London and Manchester are not ‘minority white’ cities

30 November 2022
What was claimed

London, Manchester and Birmingham are now all minority white cities according to new census data.

Our verdict

This claim does not factor in people who identified as white but not white British, and so is not true for either London or Manchester. It is accurate for Birmingham, where 48.6% identified as white.

According to the ONS figures, London, Manchester and Birmingham are now all minority white cities.

Whites a minority in London, Birmingham and Manchester

The Telegraph, 30 November 2022.

It has been widely claimed that new census data shows London, Manchester and Birmingham—England’s three biggest cities—are now all “minority white”. 

On Tuesday, former politician and GB News presenter Nigel Farage tweeted “According to the [Office for National Statistics] figures, London, Manchester and Birmingham are now all minority white cities”, alongside a short video in which he repeated the claim. 

Wednesday’s edition of the Telegraph included the headline “Whites a minority in London, Birmingham and Manchester”, though the article did go on to clarify it was referring to people who identified as “White British”. 

The newspaper also tweeted: “Britain’s two largest cities are now minority white, the census has revealed” on Tuesday, with a link to a story about census data for London and Birmingham. 

Similar claims have also appeared on other social media sites, such as Facebook

It is not true that all three cities are now “minority white”. While people identifying as “White English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Ireland or British” in the 2021 census were in the minority in London, Birmingham and Manchester, this does not account for other groups who also identified as white. 

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Majority of people in London and Manchester identify as white

According to the data for the entire London region, accounting for 8.8 million people, 37% of people identified as “White English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British”.

But 53.8% of people identified as white in total, including those who identified as “White Irish”, “White Gypsy or Irish Traveller”, “White Roma” or “Other White”. 

Meanwhile in Manchester, 56.8% of people identified as white when taking all white ethnic categories into account, while 48.7% identified as “White English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British”.

This figure, however, only covers the local authority area of Manchester which includes about 550,000 people. 

If we look at the Greater Manchester area, which includes around 2.9 million people (making it one of the largest cities in England) 76.4% of people identified as white across all white ethnic groups, while 71.3% of people identified as white British. 

Minority of people in Birmingham identified as white 

Claims that Birmingham is “minority white” according to the most recent census are correct. 

The data shows that 48.6% of people identified as white across all white ethnic groups, while 42.9% of people identified as “White English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British”. 

Full Fact has contacted Mr Farage and the Telegraph for comment. 

Image courtesy of Christian Battaglia

We took a stand for good information.

After we published this fact check, we contacted the Telegraph and Nigel Farage to request corrections regarding these claims.

The Telegraph plans to publish a correction.

Mr Farage did not respond. 

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