity by area section
- 7. Navigate toData sources section
- 8. Navigate toDownload the data section
1. Main facts and figures
- as at the 2011 Census, the most ethnically diverse region in England and Wales was London, where 40.2% of residents identified with either the Asian, Black, Mixed or Other ethnic group
- out of all regions, London had the smallest percentage of White British people, at 44.9%, and the North East had the highest percentage, at 93.6%
- people from the White ethnic group were more likely to live in the South East than any other region, with 16.2% doing so; people from the Black, Asian, Mixed and Other ethnic groups were more likely to live in London than any other region, with 58.4%, 35.9%, 33.1% and 49.9% doing so respectively
- 81.5% of the general population lived in an urban location, and 18.5% lived in a rural location – the ethnic groups most likely to live in an urban location were Pakistani (99.1%), Bangladeshi (98.7%), and Black African (98.2%)
- Newham in London was the local authority where people from the White ethnic group made up the lowest percentage of the population (at 29.0%); 8 out of the 10 most ethnically diverse local authorities were in London
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data measures the ethnic diversity of England and Wales by region and type of area, for example urban and rural.
Census data covers people in around 25 million private households. It also includes communal establishments, such as care homes and university halls of residence.
Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.
Read more about the 2011 Census.
Not included in the data
The data does not include households that did not answer the question about ethnicity.
94% of households completed the Census. Of those, 97% answered the question about ethnicity.
The data has been adjusted to take into account people and households who were not counted or counted incorrectly.
The ethnic groups used in the data
This data uses the standardised list of 18 ethnic groups that were developed for the 2011 Census.
Read the detailed methodology document for this data.
You can find confidence intervals for the data in the ONS archive.
In the data file
See download the data for additional local authority data, including:
- the ethnic breakdowns in each local authority
- the percentage of each ethnic group that lives there
3. Areas of England and Wales by ethnicity
|Region||Asian||Black||Mixed||White British||White other||Other|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||7.3||1.5||1.6||85.8||3.0||0.8|
Download table data for ‘Areas of England and Wales by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Areas of England and Wales by ethnicity’ (CSV)
Summary of Regional ethnic diversity Areas of England and Wales by ethnicity Summary
The data shows that:
- the most ethnically diverse region was London, where 40.2% of residents identified as belonging to either the Asian, Black, Mixed or Other ethnic group
- the North East (93.6%) and Wales (93.2%) were the regions with the highest percentages of the population from the White British group – London (44.9%) was the region with the lowest, followed by the West Midlands (79.2%)
- the highest percentages of the population identifying as Asian were in London (18.5%) and the West Midlands (10.8%) – the lowest were in the South West (2.0%) and Wales (2.3%)
- the regions with the highest percentages of the Black population were London (13.3%) and the West Midlands (3.3%) – the lowest were the North East (0.5%) and Wales (0.6%)
- London (5.0%) and the West Midlands (2.4%) also had the highest percentage of the population that was of Mixed ethnicity – the North East (0.9%) and Wales (1.0%) had the lowest
4. Ethnic groups by area
|Ethnicity||All||East||East Midlands||London||North East||North West||South East||South West||Wales||West Midlands||Yorkshire and The Humber|
|Mixed White/Black African||100.0||9.3||5.3||39.5||2.1||11.1||13.8||5.2||2.7||5.6||5.6|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||100.0||8.7||9.5||28.0||1.4||9.2||10.8||6.0||2.6||16.1||7.8|
Download table data for ‘Ethnic groups by area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Ethnic groups by area’ (CSV)
Summary of Regional ethnic diversity Ethnic groups by area Summary
The data shows that:
- overall, the combined population of London (14.6%) and the South East (15.4%) made up 30% of the total population of England and Wales – the North East (4.6%) and Wales (5.5%) had the smallest percentages of the population
- people from the aggregated White ethnic group were most likely to live in the South East (16.2%) and the North West (13.2%) out of all regions in England and Wales – people from the White Irish (33.1%) and Other White (41.6%) ethnic groups were most likely to live in London
- people from all other aggregated ethnic groups were most likely to live in London – 58.4% of Black people, 35.9% of Asian people, 33.1% of people with Mixed ethnicity, and 49.9% of people from the Other ethnic group
- after London, people from the Asian (14.3%) and Black (9.8%) ethnic groups were most likely to live in the West Midlands
- 56.9% of people who identified as Pakistani lived in the North West (16.8%), Yorkshire and the Humber (20.1%), and the West Midlands (20.2%)
5. Ethnic groups by type of location (urban or rural)
|Ethnicity||North East||North West||Yorkshire and The Humber||East Midlands||West Midlands||East||London||South East||South West||Wales|
|Mixed White/Black African||91.4||96.9||91.8||88.1||94.0||84.4||99.9||89.8||82.7||83.9|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||85.2||96.2||93.3||90.1||95.9||84.9||99.9||88.4||85.3||81.8|
Download table data for ‘Ethnic groups by type of location (urban or rural)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Ethnic groups by type of location (urban or rural)’ (CSV)
Summary of Regional ethnic diversity Ethnic groups by type of location (urban or rural) Summary
The data shows that:
- overall, 81.5% of the population of England and Wales lived in an urban location and 18.5% lived in a rural location
- people from Pakistani (99.1%), Bangladeshi (98.7%), and Black African (98.2%) backgrounds were most likely to live in an urban location
- people from the Gypsy or Irish Traveller ethnic group (24.7%), and people identifying as White British (21.8%) or White Irish (10.0%) were most likely to live in a rural location – people from the Mixed White and Asian group (9.5%) were most likely to live in a rural location
- in every region of England and Wales, people from White ethnic groups were least likely to live in an urban location compared with other ethnic groups, and people from the Asian and Black ethnic groups were most likely to
- the biggest differences were found in the East Midlands, where 96.0% of Asian people and 70.8% of White people lived in urban locations, and in Wales, where 91.2% of Black people and 66.2% of White people lived in urban locations
- the percentage of each ethnic group living in rural and urban locations can differ between regions – for example, 91% of Gypsy or Irish Travellers in the North West lived in urban areas, while 60% in Wales did so
6. Ethnic diversity by area
|Local authority||% White||Position|
|Herefordshire, County of||98.2||166|
|Redcar and Cleveland||98.5||173|
|Isles of Scilly||98.8||174|
Download table data for ‘Ethnic diversity by area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Ethnic diversity by area’ (CSV)
Summary of Regional ethnic diversity Ethnic diversity by area Summary
‘Ethnic diversity’ here refers to the percentage of the population that isn't from the White ethnic group in each local authority. Further data on ethnic groups by local authority can be found from either the Office for National Statistics or Nomis.
The data shows that:
- Newham was the local authority where people from the White ethnic group made up the lowest percentage of the population (29.0%), followed by Brent (36.3%) and Harrow (42.2%)
- 8 out of the 10 most ethnically diverse local authorities were in London – outside London, Slough was the most ethnically diverse local authority, with White people making up 45.7% of the population
- of the 10 local authorities where people from the White ethnic group made up the highest percentage of the population, 5 were in Wales and the West of England, and 3 were in the North East
- the Isles of Scilly in the South West was the local authority where people from the White ethnic group made up the highest percentage of the population (98.8%), followed by Redcar and Cleveland, Flintshire, Blaenau Gwent and Cumbria (all 98.5%)
7. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Office for National Statistics
Every 10 years
Purpose of data source
The Census is carried out every 10 years. Data from the March 2021 Census will not be available until 2022, so 2011 Census data is used instead.
Census data gives the government the information it needs to plan and run public services. It is also used as a benchmark for other statistical estimates, and it can help illustrate differences between various groups in the population.
8. Download the data
This file contains: Measure, Ethnicity type, Ethnicity, Region, All usual residents, Population, Value, Value2, Value label1, Value label2, Source, Geography, Time
This file contains: Measure, Ethnicity, Region, Urban/Rural, Value, Source, Time
This file contains: Measure, Time, Ethnicity, Ethnicity type, Geography name, Geography code, Geography type, Value, Numerator, Denominator