Census: Tower Hamlets’ changing ethnic demographic

Asians of Bangladeshi origin have overtaken White British people as the largest ethnic group in Tower Hamlets, Census figures have revealed.

The 2011 population survey, published last week by the Office for National Statistics, shows that 81,377 - or 32 per cent of the borough’s population of 256,000 - define themselves as Bangladeshis of British Asian or Asian origin.

This compares to 79,231 people – 31 per cent of the population - who define themselves as “White: English/Welsh/Scottish/British”.

Tower Hamlets had the fastest growing population of any local authority in the UK, with an increase of almost 30 per cent, from 201,100 in 2001 to 256,000 by June 2011.

The number of people of Bangladeshi origin in the borough jumped by almost 16,000, whereas the White British population fell by around 5,000 – the only ethnic group in the borough to see a drop in numbers.

The fastest growing ethnic group was “White: other”, which increased by almost 20,000 from 12,825 in 2001 to 31,550 in 2011, and now makes up 12 per cent of the population.

Despite that rise, the results show that people of white ethnicity no longer make up the overall majority of the Tower Hamlets population. In 2001, the 100,799 people who defined themselves as white made up just over 50 per cent of the population as it was then, but in 2011 the 114,819 people who defined themselves as white accounted for just 45 per cent of the total population.

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