One Youngster in Eight Is from an Ethnic Minority; How Higher Birth Rate among Nonwhites Is Changing the Face of Our Cities

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Byline: STEVE DOUGHTY

ONE British child in eight is now from an ethnic minority background, it was revealed yesterday.

The figure is nearly double the proportion of ethnic minorities among adults.

It points to a future in which non-white ethnic groups become an increasingly influential section of the community.

The details were published as part of a new breakdown of figures on children and their lives by the Office for National Statistics.

They show how numbers of ethnic minority children are growing compared to white children.

In some cities, the proportion of children under 16 from minority groups is even higher than one in eight. In Inner London, the figure is one in three.

The survey also shows that many ethnic minority children are following the selfimprovement path taken by earlier immigrants.

Their rising educational performance suggests the younger generation are making their way out of the poverty, manual work and cheap housing often faced by first-generation immigrants.

More Indian pupils achieved five high-grade GCSEs than any other group - including whites - and all ethnic groups except one saw rising achievement measured by GCSE passes between 1998 and 2000.

The exception was among Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. While Pakistani pupils did neither better nor worse, the pass rate among Bangladeshi children dropped slightly.

The ONS analysis, based on its continuous Labour Force Survey, said: 'The minority ethnic population of Great Britain is generally younger than the white population.

'In 2001-2002, a third of the minority ethnic population was under 16, compared with a fifth of the white population.' The changing ethnic breakdown among children means 12 per cent of under-16s are now from ethnic minorities against seven per cent of adults - or around one in eight children against one in 14 adults.

Six per cent of children are from Asian subcontinent backgrounds, three per cent are black, three per cent are the offspring of mixed parentage and another one per cent come from Chinese and other groups. …