British white people are set to become the minority in “super diverse” Birmingham by 2021, according to a new report.
More than half the city’s 1.2 million-plus population will be from an ethnic minority with 60 per cent of under 18s already coming from a non-white British background.
In a bizarrely worded conclusion the Birmingham City Council community cohesion report, released this week, states: “Birmingham is soon to become a majority minority city.”
Its authors also warn that communities are becomingly increasingly segregated and raise concerns that “there is a high concentration of ethnic minority groups, particularly black and Asian communities, that have become disadvantaged”.
The draft policy report states that residents from nearly 200 countries Iive in Birmingham where close to 50,000 residents cannot speak English.
These communities have helped form strong trade links but the city’s diverse ethnicity is also identified in the report as a major factor in social segregation and community tension.
It says: “Birmingham has benefited from its diverse migrant communities who have settled in the city and successfully contributed to its economic vitality, becoming leaders in education, medicine, sports, arts and business and providing employment opportunities to local people.
“Our demographic landscape is increasingly becoming ethnically and socially ‘super diverse’, which means a greater understanding of the changes in cultural norms, identities and social shifts in how we live work and learn is needed.”
Critics of the report’s conclusions say it appears to view diversity as a problem and argue it is the city’s white middle class population that “self-segregate.”
Kehinde Andrews, professor of Sociology at Birmingham City University, said: “The most segregated group in the city is white middle class who move away from areas that become ethnically diverse to form their own isolated communities in the comfortable suburbs.
“The whole notion of White British and its definition is not clearly stated. Eastern Europeans are classed as white British and they are steadily increasing in population across the city.”
Birmingham’s first Muslim MP, Khalid Mahmood, said the city council had not done enough for Birmingham’s white communities.
He said: “We should rightly celebrate the diverse nature of our city but we need to do more to stop white people leaving the city.
“There have been issues where majority poor white estates have been forgotten and a failure to engage with the local authorities.
“The city council has concentrated too much on serving individual ethnic communities in the city rather than sharing resources across a geographic area for all communities.”
Another problem is in employment, where Birmingham’s rates are below the national average - 65 per cent of working age residents in jobs compared to the national average of 74 per cent in 2016.
This is not helped by the fact that high numbers of Pakistani and Bangladeshi residents have no qualifications, while at least 47,005 citizens are unable to speak English.
Equalities chief, Cllr Tristan Chatfield, said: “Birmingham faces a number of difficult social issues that have an impact on cohesion; whilst
these are not unique to our city, we cannot assume that national government policy will address them.”
A public consultation period on the draft strategy will be launched from July 9 to August 20 2018.