Primary language: English
Ancestral languages: Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Sylheti, Gujarati, Punjabi,
Tamil and Telugu
Hinduism and Sikhism
Christian, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Jain and Atheist minorities
British Asians (also referred as South Asians in the United Kingdom,
Asian British people or Asian Britons) are persons of Asian descent
who reside in the United Kingdom. In
British English usage, the
term Asians usually refers to people with roots in South Asia,
essentially the Indian subcontinent.
Immigration of small numbers of South Asians to
England began with the
arrival of the
East India Company
East India Company to the
Indian subcontinent in the
17th century. Indians came to Britain, for educational or economic
reasons, during the British Raj, with most returning to
India after a
few months or years, and in greater numbers as the Indian
independence movement led to the partition of 1947, eventually
creating the separate countries of India, Pakistan,
Bangladesh and Sri
The most significant wave of Asian immigration to and settlement in
United Kingdom came following World War II, the breakup of the
British Empire and the independence of Pakistan, India,
Sri Lanka and
later Bangladesh, especially during the 1950s and 1960s. An influx of
Asian immigrants also took place following the expulsion or flight of
Indian communities (then holders of British passports) from the newly
independent Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania in the early 1970s.
2 Demography and religion
3 History in Britain
8 Celebrities in popular culture
9.1 Counties with a high population of British Asians
9.2 London Boroughs with a high population of British Asians
9.3 Towns and Cities with particularly significant British Asian
10 See also
12 External links
In Britain, the word "Asian" usually refers specifically to people of
South Asian ancestry (Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis and Sri
Lankans). This usage contrasts to that in the United States, where it
is used to refer to people of
East Asian origin. The British
Sociological Association's guidelines on equality and diversity
suggest that "South Asian" is more precise than "Asian", and that the
latter should not be used where there is a risk of it conflating South
Asians with people from elsewhere in Asia.
United Kingdom Census 1991 was the first to include a question on
ethnicity (apart from in Northern Ireland, where the question was not
asked until 2001). The question had tick-boxes for "Indian",
"Pakistani" and "Bangladeshi". There was also a "Chinese" tick box, as
well as a general "Any other ethnic group (please describe)" option
for those not wishing to identify with any of the pre-set tick boxes.
For the 2001 Census, in
England and Wales, "Indian", "Pakistani" and
"Bangladeshi" and "Any other Asian background (please write in)"
options were grouped under an "Asian or Asian British" heading, with
"Chinese" appearing under a separate heading. In Scotland, all of
these tick-boxes were grouped together under an "Asian, Asian Scottish
or Asian British " heading, and in
Northern Ireland no broad headings
were used, just tick-boxes for each of the Asian groups. The 2011
Census questionnaire was more consistent with regard to the grouping
of Asian ethnicities, such that Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi,
Chinese and any other Asian background options appeared under a broad
"Asian/Asian British" ("Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British" in
Scotland) heading in all parts of the UK.
Demography and religion
2011 UK Census
2011 UK Census recorded 1,451,862 residents of Indian, 1,174,983
of Pakistani and 451,529 of Bangladeshi ethnicity, making a total
South Asian population of 3,078,374 (4.9 per cent of the total
population), excluding other Asian groups and people of mixed
South Asian ethnic groups
South Asian ethnic groups mostly originate from a few select places in
South Asia, these are known as place of origins. British Indians tend
to originate mainly from the two Indian States, Punjab and Gujarat.
Birmingham have shown, Pakistanis originate
largely from the
Mirpur District in Azad Kashmir. The second largest
ethnic group of
British Pakistanis are the Punjabi people, largely
Attock District of Punjab followed by pathans and other ethnic
groups from the districts of Nowshera,
Peshwar and Ghazi in province
of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. In the
London Borough of Waltham Forest
London Borough of Waltham Forest there
are substantial numbers of Pakistani people originating from Jhelum,
Punjab. Studies have shown 95 per cent of Bangladeshis originate
Sylhet region, one of the 8 divisions, located in the
Northeastern part of Bangladesh. Districts include Sylhet, Habiganj,
Moulvibazar, and Sunamganj.  In Tower Hamlets, people have
origins in different zones in the
Sylhet region, mainly from
Jagannathpur, Beanibazar and Bishwanath. The language spoken by
Indians are, Punjabi, Gujarati, Kutchi, Hindustani, Bengali, Tamil,
Telugu and Malayalam. People from
Pakistan speak Urdu, Punjabi,
Mirpuri, Hindko (dialects of Punjabi), Sindhi, Kashmiri, Pashto, and
Seraiki. Gujaratis who emigrated from
East Africa speak
Gujarati, Hindi, and Kutchi (a dialect of Sindhi), while a sizeable
Gujarati Muslims speak
Urdu for religious and cultural
reasons. Bangladeshis from
Sylhet speak Sylheti and Bengali.
Sri Lanka speak Tamil and Sinhala. Those who speak
dialects mainly refer their language to the main language, for example
Sylheti speakers say they speak Bengali or Mirpuri speakers say they
speak Punjabi. The reason for this is because they do not expect
outsiders to be well informed about dialects.
The unemployment rate among Indian men was only slightly higher than
White British or White Irish men, 7 per cent compared with 5
per cent for the other two groups. On the other hand, Pakistanis have
higher unemployment rates of 13-14%, and Bangladeshis have one of the
highest rates, around 23%. Some surveys also revealed the Indian
unemployment rate to be 6-7% Persons of Indian or mixed Indian
origin are more likely than
White British to have university degrees,
whereas Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are less likely. With the
exception of Bangladeshi women, every other group of South Asians,
have higher attendance at university than the national average.
GCSE pass rates have been rising for all South Asians.
There have been three waves of migration of
Hindus in the United
Kingdom.The first wave was before India's independence in 1947. In the
early 1950s the Conservative Health Minister,
Enoch Powell recruited a
large number of doctors from the Indian sub-continent. The second wave
occurred in the 1970s mainly from East Africa. The later communities
included those from Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago,
Mauritius and Fiji.
The last wave of migration began in the 1990s and included Tamil
Sri Lanka and professionals including doctors and
software engineers from India.
British Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are
much more religiously homogeneous, with Muslims accounting for 92% of
each group while their counterparts of Indian and Sri Lankan origin
tend to be religiously diverse, with 55% Hindus, 29% Sikhs, and 15%
Muslims. British Gujaratis are predominantly Hindu, belonging to
various caste organizations, with large minorities of Muslims, Jains,
and smaller numbers of
Christians and Zoroastrians. South Asians who
marked "Other Asian" as an ethnic group and then wrote in their
specific ethnic group were mostly (23%) of Sri Lankan origin[citation
needed]. Due to a growing sense of affiliation with Britain, many
third generation South Asians chose to not mark "Asian or British
Asian" and instead marked "British Asian" in the "Other Asian" write
in section. Notable religious buildings are the East London
Mosque, London Central Mosque,
Birmingham Central Mosque, Baitul
Futuh, BAPS Shri
Swaminarayan Mandir London,
Bradford Lakshmi Narayan
Hindu Temple, Shikharbandi Jain Derasar in Potters Bar, Gurdwara
Sri Guru Singh Sabha and Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara.
The publication of Salman Rushdie's novel
The Satanic Verses
The Satanic Verses in 1988
caused major controversy. Muslims condemned the book for blasphemy. On
2 December 1988 the book was publicly burned at a demonstration in
Bolton attended by 7,000 Muslims, followed by a similar demonstration
and book-burning in
Bradford on 14 January 1989. In 1989 Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini of
Iran issued a fatwā ordering Muslims to kill
Britain is also home of notable Asian religious leaders and scholars.
Some of them are
Mirza Masroor Ahmad
Mirza Masroor Ahmad (Caliph of the Ahmadiyya
Community), Sheikh Abdul Qayum (one of the best known scholars in
Europe and Chief Imam of East London Mosque), Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq
Birmingham Central Mosque), Dr. Mahmudul Hasan (Khateeb of
Essex Mosque), Abdur Rahman Madani (Chairman of Global Eid Trust and
Chief Imam of Darul Ummah Mosque),
Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi (principal of
Ajmal Masroor (Imam and Liberal Democrats politician)
Pramukh Swami Maharaj
Pramukh Swami Maharaj (fifth spiritual successor of Hindu
History in Britain
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who studied in
England played a pivotal
role in ending the
British Raj in South Asia
The earliest date at which South Asians settled in
Great Britain is
If the Romany (Gypsies) are included, then the earliest arrivals were
in the Middle Ages. DNA surveys have linked Romanies to present-day
South Asian populations and the
Romany language is a member of the
Indo-Aryan language family. Romanies are believed to have begun
travelling westward around 1000 CE, and have mixed with South-west
Asian and European populations over many centuries.
Romani began arriving in sizeable numbers in parts of Western Europe
in the 16th century. The Romani who settled in Britain are known as
When the Portuguese
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama arrived in
India in 1498, he opened
a direct maritime route between
South Asia and Europe. In the
following century many South Asians arrived in
Europe by sea as
sailors, slaves and servants. Trade and English piracy brought some of
these people to Britain and four
South Asian men in London answered
the call for sailors for the first English
East India Company
East India Company fleet to
Asia. Their Portuguese names identifies them as mixed-race Portuguese
Since the 17th century, the
East India Company
East India Company employed thousands of
South Asian lascars, scholars and workers (who were mostly Bengali or
Muslim) mainly to work on British ships and ports around the world.
The first group of South Asians to migrate in notable numbers, in the
18th century, were lascars (sailors) recruited from the Indian
subcontinent (largely from the
Bengal region) to work for the British
India Company, some, despite prejudice and a language barrier,
settled down, often forcibly after ill treatment and being abandoned
by ship masters. Many were forced into poverty and starved.
Letters to newspapers in 1785 talked of “the number of miserable
objects, Lascars, … shivering and starving in the streets”.
Some lascars took British wives, and some converted to Anglican
Christianity (at least nominally) in order to marry, possibly due
to a lack of
South Asian women in Britain at the time. Most
Indians during this period would visit or reside in Britain
temporarily, returning to
India after months or several years,
bringing back knowledge about Britain in the process.
38 lascars were reported arriving in British ports in 1760.
Between 1803 and 1813, there were more than 10,000 lascars from the
Indian subcontinent visiting British port cities and towns.:140,
154–6, 160–8, 172 By 1842, 3,000 lascars visited the UK annually,
and by 1855, 12,000 lascars were arriving annually in British ports.
In 1873, 3,271 lascars arrived in Britain.:35 Throughout the early
19th century lascars visited Britain at a rate of 1,000 every
year,:140,54–6,60–8,72 which increased to a rate of 10,000 to
12,000 every year throughout the late 19th century.
Due to the majority being lascars, the earliest Muslim communities
were found in port towns, found living in barracks, Christian charity
homes and hostels. The first and most frequent South Asian
travelers to Britain were Christian Indians and those of
European-Asian mixed race. For Muslim Indians considerations about how
their dietary and religious practices would alienate them from British
society were brought into question but these considerations were often
outweighed by economic opportunities. Those that stayed often took
British names, dress and diet. Naval cooks also came, many of them
Sylhet Division of what is now Bangladesh. One of the most
famous early Bengali Muslim immigrants to
England was Sake Dean
Mahomet, a captain of the British
East India Company
East India Company who in 1810
founded London's first Indian restaurant, the Hindoostane Coffee
House. He is also reputed for introducing shampoo and therapeutic
massage to the United Kingdom. In 1784 he migrated to Ireland
where he fell in love with a woman called Jane Daly. He converted to
Anglicanism in order to marry her, as it was illegal at the time for
non-Protestants to marry Protestants. They later moved to
After reports of lascars starving and suffering from poverty the East
India Company responded by making available lodgings for them, but no
checks were kept on the boarding houses and barracks they provided.
The Lascars were made to live in cramped, dreadful conditions which
resulted in the deaths of many each year, with reports of Lascars
being locked in cupboards and whipped for misbehavior (by owners)
which was reported by the Society for the Protection of Asiatic
Sailors (founded in 1814).
In 1842, the Church Missionary Society reported on the dire ″state
of the Lascars in London″ it was reported in the winter of 1850,
40 Asian men, also known as 'sons of India', were found dead of cold
and hunger on the streets of London. Shortly after these reports
Christians proposed the construction of a charity house
and gathered £15,000 pounds in assistance of the Lascars . In 1856
The Strangers' Home for Asiatics, Africans and South Sea Islanders was
opened in Commercial Road, Limehouse under the manager
Lieutenant-Colonel R. Marsh Hughes.
Navigation Act of 1660 restricted the employment of non-English
sailors to a quarter of the crew on returning East
ships. Baptism records in East
Greenwich suggest that young Indians
Malabar Coast were being recruited as servants at the end of
the seventeenth century, and records of the EIC also suggest that
Indo-Portuguese cooks from
Goa were retained by captains from voyage
to voyage. In 1797, 13 were buried in the parish of
St Nicholas at
It is estimated 8,000 Indians (a large proportion being lascar
sailors) lived in Britain permanently prior to the 1950s. Although,
the comparatively few lascars that gained work often opened shops and
helped initiate social and political community associations.
Indians were less likely to settle permanently because of wage
differentials. Due to the majority of early South Asian
immigrants being lascars, the earliest
South Asian communities were
found in port towns
The small, often transitory presence of Lascars continued into the
1930s, with the Port of London Authority mentioning Lascars in a
February 1931 article writing that ''Although appearing so out of
place in the East End, they are well able to look after themselves,
being regular seamen who came to the Docks time after time and have
learnt a little English and know how to buy what they want.''
In 1932, the Indian National Congress survey of 'all Indians outside
India' estimated that there were 7,128 Indians in the United
Kingdom. It is estimated from 1800 to 1945 20,000 South Asians
emigrated to Britain.
Second World War
Second World War and the breakup of the British Empire,
South Asian migration to the UK increased through the 1950s and 1960s
Pakistan (including present-day Bangladesh) and Commonwealth
countries such as India, at the same time as immigrants from former
Caribbean colonies were also moving to Britain.
Although this immigration was continuous, several distinct phases can
Manual workers, mainly from Pakistan, were recruited to fulfill the
labour shortage that resulted from World War II. These included
Anglo-Indians who were recruited to work on the railways as they had
done in India.
Workers mainly from the
Punjab region of
India and some from Pakistan
arrived in the late 1950s and 1960s. Many worked in the foundries of
English Midlands and a large number worked at
Heathrow Airport in
west London. This created an environment to where the next generation
of families did not lose their identity as easily. An example would be
Southall which is populated by many Sikhs.
During the same time, medical staff from the
Indian subcontinent were
recruited for the newly formed National Health Service. These people
were targeted as the British had established medical schools in the
Indian subcontinent which conformed to the British standards of
Beginning around 1964
Africanization policies in
East Africa prompted
the arrival of Asians with British passports from Kenya, Uganda and
Tanzania. At first these were the people employed in government and
administrative roles, but this was expended to include those Asians
engaged in commerce. The movement was called the "Exodus".
In 1972, all South Asians were expelled from Uganda by the
controversial figure Idi Amin, then president of Uganda. Those holding
British passports came to Britain. Many such displaced people who were
predominantly of Gujarati origins had left behind successful
businesses and vast commercial empires in Uganda, but built up their
lives all over again in Britain, starting from scratch. Some of these
"twice-over" migrants became retailers, while others found suitable
employment in white-collar professions.
Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962
Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 and
Immigration Act 1971
Immigration Act 1971 largely
restricted any further primary immigration, although family members of
already-settled migrants were still allowed. In addition, much of the
subsequent growth in the
South Asian community has come from the
births of second and third-generation
South Asian Britons.
British Asians faced discrimination and racism following Enoch
Rivers of Blood speech
Rivers of Blood speech and the establishment of the National
Front in the late 1960s. This included overt racism in the form of
Paki bashing, predominantly from white power skinheads, the National
Front, and the British National Party, throughout the 1970s and
1980s. Drawing inspiration from the Indian independence movement,
the black power movement, and the Anti-Apartheid Movement, young
British Asian activists began a number of anti-racist Asian youth
movements in the 1970s and 1980s, including the
Movement in 1977, the Bangladeshi Youth Movement following the murder
Altab Ali in 1978, and the Newham Youth Movement following the
murder of Akhtar Ali Baig in 1980.
South Asians are said to contribute 6% to the UK GDP, whilst making up
only 4% of the population. Other sources state that the figure
may be even higher - the Centre for Social Markets estimates that
British Asian businesses contribute as much as 10% of total GDP.
Although there are roughly double the number of South Asians in the UK
today compared to people of African descent, South Asians are less
represented in global and British media than any other major group; in
the UK there is less than half the amount of South Asians represented
in the media than those of African and
The biggest influence of South Asians on popular British culture has
probably been the spread of Indian cuisine, though of the 9,000 Indian
restaurants in the UK, most are run by Bangladeshis; their ancestral
home was part of British India's
Bengal province until partition in
1947. South Asians have also played a pivotal role in rejuvenating a
number of UK street markets. According to the New Economics
Foundation, Queen's Market in Upton Park, East London is officially
the most ethnically diverse.
As in Canada, Bhangra music has become popular among many in Britain
 not only from the works of British
South Asian musicians such as
Panjabi MC, Swami and
Rishi Rich but also incorporated into the works
of a number of non-
South Asian musicians not only British but
including North American artists such as Canadian Shania Twain, who
created a whole alternate version of her multi-platinum album Up! with
full Indian instrumentation, produced by
South Asian producers Simon
& Diamond. Diamond, better known as
DJ Swami has also collaborated
with rapper Pras, of The Fugees, and his band Swami have become one of
the most renowned acts in
South Asian music history, having had songs
Hollywood movies and best-selling video games. One of the
first artists of
South Asian Indian origin to achieve mainstream
Apache Indian who infused reggae and hip hop with Indian
popular music to create a sound that transcended genre and found a
multicultural audience. He is the only Indian artist to have achieved
7 top forty hits in the National UK charts. A subsequent wave of
"Asian Underground" artists went on to blend elements of western
underground dance music and the traditional music of their home
countries, such as Nitin Sawhney, Talvin Singh, Asian Dub Foundation,
Panjabi MC, Raghav, and the
Rishi Rich Project (featuring Rishi Rich,
Jay Sean and Juggy D).
The influence of
South Asian music has not only been from South Asians
living in the UK, but also from some UK artists that were starting
South Asian instruments creating a new sound that was a mixture
of sitars and tablas with more rock-based western instruments like
drums and guitar.
The films East is East, Chicken Tikka Masala and Bend It Like Beckham
and the TV shows Goodness Gracious Me and
The Kumars at No. 42 have
managed to attract large, multi-ethnic audiences. The success and
British Pakistani boxer Amir Khan influenced the revival
of boxing on ITV Sport.
Lakshmi Mittal is currently Britain's richest man and the fifth
richest man in the world. The Mittal family owns 43% of
Arcelor-Mittal, the world's largest steel manufacturer, which was
Mittal Steel Company
Mittal Steel Company before the merger with Arcelor. He was
listed in the
List of Billionaires (2006)
List of Billionaires (2006) as the richest Indian
and the fifth richest man in the world with an estimated fortune of
$55.0 billion and, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2006, is
the richest in the UK, with a net worth of £29 billion. The Financial
Times named Mittal its 2006 Person of the Year. In 2005, he was the
third richest man in the world according to
Forbes List of
In 2004 it was reported that UK
Sikhs had the highest percentage of
home ownership, at 82%, out of all UK religious communities.
Muslims are by far the poorest religious or non religious community in
the UK. For comparison, the median net wealth for
Jews stands at £422
Sikhs at £229 000,
Christians at £223 000 and
Hindus at £ 206
000 while for Muslims the figure stands at £42 000.
Muslims also happen to be the most disproportionately represented
religious group facing arrest, trial and imprisonment, with 13.1% of
prisoners being Muslims while the community represents 4% of those
aged 15 years or older within the general population.
ArcelorMittal Orbit, London Olympic Park, designated by the Indian
Anish Kapoor, CBE, RA (born 12 March 1954) is an Indian-born British
sculptor. Born in Mumbai, Kapoor has lived and worked in London since
the early 1970s when he moved to study art, first at the Hornsey
College of Art and later at the Chelsea College of Art and Design.
Kapoor received the
Turner Prize in 1991. Born in London and of Asian
Shezad Dawood became known for this work in various media in
the early 2000s. Also born in London and of Pakistani origin, Haroon
Mirza emerged as an artist in the late 2000s. Best known for his
sculptural installations that generate sound, Mirza was awarded the
Silver Lion for the Most Promising Artist at the 54th Venice Biennale
RIFCO Arts has been producing and touring productions
based on the
British Asian experience since 1999.
South Asian writers include H.S. Bhabra, Salman Rushdie,
Ghulam Murshid, Tahir Shah, Gurinder Chadha, Nazrin Choudhury, Rekha
Waheed, Hanif Kureshi, Monica Ali, Meera Syal, Gautam Malkani, Bali
Rai and Raman Mundair.
See also: British Asians in association football
Amir Khan (left), with American boxer
Paulie Malignaggi (right).
Jawaid Khaliq, the first world champion boxer of Pakistani origin, was
born in Nottingham. Amir Khan, the silver medallist at the 2004 Summer
Olympics in Athens, has become a cultural icon in the UK with TV
audiences of up to 8 million watching him fight. Khan represents
Britain in boxing and is the former WBA world light welterweight
champion. The boxer Haider Ali won the first ever gold medal for
Pakistan in boxing at the commonwealth games in
Manchester in 2002 in
the featherweight division.
Nasser Hussain was the captain of the
England cricket team. Michael
Chopra played for the
England national under-21 football team and
became the first footballer of Indian descent to play and score in the
Premier League. In 2006 he scored one of the fastest goals in Premier
League history, as Chopra had only been on the pitch for fifteen
seconds after coming on as a substitute. Aston Villa defender,
Neil Taylor is also of Indian descent.
South Asian sport personalities:
Imran Khan (kickboxer)
Tanveer Ahmed (boxing)
Celebrities in popular culture
Shazia Mirza is a popular British comedian.
South Asian stars to break into English and
include Sabu, remembered for his lead roles in The Thief of Bagdad
(1940), Jungle Book (1942), and
Black Narcissus (1947).
Since the 1970s,
South Asian performers and writers have achieved
significant mainstream cultural success. The first South Asian
musician to gain wide popularity in the UK and worldwide fame was
Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar,
East Africa, to parents of Parsi descent from Bombay. In 2006, Time
Asia magazine voted him as one of the most influential South Asians in
the past 60 years. At around the same time, music producer,
composer and songwriter
Biddu gained worldwide fame for a number of
hit songs, including "Kung Fu Fighting" by
Carl Douglas and "I Love to
Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)" for Tina Charles. In the 1990s the
South Asian artists who gained mainstream success included Apache
Indian, whose 1993 single "Boom Shack-A-Lak" was used in many
Hollywood movies, and Jas Mann, who headed
Babylon Zoo and whose 1996
single "Spaceman" set a UK chart record when it sold 418,000 copies in
its first week of release.
South Asian actors in the 1980s included Art Malik, for his
roles in The Jewel in the Crown and The Living Daylights, and Sir Ben
Kingsley (born Krishna Pandit Bhanji), one of Britain's most acclaimed
and well-known performers. Kingsley is one of few actors to have won
all four major motion picture acting awards, receiving Oscar, BAFTA,
Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards throughout his career,
Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in
Gandhi (1982). The actress
Parminder Nagra has a prominent role in
the US TV series ER, and played the lead role in the successful
Bend It Like Beckham
Bend It Like Beckham (2002). The actor Naveen Andrews
plays the role of
Sayid Jarrah in the popular US TV series Lost, and
also had a prominent role in the award-winning film The English
Patient (1996). The actor
Kunal Nayyar plays the character of Raj
Koothrappali in the popular US sitcom, The Big Bang Theory.
Long-running British soap operas such as Coronation Street,
Hollyoaks have all had a number of South
The comedians Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal,
Papa CJ and Shazia Mirza
are all well-recognised figures in British popular culture. The
presenter and match maker of the BBC marriage arranging show Arrange
Me a Marriage is a South Asian-Scot Aneela Rahman. Hardeep Singh Kohli
is a presenter, reporter and comedian on British television and radio.
British Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian contestants have appeared on
The Apprentice including Syed Ahmed, Tre Azam, Lohit Kalburgi, Ghazal
Asif, Shazia Wahab, Sara Dhada, and most notably Saira Khan, who is
now a British TV presenter. The broadcasters Daljit Dhaliwal, Krishnan
Samira Ahmed are known for working on Channel 4 News.
The award-winning dance act Signature involved a
British Pakistani and
a British Indian.
South Asian was given the tag "Br-Asian" around the turn of
the millennium by media businessmen Moiz Vas and Nav Sagoo. Vas and
Sagoo were responsible for the
South Asian Music awards which aired on
ITV1 in the UK. Sagoo conceived the Br-Asian stage at Glastonbury
Festival in 2004 and 2005 which featured acts such as Rishi Rich, Jay
Raghav and Pentagram.
In 2008, in the second season of reality television Britain's Got
Talent, one of the country's most successful reality television shows,
South Asian dance duo Signature, consisting of Suleman Mirza (a
British Pakistani) and Madhu Singh (a British Indian) performing a
Michael Jackson and Bhangra music and dance styles, came
second on the show. The most successful
South Asian musician in 2008
was the British Tamil artist M.I.A., who was nominated for two Grammy
Awards for her single "Paper Planes", and has been nominated for an
Academy Award for Best Original Score for "O... Saya", from the
Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. The actor Dev Patel, who played the
Anwar Kharral in the teen drama series Skins, also played the
leading role in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, for which he
received several awards and was nominated for the 2009
BAFTA Award for
Best Leading Actor.
In 2009, Mumzy Stranger, an R&B and hip-hop music artist, became
British Bangladeshi to release a music single, called "One
More Dance". In October 2009, Jay Sean's single "Down" reached the
#1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold four million copies in the
United States, making him the first South Asian-origin solo
artist and "the first UK Urban act to top Billboard's Hot 100,"
"the most successful male UK urban artist in US chart history,"
and the most successful British male artist in the US charts since
Elton John in 1997. A new generation of
British Asian musicians have
followed, such as Shizzio, 21 Perspective and Raxstar. In the early
2010s, Asian boy band members,
Siva Kaneswaran of
The Wanted and Zayn
Malik of One Direction, have gained considerable mainstream popularity
The Wanted reached #3 on the
Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100 with "Glad
You Came" while
One Direction topped the
Billboard 200 with Up All
Humza Arshad and
Ali Shahalom are well known
British Asian Comedians
YouTube careers which normally consists of stereotyping
British Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslim Culture. In 2011, one of the
Humza Arshad's video was the seventh most viewed on
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The council area with the largest
British Asian and British Muslim
population is the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, whose population is
36.6% of South Asians and 39% of Muslims, mostly British Bangladeshis.
Counties with a high population of British Asians
Lancashire 5.3% S. Asian
Greater Manchester 5.6% S. Asian
West Yorkshire 8.7% S. Asian
West Midlands (county)
West Midlands (county) 13.4% S. Asian
Greater London 12.09% S. Asian
Berkshire 6.8% S. Asian
Buckinghamshire 4.3% S. Asian
Bedfordshire 8.3% S. Asian
Leicestershire 11.9% S. Asian
London Boroughs with a high population of British Asians
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Tower Hamlets 36.6% S. Asian
London Borough of Newham
London Borough of Newham 32.5% S. Asian
London Borough of Harrow
London Borough of Harrow 29.7% S. Asian
London Borough of Brent
London Borough of Brent 27.7% S. Asian
London Borough of Redbridge
London Borough of Redbridge 25.0% S. Asian
London Borough of Ealing
London Borough of Ealing 24.5% S. Asian
London Borough of Hounslow
London Borough of Hounslow 24.7% S. Asian
Towns and Cities with particularly significant British Asian
Note: Some local authorities contain large areas of countryside
surrounding the actual towns, e.g. Bedford, Bradford, Leeds, Newport,
Sunderland and High Wycombe. This may lead to the
South Asian and
ethnic minority populations being underestimated in these places.
Batley 30% S. Asian. 40.72% in
Batley East and 21.43% in Batley
Bedford (especially Queens Park, Cauldwell) 8.1% S. Asian
Birmingham (especially Sparkhill, Alum Rock, Sparkbrook, Small Heath,
Balsall Heath, Washwood Heath, Saltley, Handsworth, Handsworth Wood)
22% S. Asian
Blackburn 20.6% S. Asian
Bolton 9.1% S. Asian
Bradford (Manningham, Great Horton, Heaton, Girlington, West Bowling,
BD3 and Thornbury) 24.3% S. Asian
Burnley 7.2% S. Asian
Burton upon Trent
Burton upon Trent (Anglesey) 4.3% S. Asian (east Staffordshire so also
Uttoxeter where there is little if any S. Asian population)
Cardiff (Butetown, Grangetown, Riverside) 3.96% S. Asian
Coventry 11.3% S. Asian
Derby (Normanton, Sunny Hill) 8.4% S. Asian
Dewsbury (Ravensthorpe, Thornhill Lees, Savile Town) around 33%
Savile Town is "97-100% Muslim".
Aberdeen 4.3% 9,519
Dundee 4.0% 4,000 (especially the Hilltown and Stobswell)
Edinburgh 5.5% 26,264 (especially in Leith)
Glasgow 8.1% 47,758 (especially Pollokshields, Pollokshaws, Govanhill
Halifax 10% S. Asian
High Wycombe 11% S. Asian
Huddersfield (especially Lockwood and Fartown) 12.4% S. Asian
Keighley (especially Lawkholme, Highfield, Knowle Park and
Stockbridge) 23% S. Asian
Leeds (Beeston, Harehills, Moortown, Hyde Park, Chapeltown) 4.5% S.
Leicester (especially Belgrave, Rushey Mead, Highfields, Spinney
Hills, Evington) 29.9% S. Asian
Loughborough 6% S. Asian
Luton (especially Bury Park) 18.3% S. Asian
Manchester 9.1% S. Asian (especially Rusholme, Whalley Range 28.48%
and Cheetham Hill)
Milton Keynes (especially Kents Hill,
Bletchley and Wolverton) 8.7% S.
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne (especially Arthur's Hill, Elswick and
others) 7.0% S. Asian
Nottingham (especially Bakersfield, Forest Fields, Sneinton, St Anns)
Maindee and Pillgwenlly) 2.6% S. Asian
Oldham (especially Glodwick, Westwood and Werneth) 11.9% S. Asian
Oxford (especially Cowley Road) 5.8% S. Asian
Pendle (especially Nelson and Brierfield) 14.1% S. Asian
Peterborough 7.0% S. Asian
Preston 11.6% S. Asian (especially Deepdale, Avenham, Fishwick, St.
Reading borough 5.2% S. Asian
Rochdale (Especially Wardleworth, Spotland, Deeplish, Hamer,
Smallbridge, Belfield) 9.8% S. Asian
Rugby (especially New Bilton, Benn and Brownsover) 5.3% S. Asian
Rotherham (Especially Wellgate, Masbrough, Eastwood, Ferham) 3.9% S.
Sheffield (especially Burngreave, Attercliffe, Tinsley, Page Hall,
Pitsmoor, Nether Edge, Millhouses, Sharrow,
Darnall and Firth Park) 6%
Slough 27.9% S. Asian
Sandwell (especially the Victoria Park area of Tipton) 14% S. Asian
Southampton 3.8% S. Asian
Stoke-on-Trent 4.1% S. Asian
Sunderland (especially Eden Vale, Hendon and Thornhill) 1.2% S. Asian
Wakefield 5% Asian. The Asian population is estimated at 27.6% in
College Grove and 19.6% in Agbrigg.
Walsall 10.4% S. Asian
Wolverhampton 14.3% S. Asian
British Sri Lankans
British Asian people
BBC Asian Network
British Asians in association football
British Asians in politics of the United Kingdom
Foreign-born population of the United Kingdom
Mauritians in the United Kingdom
Nepalis in the United Kingdom
Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin
Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal
South Asian Canadian
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News, Sports, Business, Opinion, Features, Entertainment, News in
Pictures, Breaking News
BBC Radio Player discussion on the dissatisfaction over the term Asian
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community in Britain
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Asian writer Raman Mundair.
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Asians UK Magazine, Events and PR, Engaging the British Asians in the
British Asian Magazine - News, Features, Lifestyle & Entertainment
Ethnic group classifications in the 2011 UK Census
Any other white background
White and Black Caribbean
White and Black African
White and Asian
Any other mixed background
Asian or Asian British
Any other Asian background
Black or Black British
Other ethnic group