Scotland 'becoming more ethnically diverse'

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Scotland is becoming more ethnically diverse, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity, co-hosted by the universities of Glasgow and Manchester, analysed recent censuses in Scotland.

They found that one in six Scottish households, which contain two or more people, is now multi-ethnic.

The 2011 census contained 850,000 people who were not identified as being "white Scottish", however, almost half of these were "white: other British".

This category of ethnicity numbered 417,000, up 10% in the decade to 2011, with about three-quarters of these being born in England.

Other minority groups have seen "considerable increases" in size, according to researchers, including the African, Chinese, Pakistani and Indian populations.

Researchers said the populations of some minority groups had increased "significantly faster" in Scotland than in England, but from a much lower starting point.

The African, Indian and Caribbean populations were examples of groups in this category.

Overall, experts found that diversity had increased in every local authority across Scotland.

In Glasgow and Edinburgh, every council ward saw an increase in diversity, the study found.

'Diversity spread'

Dr Andrew Smith, senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Glasgow, said: "What our research in the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity reveals is a picture of growing diversity within Scotland, and of diversity spread across different areas of the country.

"The presence of the large 'other British' minority reminds us that ethnicity is not a matter of colour, but might be used to describe different aspects of our background and sense of who we are.

"What the analysis also reveals is that Scotland's growing diversity is not producing 'polarised islands of different groups' but a 'mosaic of differently mixed areas."

The Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The analysis is produced as part of a series prepared at the universities of Glasgow and Manchester with support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

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