Fewer residents in Bedford now identify as English

It’s significantly down from 10 years ago
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Fewer residents in Bedford identify as English than a decade ago as more opt for a British identity, new census figures show.

Jon Wroth-Smith, census deputy director, said the recent data highlights that we are living in an "increasingly multi-cultural society" across England and Wales, with fewer people saying they belong to a particular nation.

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The figures from the Office for National Statistics show 15% of people in Bedford identified as English only when the census took place last year, down significantly from 55% in 2011.

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Fewer residents of Bedford identify as Christian

And 56% selected British only in the recent survey while 22% chose the identity a decade ago.

Overall, about 87% of people in Bedford chose any UK identity in 2021, down slightly from 89% in 2011.

In Bedford 23,263 residents (13%) identified as Asian or Asian British and 9,848 (5%) selected black or black British as their ethnicity. A further 8,586 (5%) said they were mixed ethnicity.

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About 76% of people identified as white in Bedford in 2021, down from 81% in the previous census.

Additionally, 64% identified as white English, Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish or British – falling from 71% in the previous census.

Mr Wroth-Smith said: "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."

Across England and Wales, 90% usual residents identified with at least one UK national identity – a slight decrease from 92% in 2011.