Census: 1 in 8 in England now immigrants

Dec. 12, 2012 at 1:21 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- One in eight residents of England and Wales in 2011 was an immigrant with Indians the largest group, the Office of National Statistics reported Tuesday.

India has replaced Ireland as the No. 1 homeland of new arrivals, The Guardian reported. Poland is in second place, spurred by its admission to the European Union, and Pakistan in third.

The number of people describing themselves as "white British" dropped from 87.5 percent in the 2001 census to 80.5 percent. About half of the immigrants said they had arrived in Britain since 2001.

The census also found a sharp drop in religious identification. One in four said they had no religion -- and the number calling themselves Jedi Knights, presumably as a joke, also fell.

With more than 33 million people, or 59 percent of the population, Christianity remained the majority religion. Islam was in second place with 2.7 million adherents or 4.8 percent of the population, up more than 1 million in 10 years.

The census found 817,000 Hindus, 423,000 Sikhs, 263,000 Jews and 248,000 Buddhists.

Fewer than half the population was married while many more were cohabiting without marriage than in 2001. The number of single parents was also up.

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