East Asians in the United Kingdom

East Asians in the United Kingdom
East and Southeast Asians in the United Kingdom
Matt Tong.jpgKazuo Ishiguro by Kubik.JPG
Vanessa Mae.jpgHerman Li.jpgGok Wan cropped.jpg
Top row:
Matt Tong, Kazuo Ishiguro,
Bottom row:Vanessa-Mae, Herman Li, Gok Wan
Total population
Over. 1,000,000
1.6% of the UK population

Chinese - 400,000[1]
Filipino - 200,000[2]
Vietnamese - 55,000[3]
Malaysian - 50,000[4]
Japanese - 50,000[5]
Singaporean - 40,000[6]
South Korean - 40,000[7]
Thai - 36,000[8]
Burmese - 10,000[9]
Other East Asians - Unknown
All figures except the Chinese, Filipino and Thai communities are from the 2001 UK Census, with that country as a reported birthplace (i.e. doesn't include British born people of East Asian origin)

Regions with significant populations
London, Belfast, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow, Edinburgh

British English, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, and many others


Buddhism, Christianity, East Asian religions, Islam, Non-religious, others

Related ethnic groups


East and Southeast Asians in the United Kingdom (also known as British East Asians and British Southeast Asians) are British citizens or full time residents of the United Kingdom who descended from East or Southeast Asia. They have been present in the country since the 17th century and primarily originate from countries and territories such as Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, the People's Republic of China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Singapore, Republic of China, Thailand and Vietnam. In British English, they are sometimes called "Oriental", since the term "Asian" is usually used for South Asians,[citation needed] although this term may be considered offensive.[10] In the 2001 British census, the term Chinese or Other is used.


Population history

The 2001 UK Census recorded 9,924 Burmese-born people residing in the UK.[9] The United Kingdom only had a small population of Filipinos until the late 20th century. The number started to grow in the 1970s when immigration restrictions on Commonwealth citizens meant that employers had to find workers from other countries.

The first settlement of Chinese people in the United Kingdom dates from the early 19th century. In particular were port cities such as Liverpool and London; particularly the Limehouse area in East London, where the first Chinatown was established in the UK and Europe.[citation needed] Today, most of the British Chinese are people or are descended from people who were themselves overseas Chinese when they entered the United Kingdom. The majority are from former British colonies, such as Hong Kong, Malaysia, Burma, Singapore, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and also other countries such as Vietnam. People from mainland China and Taiwan and their descendants constitute a relatively small proportion of the British Chinese community. Hong Kong people in the United Kingdom are people from Hong Kong resident in the United Kingdom, or British nationals of Hong Kong origin. At the time of the 2001 British census, 96,000 people born in Hong Kong were residing in the UK, while 2009 estimates suggest that 78,000 Hong Kong-born people are resident in the UK.

The first Japanese settled in the 1960s, mainly for business and economic purposes. In recent decades this number has been growing; including immigrants, students, and businessmen. Parts of the United Kingdom, in particular London, have significant Japanese populations; such as Golders Green and East Finchley North London. There are approximately 100,000 British Japanese, mostly settled in London and the surrounding South East, forming the largest Japanese community in Europe.[citation needed]

Large numbers of South Koreans began to settle in the U.K. in the 1980s, mostly near London; the highest concentration can be found in the town of New Malden, where estimates of the South Korean population range from 8,000 to as high as 20,000 people.[11][12][13] There are also a few North Koreans; they form the ninth-largest national group of asylum seekers, with a total of 850 applicants, including 245 applications in the first seven months of the year alone, thirteen times the number in all of 2007.[14]


A 2010 study of 137 Burmese migrant subjects based on self-administered questionnaires found that while general practitioner registration among Burmese studied was at a relatively high proportion of 80 per cent, actual GP utilisation during last episode of illness measured only 56.8 per cent. Instead, subjects often preferred self-medication. Through in-depth interviews with 11 subjects, the authors concluded that reasons for this preference included language issues, long wait times, and the immigration status of the subject.[15]

The National Health Service (NHS), hotel and catering industry and clothing manufacturers started to recruit Filipinos. According to the UK Department of Employment, 20,226 work permits were issued to Filipinos between 1968 and 1980. Some 47% of the work permits were issued for those who came to work in hospitals and welfare homes as hospital auxiliaries, catering workers and to nurse-trainees. The second biggest category of work permits were for chambermaids, followed by catering and waitering staff. The NHS started to recruit more Filipino nurses in the 1990s to make up a shortfall in local recruitment. A large number of Filipinos have also arrived as caregivers and work in public & private nursing homes.


See also


  1. ^ Chinese in England in 2006
  2. ^ "Filipino baby boom in the UK". Manila Times. http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2007/sept/24/yehey/opinion/20070924opi4.html. Retrieved 2007-07-04. "Profile of the Filipino Community in the UK: There is a significant Filipino population in the United Kingdom. Over the past twenty years, the number of Filipinos living and working in the UK has increased by more than 833% from roughly 18,000 in 1986 to more than 150,000 in 2006. Of thin number, about 70% live in Greater London area." 
  3. ^ "Vietnamese Community in Great Britain". Runnymede Trust. http://www.runnymedetrust.org/publications/108/74.html. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  4. ^ BBC NEWS | UK | Born Abroad | Malaysia
  5. ^ "Japan-UK relations". Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. October 2008. http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/europe/uk/index.html. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  6. ^ BBC NEWS | UK | Born Abroad | Singapore
  7. ^ 재외국민/단체 (Overseas citizens/groups). Seoul, South Korea: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 2008. http://mofaweb.mofat.go.kr/emate-k15/aboardmanage.nsf/viewNavCategory1PeopleArea?readform&start=1&skin=skin01&viewname=view01area&frames=1&category=구주지역. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  8. ^ Thais and British born Thais in the UK, 2006
  9. ^ a b "Country-of-birth database". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/18/23/34792376.xls. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  10. ^ Verkaik, Robert (13 May 2004). "Judges given new advice on political correctness". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/judges-given-new-advice-on-political-correctness-563204.html. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  11. ^ Yi, David (19 July 2008). "Livin' in London". KoreAm Journal. http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=ffd2e4d0bf54a05d72a2792a55135389&from=rss. Retrieved 2008-09-10 
  12. ^ Benedictus, Leo (21 January 2005). "'This restaurant is a little bit of Korea brought into a very English town': Koreans in New Malden". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/jan/21/britishidentity9. Retrieved 2008-09-10 
  13. ^ Marlow, Peter (2006) (PDF). Occupational Health and Safety Factors in the Korean Community. United Kingdom: Health and Safety Executive, Department for Work and Pensions. http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/hsl_pdf/2006/hsl0657.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-10 
  14. ^ Jang, Yong-hun (25 July 2008). "英, 한국 국적 탈북자 추방 방침: RFA (U.K. North Korean refugees with South Korean nationality to be expelled: Radio Free Asia)". Yonhap News. http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=100&oid=001&aid=0002191330. Retrieved 2008-09-10 
  15. ^ Aung, N. C.; Rechel, B.; Odermatt, P. (Oct 2010). "Access to and utilisation of GP services among Burmese migrants in London: a cross-sectional descriptive study". BMC Health Serv Res. 12: 285. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-285. PMC 2970605. PMID 20939904. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=2970605 

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