Bradford's population 'now mixing more’

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: From left, Dr Nissa Finney, Dr Stephen Jivraj and Ratna Lachman From left, Dr Nissa Finney, Dr Stephen Jivraj and Ratna Lachman

A change in the ethnic make-up of the Bradford district, including a drop in the number of segregated neighbourhoods, has been highlighted at a conference in the city.

Dr Stephen Jivraj and Dr Nissa Finney, of Manchester University Research Team, presented their findings taken from the 2011 Census at the meeting held yesterday at the Carlisle Business Centre in Manningham.

The event, held by Just West Yorkshire and the West Yorkshire Racial Justice Network, highlighted the decrease in residential segregation in the city.

Dr Finney said: “One of the main findings for Bradford and West Yorkshire would be the increasing mixing of ethnic groups in residential terms.

“The degree of segregation in Bradford has also decreased since 2001.

“This does not surprise me as it is a pattern that has been going on for some time. I think this information reflects people’s desires to live in areas which are ethnically mixed.

“One of the most interesting points drawn from the research about Bradford is that the Pakistani population is one of the most prominent in the city and is a higher proportion than in Leeds.”

The Census results also revealed that of the city’s 522,000 residents, 433,000 were born in the UK.

It also recorded that 334,000 people have the ethnic group White British, while 481,000 have a British identity.

The aim of the conference was to help decision makers understand the implications of the county’s population diversity.

The Census has shown that the ethnic profile of Britain has changed dramatically in the past decade. Researchers have found that ethnic minority populations have grown and more people were recorded to live in mixed areas in 2011 than ever before.

Dr Jivraj said: “The proportion of people living in households with more than one ethnic group increased in every district in West Yorkshire since 2001 and proportion of people with a mixed ethnic identity has almost doubled.

“This does not mean that West Yorkshire is becoming any less British. In Bradford, 64 per cent of the population have a White British ethnic identity, while 92 per cent have a British national identity.”

Ratna Lachman, director of Just West Yorkshire, said it was critical for public bodies to understand the communities they are providing services for so that scarce resources can be targeted.

She said: “The emerging data shatters many of the myths that we have around community cohesion and the idea that minority communities live parallel and segregated lives. The truth is that while the BME population is increasing they are also becoming more cosmopolitan and mixed.”

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