The British diaspora consists of British people and their descendants who emigrated from the present-day United Kingdom, or people who have acquired British Nationality through colonisation. The diaspora is concentrated in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Hong Kong, as well as parts of the Caribbean and continental Europe, such as Spain. A 2006 publication from the Institute for Public Policy Research estimated 5.5 million British-born people lived outside of the United Kingdom.
According to The Foreign and Commonwealth Office there were 13.1 million British nationals living abroad in 2004–05. These figures are taken from the consular annual returns from overseas posts. There is no requirement for UK citizens to register with British missions overseas and therefore these figures are based on the most reliable information that can be obtained e.g. from host government official statistics.
After the Age of Discovery the various peoples of the British Isles, and especially the English, were among the earliest and by far the largest communities to emigrate out of Europe, and the British Empire's expansion during the first half of the 19th century saw an extraordinary dispersion of the British people, with particular concentrations in Australasia and North America.
The British Empire was "built on waves of migration overseas by British people", who left Great Britain, later the United Kingdom, and reached across the globe and permanently affected population structures in three continents. As a result of the British colonisation of the Americas, what became the United States was "easily the greatest single destination of emigrant British", but in the Federation of Australia the British experienced a birth rate higher than anything seen before, resulting in the displacement of indigenous Australians.
In colonies such as Southern Rhodesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jamaica, Barbados, British East Africa and the Cape Colony, permanently resident British communities were established and while never more than a numerical minority these Britons exercised a dominant influence upon the culture and politics of those lands. In Australia, Canada and New Zealand people of British origin came to constitute the majority of the population contributing to these states becoming integral to the Anglosphere.
The British emigrated not only to parts of the British Empire but they went to settle in large numbers in Latin America, particularly the Southern Cone. Uruguay and Argentina have large British-descended populations, including a large Welsh population in Patagonia. More a half a million of Chileans have British ancestry and Chilean Culture had been anglicised in the 19th century.
The United Kingdom Census 1861 estimated the size of the overseas British to be around 2.5 million, but concluded that most of these were "not conventional settlers" but rather "travellers, merchants, professionals, and military personnel". By 1890, there were over 1.5 million further British-born people living in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
British people by country
Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) estimates
|This article is outdated. (March 2015)|
The following table lists the estimated number of British people (defined as people who are British Subjects, such as British citizen, British National Overseas or British Overseas Citizen) living overseas in countries with more than 100 British:
|Rank||Country||Number of British residents||Region(s)||Group(s)|
|1||Australia||1,300,000||Asia Pacific||Anglo-Celtic Australian, Cornish Australian, English Australian, Scottish Australian, Welsh Australian|
|2||Spain||761,000||Europe||Britons in Spain|
|3||USA||678,000||North America||British American, Cornish American, English American, Welsh American, Scottish American, Scotch-Irish American|
|4||Canada||603,000||North America||English Canadian, Scottish Canadian, Welsh Canadian, Cornish Canadian|
|6||New Zealand||215,000||Asia Pacific||British New Zealander, Scottish New Zealander|
|7||South Africa||212,000||Africa||British diaspora in Africa|
|8||France||200,000||Europe (and other continents)||Britons in France|
|11||UAE||55,000||Mid East||Britons in the United Arab Emirates|
|12||Pakistan||47,000||Asia||Britons in Pakistan|
|19||China (including Hong Kong)||36,000note||Asia Pacific||Britons in Hong Kong|
|20||Turkey||34,000||Eur/Mid East||Britons in Turkey|
|25||Saudi Arabia||26,000||Mid East|
|28||Japan||23,000||Asia Pacific||Britons in Japan|
|33||Egypt||14,000||Africa||Britons in Egypt|
|36||Trinidad and Tobago||11,000||Caribbean|
|37||Brazil||11,000||South America||English Brazilian, Scottish Brazilian|
|39||Gaza & West Bank||11,000||Mid East|
|46||Argentina||8,300||South America||English Argentine, Irish Argentine, Welsh Argentine, Scottish Argentine|
|63||Chile||5,200||South America||British Chilean, English Chilean, Scottish Chilean, Irish Chilean, Welsh Chilean|
|66||Costa Rica||4,800||North America|
|67||Peru||4,600||South America||British Peruvian|
|69||Sri Lanka||4,400||Asia||Burgher people|
|76||South Korea||3,400||Asia Pacific|
|110||British Virgin Islands||1,000||Caribbean|
|114||Papua New Guinea||940||Asia Pacific|
|120||St Kitts & Nevis||880||Caribbean|
|135||El Salvador||390||North America|
|-||Turks & Caicos||<100||Caribbean|
|-||US Virgin Islands||<100||Caribbean|
|-||Central African Republic||<100||Africa|
|-||Cook Islands||<100||Asia Pacific|
|-||French Polynesia||<100||Asia Pacific|
|-||New Caledonia||<100||Asia Pacific|
|-||Norfolk Island||<100||Asia Pacific|
|-||North Korea||<100||Asia Pacific|
|-||Solomon Islands||<100||Asia Pacific|
^ Note: A different estimate puts China (incl. Hong Kong) ahead with a population of 3,750,000 Britons, most of which are those in Hong Kong who have continued to possess British nationality, particularly the British nationals (overseas) status, which numbered 3.4 million, through their connection with the former crown colony (see British nationality and Hong Kong for further details).
List of countries by population of British heritage
|Country||Population||% of country||Criterion|
|British in North America|
|British immigration to Mexico||45,000||0.03%|
|British Latin American|
|English people in Paraguay||?|
|British in Europe|
|British Overseas Territories||247,899||14.5%|
|British migration to Spain||297,229||0.5%|
|British in Portugal||38,000||3,8%|
|British in Asia|
|Britons in United Arab Emirates||240,000||2.5%|
|Britons in Pakistan||47,000||0.01%|
|Britons in Hong Kong||36,000||0.4%|
|Britons in Turkey||34,000||0.02%|
|Britons in Japan||34,000||0.02%|
|British in Oceania|
|European New Zealanders||2,425,278||74%|
|British in Africa|
|White South African||2,000,000||3.5%||
40% speaks English from a wider White South African ethnic group. 
|White people in Kenya||67,000||0.2%|
|White people in Zimbabwe||28,732||0.2%|
|Total in Diaspora||~92000000|
- Sriskandarajah, Dhananjayan; Drew, Catherine (2006). Brits Abroad: Mapping the scale and nature of British emigration. London: Institute for Public Policy Research. ISBN 1-86030-307-2.
- Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster. "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 22 Mar 2006 (pt 15)". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-12.
- Ember et al 2004, p. 47.
- Marshall 2001, p. 254.
- "Brits Abroad". BBC News – Special Reports. BBC. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- "The Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons put the size of the British expatriate community in Hong Kong at over 3 million". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-12.
- "The FCO had the figure for Hong Kong and China combined at 3,752,031 : Both figures cover all British nationals, including those who are not British citizens.". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-12.
-  [www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141202/debtext/141202-0002.htm]
- See: British American – The United States American Community Survey reported in 2009 that 40,234,652 Americans identified themselves as having English,Scottish, Welsh and Ulster-Scottish ancestry. 1,172,050 reported to have British ancestry. 2009 American Community Survey.[dead link]
- Brits Abroad: Country-by-country, BBC News, 11 December 2006, retrieved 24 May 2009
- Statistics Canada reported in 2006 that 6,570,015 Canadians identified themselves as having English ancestry, 4,719,850 Scottish, 440,965 Welsh and 403,915 from the British Isles (other than English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish). See:
Statistics Canada (2006), "Ethnic origins, 2006 counts, for Canada, provinces and territories", Canada 2006 Census (statcan.ca), retrieved 27 May 2009
- BBC - The Cornish in Mexico
- Cornish Mexican Cultural Society 2008 visit
- A Mexican Wave from Cornwall - Cornish World magazine
- Chavez, Lydia (23 June 1985). "Fare of the country: A bit of Britain in Argentina". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2009.
- Recenseamento do Brazil. Realizado em 1 de Setembro de 1920. População (1a parte). População do Brazil por Estados, municipios e districtos, segundo o sexo, o estado civil e a nacionalidade. (1926) – pages 312 to 317
- "Historia de Chile, Británicos y Anglosajones en Chile durante el siglo XIX". Retrieved 2010-01-11.
- "Brits in South America". BBC News. 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
- "Brits Abroad". BBC. Retrieved 2011-12-03.
- Erwin Dopf. "Inmigración británica al Perú". Espejodelperu.com.pe. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
- See the article entitled British overseas territories.
- Erwin Dopf. "Présentation du Royaume-Uni". diplomatie.gouv.fr. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
- The Anglo-Irish, Fidelma Maguire, University College Cork and Donnchadh Ó Corráin
- The most popular British emigration destinations, local.live.com, 13 April 2007, retrieved 24 May 2009
- Winder, Robert (2004). Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain. London: Abacus. pp. 360–62. ISBN 0-349-11566-4.
- "Brits Abroad: Portugal". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-03-24.
- "The other special relationship: the UAE and the UK". The National. Abu Dhabi. 2010-11-21. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
- Brits Abroad: Asia, BBC News, 11 December 2006, retrieved 24 May 2009
- Interactive Data Dissemination Service, Hong Kong Census, 2011
- Brits Abroad: BBC
- "Treaty Bodies Database – Document – State Party Report" United Nations Human Rights Website. April 29, 1996.
- see Finding George Orwell by Emma Larkin
- "A2 : Population by ethnic group according to districts, 2012". Census of Population & Housing, 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka.
- "(Northern Ireland United Kingdom of Great Britain) United Kingdom (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)" (in Japanese). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- A. Babacan, S. Singh, Migration, Belonging and the Nation State, Cambridge Scholars Pub., 2010, p. 16
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2011 showed that 7,238,500 Australians reported having English ancestry, and 1,792,600 reported having Scottish ancestry. The most commonly reported ancestry was English (36.1% of the population). Scottish ancestry was reported by 8.3% of the population. See:
Australian Bureau of Statistics (21 June 2012), Reflecting a Nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012–2013, abs.gov.au, retrieved 1 May 2014 In 2006, 63% of the population had reported British ancestry. See: Mansouri, Fethi, and Michele Lobo, Migration, Citizenship, and Intercultural Relations: Looking Through the Lens of Social Inclusion. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2011, p.30
- 2013 Census results: New Zealand
- Statistics New Zealand (4 February 2009), QuickStats About Culture and Identity, stats.govt.nz, archived from the original on 19 February 2008, retrieved 18 May 2009
- "Mid-year population estimates 2014" (PDF). Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Brits Abroad: Africa, BBC News, 11 December 2006, retrieved 24 May 2009
- Government, Namibia. "Demographics of Namibia". Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Zimbabwe: Treatment of white Zimbabweans who are not farmers and available state protection". UNHCR. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
According to an article in World Affairs, a bi-monthly international affairs journal published in Washington, DC (World Affairs n.d.), there were 296,000 resident white Zimbabweans in 1975, 120,000 in 1999, and 30,000 in 2010 (World Affairs 1 May 2010).
- Richards 2004, p. 255.
- Population By Country of Birth and Nationality tables January 2013 to December 2013. Retrieved 04_11_2014
- 2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in England and Wales, Accessed 13 June 2014
- Ember, Carol R.; Ember, Melvin; Skoggard, Ian A. (2004). Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World. Springer. ISBN 978-0-306-48321-9.
- Marshall, Peter James (2001). The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00254-7.