British diaspora

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A world map showing the estimated distribution and concentration of Britons by country, 2006.[1]
Legend:

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. About 1.2 million British citizens live in Australia.[2]

History of British diaspora[edit]

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.[3]

The British Empire was "built on waves of migration overseas by British people",[4] who left Great Britain, later the United Kingdom, and reached across the globe and permanently affected population structures in three continents.[3] 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.[3]

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.[4] 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.[4]

The British emigrated not only to parts of the British Empire but they went to settle in large numbers in America, particularly in the north. United States and Canada have large British-descended populations. In Latin America, Chile, Argentina and Brazil have large British-descended populations.

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".[3] By 1890, there were over 1.5 million further British-born people living in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.[3]

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.[5]

A 2006 publication from the Institute for Public Policy Research estimated 5.5 million British-born people lived outside the United Kingdom.[1]

In terms of outbound expatriation, in 2009 the United Kingdom had the most expatriates among developed OECD countries with more than three million British living abroad, followed by Germany and Italy.[6] On an annual basis, emigration from Britain has stood at about 400,000 per year for the past 10 years.[7]

British people by country[edit]

Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) estimates[edit]

In 2006, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a British think tank, published a report on the British diaspora, entitled Brits Abroad. 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 people, according to the IPPR's report:[1][8]

Rank Country Number of British residents, 2006 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 United States 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
5 Ireland 291,000 Europe
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 Britons in France
9 Germany 115,000 Europe
18 Portugal 60,000 Europe
10 Cyprus 59,000 Mid East
11 UAE 55,000 Mid East Britons in the United Arab Emirates
12 Pakistan 47,000 Asia Britons in Pakistan
13 Singapore 45,000 Asia Pacific
14 Switzerland 45,000 Europe
15 Israel 44,000 Mid East
16 Netherlands 44,000 Europe
17 Thailand 41,000 Asia Pacific
19 China (including Hong Kong) 36,000note Asia Pacific Britons in Hong Kong
20 Turkey 34,000 Eur/Mid East Britons in Turkey
21 India 32,000 Asia Anglo-Indian
22 Kenya 29,000 Africa
23 Belgium 28,000 Europe
24 Barbados 27,000 Caribbean
25 Saudi Arabia 26,000 Mid East
26 Italy 26,000 Europe
27 Jamaica 25,000 Caribbean
28 Japan 23,000 Asia Pacific Britons in Japan
29 Sweden 18,000 Europe
30 Greece 18,000 Europe
31 Nigeria 16,000 Africa
32 Norway 15,000 Europe
33 Egypt 14,000 Africa Britons in Egypt
34 Philippines 14,000 Asia Pacific
35 Malaysia 13,000 Asia Pacific
36 Trinidad and Tobago 11,000 Caribbean
37 Brazil 11,000 South America English Brazilian, Scottish Brazilian
38 Bahrain 11,000 Mid East
39 Gaza & West Bank 11,000 Mid East
40 Indonesia 11,000 Asia Pacific
41 Denmark 11,000 Europe
42 Bangladesh 9,200 Asia
43 Malta 9,000 Europe
44 Mexico 8,500 North America British Mexican, English Mexican, Irish Mexican, Scottish Mexican
45 Austria 8,500 Europe
46 Argentina 8,300 South America English Argentine, Irish Argentine, Welsh Argentine, Scottish Argentine
47 Qatar 8,100 Mid East
48 Oman 7,800 Mid East
49 Malawi 7,400 Africa
50 Venezuela 7,200 South America
51 Jordan 7,200 Mid East
52 Kuwait 7,100 Mid East
53 Czech Republic 6,800 Europe
54 Brunei 6,400 Asia Pacific
55 Macao 6,300 Asia Pacific
56 Zimbabwe 6,100 Africa
57 Russia 6,100 Europe
58 Ghana 5,900 Africa
59 Zambia 5,800 Africa
60 Poland 5,600 Europe
61 Tanzania 5,500 Africa
62 Luxembourg 5,500 Europe
63 Chile 5,200 South America British Chilean, English Chilean, Scottish Chilean, Irish Chilean, Welsh Chilean
64 Hungary 5,200 Europe
65 Botswana 5,000 Africa
66 Costa Rica 4,800 North America
67 Peru 4,600 South America British Peruvian
68 Romania 4,500 Europe
69 Sri Lanka 4,400 Asia Burgher people
70 Bahamas 4,100 Caribbean
71 Vietnam 3,800 Asia Pacific
72 Colombia 3,600 South America
73 Libya 3,600 Africa
74 Gibraltar 3,600 Europe
75 Yemen 3,400 Mid East
76 South Korea 3,400 Asia Pacific
77 Iran 2,900 Mid East
78 Antigua/Barbuda 2,800 Caribbean
79 Finland 2,800 Europe
80 Nepal 2,700 Asia
81 Grenada 2,500 Caribbean
82 Uganda 2,500 Africa
83 Ecuador 2,400 South America
84 Morocco 2,400 Africa
85 Azerbaijan 2,400 Europe
86 Swaziland 2,300 Africa
87 Guyana 2,200 South America
88 Lebanon 2,200 Mid East
89 Syria 2,200 Mid East
90 Belize 2,000 North America
91 Sierra Leone 2,000 Africa
92 Iraq 2,000 Mid East
93 Guatemala 1,900 North America
94 Dominica 1,800 Caribbean
95 Netherlands Antilles 1,800 Caribbean
96 Seychelles 1,800 Africa
97 Namibia 1,700 Africa
98 Mauritania 1,600 Africa
99 Serbia-Montenegro 1,600 Europe
100 St Lucia 1,500 Caribbean
101 Gambia 1,500 Africa
102 Mozambique 1,400 Africa
103 Tunisia 1,400 Africa
104 St Vincent/Grenadines 1,300 Caribbean
105 Ethiopia 1,300 Africa
106 Sudan 1,300 Africa
107 Ivory Coast 1,200 Africa
108 Dominican Republic 1,100 Caribbean
109 Panama 1,000 North America
110 British Virgin Islands 1,000 Caribbean
111 Cambodia 1,000 Asia Pacific
112 Honduras 950 North America
113 Macedonia 950 Europe
114 Papua New Guinea 940 Asia Pacific
115 Iceland 940 Europe
116 Falklands 930 South America
117 Afghanistan 900 Asia
118 Ukraine 900 Europe
119 Croatia 890 Europe
120 St Kitts & Nevis 880 Caribbean
121 Bulgaria 800 Europe
122 Kazakhstan 770 Asia
123 Estonia 750 Europe
124 Mauritius 740 Africa
125 Slovakia 740 Europe
126 Uruguay 690 South America
127 Angola 650 Africa
128 Algeria 630 Africa
129 Bermuda 600 Caribbean
130 Bosnia-Herzegovina 540 Europe
131 Fiji 500 Asia Pacific
132 Bolivia 470 South America
133 Burma 460 Asia Pacific Anglo-Burmese
134 Nicaragua 410 North America
135 El Salvador 390 North America
136 DR Congo 390 Africa
137 Latvia 370 Europe
138 Lesotho 350 Africa
139 Mongolia 340 Asia Pacific
140 Paraguay 330 South America
141 Slovenia 330 Europe
142 Monaco 320 Europe
143 Cameroon 300 Africa
144 Madagascar 300 Africa
145 Lithuania 290 Europe
146 Vanuatu 270 Asia Pacific
147 Anguilla 260 Caribbean
148 Senegal 220 Africa
149 Andorra 210 Europe
150 Tajikistan 200 Asia
151 Georgia 200 Europe
152 Tonga 190 Asia Pacific
153 Albania 190 Europe
154 Cuba 160 Caribbean
155 Montserrat 160 Caribbean
156 Uzbekistan 130 Asia
157 Cayman Islands 110 Caribbean
158 Djibouti 110 Africa
- Greenland <100 North America
- Haiti <100 Caribbean
- Puerto Rico <100 Caribbean
- Turks & Caicos <100 Caribbean
- US Virgin Islands <100 Caribbean
- Surinam <100 South America
- Benin <100 Africa
- Burkina Faso <100 Africa
- Cape Verde <100 Africa
- Central African Republic <100 Africa
- Chad <100 Africa
- Congo <100 Africa
- Guinea <100 Africa
- Liberia <100 Africa
- Niger <100 Africa
- Rwanda <100 Africa
- Somalia <100 Africa
- St Helena <100 Africa
- Togo <100 Africa
- Bhutan <100 Asia
- Kyrgyzstan <100 Asia
- Maldives <100 Asia
- Turkmenistan <100 Asia
- Cook Islands <100 Asia Pacific
- French Polynesia <100 Asia Pacific
- Guam <100 Asia Pacific
- Kiribati <100 Asia Pacific
- New Caledonia <100 Asia Pacific
- Norfolk Island <100 Asia Pacific
- North Korea <100 Asia Pacific
- Samoa <100 Asia Pacific
- Solomon Islands <100 Asia Pacific
- Taiwan <100 Asia Pacific
- Tuvalu <100 Asia Pacific
- Armenia <100 Europe
- Belarus <100 Europe
- Faroe Islands <100 Europe
- Liechtenstein <100 Europe
- Moldova <100 Europe
- San Marino <100 Europe

^ Note: A different estimate puts China (incl. Hong Kong) ahead with a population of 3,750,000 Britons,[9][10] 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).[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c 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. 
  2. ^ "British High Commission Canberra". GOV.UK. 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Ember et al 2004, p. 47.
  4. ^ a b c Marshall 2001, p. 254.
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Expatriates worldwide". JustLanded.com. 2009. 
  7. ^ "Working Abroad". whichoffshore.com. 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  8. ^ "Brits Abroad". BBC News – Special Reports. BBC. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ [1] [www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141202/debtext/141202-0002.htm]
Bibliography
  • 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.