Sierra Leoneans in the United Kingdom

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Sierra Leoneans in the United Kingdom
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.jpgIdris Elba.jpgReo-Coker, Nigel.jpg
Davies, Curtis.jpgGiggs PL trophy.jpgDualers wiki 2.jpg
Famous Sierra Leoneans in the United Kingdom:
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Idris Elba, Nigel Reo-Coker, Curtis Davies, Ryan Giggs, The Dualers
Total population
17,048 Sierra Leonean born (2001)[1]
Ancestral Numbers Unknown
Regions with significant populations
London, Sheffield, Liverpool, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester and Bristol.
Krio, English
Christianity · Sunni Islam · Atheism

Sierra Leoneans in the United Kingdom are citizens or residents of the United Kingdom who are of Sierra Leonean descent. In 2001, there were 17,048 Sierra Leonean-born residents of the UK.[1]

Sierra Leonean migration to the UK has a long history, with traders, chiefs, doctors and lawyers sending their children to be educated in Britain in increasing numbers from the mid-19th century.[2] Previously, in the late 18th century, the Province of Freedom was founded by free and freed Africans Americans, West Indians, and Black Britons from England who were transported to Sierra Leone and founded the Province of Freedom through the support of the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor. Their colony lasted from 1787-1789 when it was destroyed.[3]

There was a small Sierra Leonean population in the UK in the early part of the 20th century and Sierra Leoneans served in the British armed forces during World War II.[4] More recent migration from Sierra Leone to the UK has included refugees fleeing the Sierra Leone Civil War. One author states that some 17,000 Sierra Leonean refugees arrived in the UK between 1992 and 2003.[4] Smaller numbers of refugees arrived prior to the war, starting in the 1960s.[4] The Sierra Leonean migrant population includes numerous ethnic groups, including Sierra Leonean-Lebanese.[4] Most Sierra Leonean refugees in the UK live in London, with smaller numbers found in Manchester and other major cities.[4]


Many British traders in the Service of the Royal African Company went to Sierra Leone during the 17th and 18th centuries. Many had children with women from the Sherbro tribe and their descendants can be found in Sierra Leone today. Thus a number of Sierra Leoneans (particularly those from the Sherbro and Creole ethnic groups) can trace their ancestry back to British traders, colonial officials, and former slave traders.

Famous individuals[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Country-of-birth database". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  2. ^ Debrunner, Hans Werner (1979). Presence and Prestige: Africans in Europe. Basel: Basler Afrika Bibliographien. p. 368. 
  3. ^ "The Black Poor". Black Presence: Asian and Black History in Britain. National Archives. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Rutter, Jill (2003). Supporting Refugee Children in 21st Century Britain: A Compendium of Essential Information (revised ed.). Stoke on Trent: Trentham Books. pp. 260–263. ISBN 1-85856-292-9.