The 21th century Great Britain is a richly diverse society and culture, and the British people belong to a melting pot of ethnic backgrounds, languages, cultures and religions.
The transformation of Britain into a multicultural society has happened rather quickly. There have been ethnic minorities in Britain for hundreds of years, but it was not until the last half of the 20th century that immigration to Britain really took of.
At the beginning of the 1950s, Britain’s “non-white” population numbered in the low thousands. By 1970 the number was approximately 1.4 million, and in 1990, the ethnic minority population had reached 3 million people.
Today there are more than four million “non-white” Britons, and there can be no doubt that Britain has become a multicultural society.
The immigrants are mostly concentrated in England, rather than being spread across the United Kingdom. In England, the ethnic minorities represent over 6 per cent of the entire population.
Over two thirds of the ethnic minority population of Britain is concentrated in the South-East of England, and the West Midlands. In cities like London, Leicester or Birmingham, multiculturalism is for certain a fact of life.
Most of the immigrants in Britain are from Asian and African colonies. The principal nationalities are Pakistani, Indian and Somalia.
The development of the multicultural Britain has though not been without controversies. In many peopls’s opinion, the development of the multicultural society is a natural consequence of Britain’s past as an Empire – people from countries that used to be ruled by Britain have chosen to come and live in the country. Many Britons think that multiculturalism is a good thing that has enriched their culture. Others believe that the influence of other cultures has been a mistake. Of course, racial prejudice exists in the UK. Many newcomers have had a problematic start, adapting to a...