Filipinos in the United Kingdom

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Filipinos in the United Kingdom
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Total population
Filipino-born residents
40,118 (2001 Census)
112,000 (2009 ONS estimate)
Filipinos regardless of birthplace
200,000 (2007 estimate)
Regions with significant populations
London, English Midlands, North West England, South East England
British English, Regional Filipino Languages
Predominantly Roman Catholicism
Protestantism · Buddhism · Islam · Atheism
Related ethnic groups
Filipino people, Overseas Filipinos

Filipinos in the United Kingdom are British citizens or immigrants who are of Filipino ancestry.


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 National Health Service (NHS), hotel and catering industry and clothing manufacturers started to recruit Filipinos,.[1] 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 and private nursing homes.



The 2001 UK Census recorded 40,118 people born in the Philippines.[2] The Office for National Statistics estimates that, in 2009, the equivalent figure was 112,000.[3]

According to the Manila Times, there were approximately 200,000 Filipinos living in the United Kingdom in 2007.[4] In 2007, 10,840 Filipinos gained British citizenship, the second largest number of any nation after India,[5] compared to only 1,385 in 2001.[6]


The largest Filipino community in the United Kingdom is in and around London, based around Earl's Court. Other towns and cities with significant Filipino communities include Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds and Barrow-in-Furness, which is home to an extremely successful Filipino community, as well as being the country's largest for a town of its size.[7] Fiestas are held during July and August in various cities throughout the UK.


According to the Institute for Public Policy Research, 85.4 per cent of new immigrant Filipinos to the UK of working age are employed (as opposed to inactive - a category which includes students - or unemployed), with 12.8% being low earners (people making less than £149.20 a week – half the UK median wage) and 0.61 per cent are high earners (people earning more than £750 a week). 77.91 per cent of settled Filipino immigrants to the UK are employed, with 15.38 per cent being low earners and 1.28 per cent being high earners.[8]

Culture and community[edit]

Community groups[edit]

The stage at Barrio Fiesta at London 2009.

Filipino community groups in the UK include: The Centre for Filipinos, a Filipino advocacy and outreach charity;[9] Lahing Kayumanggi dance company focusing on traditional Filipino dance;[10] EA Doce Pares, an Eskrima/Arnis school promoting and educating the community on the Philippine warrior arts and culture;[11] Phil-UK, a group for young and second-generation Filipinos in the UK;[12] Philippine Generations, a Second Generation led not for profit Organisation promoting the Philippines, its people and culture in the UK;[13] The Philippine Centre, a charity promoting culture and community spirit. a[14] One Filipino is a group supporting local Filipino organisations in the United Kingdom and also to promote the campaign towards good governance and Filipino empowerment.[15]

The 'Barrio Fiesta sa London', a two-day annual festival formerly held in Lampton Park, Hounslow, West London, is perhaps the best known and largest gathering for the community in the UK, which was launched in 1985. It is organised and run by The Philippine Centre but draws Filipino community groups and businesses from all over the UK. The Barrio Fiesta sa London moved location in 2013 and is now held in Apps Court Farm, Walton-on-Thames.

See also[edit]

Philippines - United Kingdom relations


  1. ^ Hinabing Gunita (Woven Memories). 
  2. ^ "Country-of-birth database". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  3. ^ "Estimated population resident in the United Kingdom, by foreign country of birth (Table 1.3)". Office for National Statistics. September 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Filipino baby boom in the United Kingdom". Manila Times. 2007-09-24. Retrieved 2009-02-22. [dead link]
  5. ^ Freelove Mensah, John (2008-05-20). "Persons granted British citizenship, United Kingdom, 2007" (PDF). Home Office Statistical Bulletin (Home Office). 05/08: 20. Retrieved 2009-02-22. 
  6. ^ Dudley, Jill; Hesketh, Krystina (2002-06-02). "Persons granted British citizenship, United Kingdom, 2001" (PDF). Home Office Statistical Bulletin (Home Office). 06/02: 16. Retrieved 2009-02-22. 
  7. ^ Reuben Abraham (2 February 2007). "Filipinos flourish in Barrow". BBC. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  8. ^ "How different immigrant groups perform". Born Abroad. BBC. 2005-09-07. Retrieved 2009-02-22. 
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External links[edit]