Projections of the Ethnic Minority Populations of the United Kingdom 2006–2056



The ethnic minority populations in the UK are growing substantially through immigration, a youthful age structure, and in some cases relatively high fertility. Their diverse demographic and socioeconomic characteristics have attracted considerable academic and policy attention, especially insofar as those distinctive characteristics have persisted in the generations born in the UK. No official projections of the UK ethnic populations have been published since 1979. This article provides projections to 2056 and beyond of 12 ethnic groups. Given overall net immigration and vital rates as assumed in the office for National Statistics 2008-based Principal Projection, and the ethnic characteristics estimated here, the ethnic minority populations (including the Other White) would increase from 13 percent of the UK population in 2006 to 28 percent by 2031 and 44 percent by 2056, and to about half the 0–4 age group in 2056. Alternative projections assume various lower levels of immigration. Possible implications of projected changes are discussed.