ne in 10 households in England and Wales contain people of two or more ethnicities, according to census data revealing an “increasingly multi-cultural society”.
Around 2.5 million households (10.1%) contained members from at least two different ethnic groups in 2021, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
This is an increase from 8.7% in 2011, the ONS said.
It comes as 81.7% of residents in England and Wales described themselves as white on the day of the 2021 census, down from 86.0% a decade earlier.
Within this group, 74.4% (44.4 million) identified their ethnic group as “English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British” – down from 80.5% (45.1 million) in 2011, and from 87.5% (45.5 million) in 2001.
The second most common ethnic group was “Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh” at 9.3% – up from 7.5% in 2011.
Among the three largest changes was the rise in the number of people identifying as “White: Other White”, which stood at 3.7 million (6.2%) in 2021, up from 2.5 million (4.4%) in 2011.
The largest groups in this category include “White: Polish”, with 614,000 (1.0%) of the overall population identifying this way, and “White: Romanian”, with 343,000 people (0.6%) identifying this way.
Other significant changes include numbers identifying their ethnic group as “Other ethnic group: Any other ethnic group”, which rose to 924,000 (1.6%), up from 333,000 (0.6%) in 2011.
And people ticking the “Black, Black British, Black Welsh, Caribbean or African: African” category rose to 1.5 million (2.5%), up from 990,000 (1.8%) in 2011.
The ONS said many factors may be contributing to the changing picture, including differing patterns of ageing, fertility, mortality, and migration.
In London, which remains the most ethnically diverse region of England, 3.2 million people (36.8%) identified as “White: English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British” in 2021, down from 3.7 million (44.9%) in 2011.
But despite the ethnically diverse nature of society, 9 in 10 people across England and Wales still identify with a UK national identity, with nearly 8 in 10 doing so in London
Census deputy director Jon Wroth-Smith said. “Today’s data highlights the increasingly multi-cultural society we live in.
“The percentage of people identifying their ethnic group as ‘White: English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British’, continues to decrease.
“Whilst this remains the most common response to the ethnic group question, the number of people identifying with another ethnic group continues to increase.
“However, the picture varies depending on where you live. London remains the most ethnically diverse region of England, where just under two-thirds identify with an ethnic minority group, whereas under 1 in 10 identify this way in the North East.
“But despite the ethnically diverse nature of society, 9 in 10 people across England and Wales still identify with a UK national identity, with nearly 8 in 10 doing so in London.”