United Kingdom

Number of Muslims in UK up 44% in a decade

The Muslim population of the UK has risen 44 percent in a decade, according to the latest census figures published by the Office for National Statistics. Of the country’s total population, 6.5 percent — 3.9 million people — are adherents of Islam.

In figures showing that the UK has diversified apace since the last census in 2011, London is now two-thirds ethnic minority, while other major cities such as Leicester, Luton and Birmingham have become home to “minority majorities,” driven by significant increases in Asian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and East Africa.

It also found that Punjabi and Urdu have become the fifth and sixth most common languages spoken in the UK, with 291,000 and 270,000 speakers respectively, making up around 1 percent of the total population.

The deputy director of the census, Jon Wroth-Smith, said: “Today’s data highlights the increasingly multicultural society we live in. The percentage of people identifying their ethnic group as ‘White: English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British,’ continues to decrease.”

Worth-Smith continued: “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 one in 10 identify this way in the North East.”

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