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White Britons now a minority in London

London, Dec 11, 2012 (IANS)
 In this June 5, 2012 file photo, revelers on the Mall in London watch Britain Queen Elizabeth II appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony as part of a four-day Diamond Jubilee celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II accession to the throne. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)

For the first time ever, white British people are now in a minority in London as migrants from India, Pakistan, Ireland, Germany and Poland added up to over three million people over the past decade, a government report said Tuesday.

Just 3.7 million Londoners described their ethnicity as "White British" in 2011, down from 4.3 million in 2001. They made up 44.9 percent of the city's population, the Daily Mail cited the data released by the Office of National Statistics as saying.

A major change also came in the decreasing number of Christians. There were four million lesser Christians, and a quarter of Britons said they had no religion. In 2011, 7.5 million were foreign-born, or one in eight of the population.

The proportion of Muslims rose from three percent to 4.8 percent. The third most popular religion was Hinduism, with 1.5 percent of the population, while 0.8 percent were Sikhs, according to the report.

In what was termed a joke, nearly 180,000 people claimed to be followers of the Jedi religion featured in "Star Wars". In 2001, around 400,000 jokingly put the faith down on their form.

Knowsley in Lancashire was the most Christian town with 80.9 percent of residents following the faith, while in London's Tower Hamlets 34.5 percent of the population were Muslims, the data showed.

Norwich was the "most godless place" in the country -- 42.5 percent said they had no religion. Around 7.5 percent of the total population in England and Wales are Asians, while 3.4 percent described themselves as black.

London was also home to the most immigrants -- 37 percent of residents were born abroad and 24 percent were not citizens of Britain.


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