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Launch of reports The Growth and Decline of Cities and Regions and Minority Ethnic Groups in Britain

Wednesday 8 December
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) using figures from the 1991 and 2001 censuses shows that Great Britain has a growing North South divide, and is also experiencing a significant increase in the ethnic minority population.

Two new reports by Professor Anne Power and Dr Ruth Lupton from the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at LSE, published in collaboration with the Brookings Institution, Washington, will be launched at LSE on Wednesday 8 December.

The Growth and Decline of Cities and Regions

Larger cities and metropolitan conurbations in Great Britain, with the exception of London, are almost all declining, with population trends shown in the 2001 census figures highlighting a growing North South divide.

The report finds a significant continuing decline of the most industrialised regions in the North and Scotland, and links population change away from industrial areas to economic regional growth in the South.

  • Overall the population of Great Britain grew by 2.7 per cent between 1991 and 2001. 56% of local authority districts grew more than this.
  • The strongest growers were more rural and mixed urban and rural areas, and also London. With the exception of West Yorkshire, the large conurbations outside London all lost population. Smaller cities tended to gain population.
  • The decline of large industrial cities and growth of more rural districts is indicative of counter-urbanisation, but also of wider regional trends. The North West, North East and Scotland, where most of Britain's large industrial cities are located, all lost population in the 1990s, while the prosperous South and East grew. London and the South East accounted for more than half of the total population growth of the country during the decade.

Professor Anne Power said: 'Our analysis underlines a worrying trend of a growing North South divide in Great Britain. One obvious mechanism to limit this uneven development would be to invest more in remediating the damaged urban landscape of former industrial areas, particularly the major cities which are the hub of their regional economies.'

To read a copy of the report, click here|

Minority Ethnic Groups in Britain

The increase in the numbers of people from different ethnic backgrounds and countries was one of the most significant changes in Britain during the 1990s, shows census data from the same period.

This population growth took place in the context of continuing counter-urbanisation and regional economic decline and these twin patterns present both opportunities and challenges for the development of our increasingly multi-cultural society. The researchers found:

  • The population of minority groups grew much more quickly than the white population in the 1990s. Nearly 0.7 million of this change was accounted for by people of mixed race, a new Census category in 2001. It is hard to know how many people who were counted as mixed race in 2001 counted as white or another category in 1991.
  • Other than 'mixed race', the fastest growing group was 'Black African', more than doubling during the decade. Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Chinese groups also saw rapid growth.
  • Minority ethnic populations grew in virtually every local authority area, including those with very few minorities at the start of the decade as well as those where minority ethnic communities were already established. Most areas therefore became more mixed.
  • However, in some inner areas of Britain's largest conurbations, minority population growth combined with white population decline. As a result, minority ethnic groups made up a greater share of the population of some urban neighbourhoods in 2001 than they had in 1991. In some major cities, a higher proportion of people from ethnic minorities were living in areas of high minority ethnic population than they were in 1991.

Professor Anne Power said: 'The changing composition and settlement patterns of minority ethnic groups that this report highlights should inform the way we seek to understand our society, our cities and neighbourhoods. It should encourage more localised work on the detailed patterns of migration of all communities, white and minority, and it should reinforce the arguments for a strong urban policy in favour of avoiding the risks of segregation and inner city collapse that have characterised patterns of high minority concentration in America.'

To download a copy of the report, click here|


More information or to request a copy of the reports, contact:


What's Been Happening to British Cities?: population change, ethnicity, and concentrated poverty 1991-2001 - evidence from the census is on Wednesday 8 December at 4.30-6pm in R505, Lionel Robbins Building, LSE, Portugal Street, London. Lord Richard Best, director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, will chair the event. To attend, RSVP to Lucinda Himeur: l.himeur@lse.ac.uk| 

A third report by the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at LSE using the 2001 census will focus on work poor areas.

Anne Power is professor of social policy and deputy director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Ruth Lupton is a Lecturer at the Institute of Education, University of London. She was formerly research fellow at CASE where this work was carried out.

Press cuttings

Los Angeles Times, US
True love of country in England (19 Dec)
Reference to research by Anne Power, LSE, in the rise of migration from urban areas and urged the government to take steps to discourage it and regenerate cities.

Hindustan Times, India
Ethnic minorities push population growth (11 Dec)
Ethnic minority groups accounted for almost three-quarters of the population growth in Britain between 1991 and 2001. The study by LSE showed that the fastest-growing category was that of Black African, which more than doubled from 212,000 to 485,000. Anne Power, quoted. 

BBC New Online
'Twin threat' to town and country (9 Dec)
A British exodus from the cities is damaging the communities left behind and the new destinations they choose to move to, a report argues. Its co-author, Anne Power, LSE, says public subsidies are helping to boost growth areas at the expense of conurbations.

Evening Standard
Population rise fastest in ethnic minorities (8 Dec)
Black and Asian groups grew by 1.6 million, compared with an increase of 600,000 in the white population, a LSE analysis of census data reveals today. The report, by Professor Anne Power and Dr Ruth Lupton of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion, also confirms Britain's growing North-South divide, with all the larger cities and conurbations except London suffering decline.

Times Online
Race divide in big cities widens as whites move out (8 Dec)
The spread of ethnic minorities to almost every local council area means that the white population in general is becoming less isolated from ethnic minorities, the study by academics at LSE concludes. Comments from Anne Power. Also mentioned in the Daily Mail, Scotsman and Guardian. 

Daily Mail
Minorities account for 73 per cent of population growth (8 Dec)
The number of blacks and Asians grew by 1.6million in the decade, compared with an increase of 600,000 among the white population, a study by LSE showed yesterday. The fastest- growing category, according to an analysis of census data, was Black African, which more than doubled from 212,000 to 485,000. Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Chinese groups also saw rapid growth. 
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Ethnic minority groups are fastest-growing (7 Dec) 

8 December 2004