Ghanaians in the United Kingdom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ghanaians in the United Kingdom
(Ghanaian British/British Ghanaians/Ghanaian Britons)
Total population
Ghanaian-born residents
95,666 (2011 Census)
Regions with significant populations
London, Manchester, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Swansea[1]
English, Twi, Fante, Ga, Ewe, Dagbani, Hausa, others
Primarily Christianity, Muslim
Related ethnic groups

Ghanaians in the United Kingdom (also Ghanaian British[2] or British Ghanaian[3]) are Ghanaians of British descent or Ghanaian immigrants to the United Kingdom and their descendants. The 2001 census recorded 56,112 people born in Ghana living in the UK, and by 2011 this figure was 95,666.



Although modern Ghana gained independence from British colonization in 1957 and was the first African country to do so, people from that region have been arriving and living in Britain since at least the mid-16th century.[4] At that time there were many Africans living and working in London, some of whom were based at the royal court. Even Shakespeare, it is rumoured, sought the company of an African lady, Lucy Morgan.[4]

In 1555 John Lok, a London merchant and Alderman, brought five Africans from the town of Sharma, in what is today Ghana, to London to be trained as interpreters in order to assist England’s trade with the western coast of Africa. From that time onwards economic links were established between West Africa and England.[4] The English were most concerned with acquiring gold from the region that came to be known as the Gold Coast.[4] Pepper and other spices were also much in demand in Europe.[4]

Besides a number of West Africans arriving in Britain during the 16th–18th centuries, there were Britons who went to the Gold Coast and married Ghanaian women. Some Ghanaians have Scottish and English ancestry,[4] since a number of Scots and Englishmen married in local customary ceremonies and had children who became successful, such as Gold Coast's James Bannerman and Robert William Wallace Bruce.[4] Most Scottish and English settlers left the Gold Coast after it won independence.


By the 1980s and early 1990s, 10 to 20 per cent of Ghanaians were living outside Ghana, with many migrating to Australia, Canada, Netherlands, United States and the UK from the 1960s to 1980s due to economic conditions at those times in Ghana.[5]


Film and television[edit]

Ghanaian British actors such as Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Idris Elba and Peter Mensah have successfully crossed over into the international market and primarily work in Hollywood.


Ghanaian music and musicians have a strong influence on the overall Ghanaian British community as well as British music in general, from traditional Ghanaian music to Afrobeat, hip-hop and grime, the UK has produced many fine artists. The Ghana Music Awards UK began in 2002 with an aim to promote and award the best achieving Ghanaian British musicians.[6] By the 1980s, the UK was experiencing a boom in African music as Ghanaians and others moved there, immediately they made their presence felt in the form of local gigs and carnivals, and to this day Ghanaians and other African groups prevail as the most successful ethnic groups in the UK R&B and rap scene. Artiste such as Stormzy, Dizzee Rascal and Fuse ODG are a household names in the UK and have won numerous awards, Tinchy Stryder, Donae'o, Oxide & Neutrino, AbraCadabra, Sway DaSafo, Lethal Bizzle and The Mitchell Brothers have also received numerous nominations and awards (including the MOBO Awards, Mercury Prize and BET Awards). Another notable Ghanaian British musician who chose to stray away from the typical hip-hop scene is Rhian Benson, who now lives in Los Angeles and is noted for being a Singer-songwriter, composer, instrumentalist and record producer who performs mainly jazz and soul music.



Miss Ghana UK is a beauty pageant that has been up and running since 1995, it aims to highlight Ghana's rich cultural heritage. Attendances per show have soared to over 3,000 and the competition is seen as one of the most important events in Ghanaian British calendar uniting Ghanaians across the UK.[7]

The Official Ghana's Independence Day Event is one of London’s most successful and most-attended celebration of the African nation’s independence. The event was founded by Abrantee Boateng also known as DJ Abrantee and business partners, Alordia and Edmond in 2000.[8]



The 2001 UK Census recorded 56,112 Ghanaian-born people living in the UK.[9] The 2011 UK Census recorded 93,312 Ghanaian-born residents in England, 534 in Wales,[10] 1,658 in Scotland,[11] and 162 in Northern Ireland.[12]


Ghanaians in England reside in the London boroughs of Waltham Forest, Barnet, Haringey, Brent, Havering, Hounslow and Croydon.[1] Specific districts of concentration include Walthamstow, Pollards Hill, Tottenham, Hendon and Hounslow. Outside London, there are also sizable populations in Reading, Berkshire, Liverpool, Milton Keynes, Southampton, Bracknell, Manchester, and Birmingham.[1][13][14] Ghanaians in Wales reside in Cardiff and Swansea.[1] Ghanaians in Scotland reside in Glasgow.[15][16]


63.70% of recent Ghanaian immigrants to the UK of working age are employed (compared to 73.49% for British born people regardless of race or ethnic background). 17.19% of recent immigrants are low earners, which is pay less than £149.20 a week (compared to 21.08% for British-born people), and 3.13% are high earners, which is more than £750 per week (compared to 6.98% for British-born people). The percentages for settled immigrants are slightly different, 69.51% are employed, with 15.04% being low earners and 5.31% high earners.[17]

Notable individuals[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ghana Mapping Exercise" (PDF). London: International Organization for Migration. April 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Ghanaian-british Cultural Network
  3. ^ British Ghanaian
  4. ^ a b c d e f g History of Ghanaians in London Archived 2008-09-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Herbert, Joanna; Datta, Kavita; Evans, Yara; May, Jon; McIlwaine, Cathy; Wills, Jane (November 2006). "Multiculturalism at work: The experiences of Ghanaians in London" (PDF). Queen Mary, University of London. p. 6. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  6. ^ The 4th Ghana Music Awards UK 2006
  7. ^ The Miss Ghana UK Website Archived 2009-01-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Ghana's Official Independence Celebration. Choice FM. Retrieved Friday, September 23, 2011.
  9. ^ "Country-of-birth database". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Archived from the original on 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  10. ^ "2011 Census: QS203EW Country of birth (detailed), local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "Country of birth (detailed)" (PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  12. ^ "Country of Birth - Full Detail: QS206NI". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  13. ^ "Ghanaians in London."
  14. ^ Diaspora Report, Oxford University Archived 2006-12-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Ghana flag flies high in Ayr". 9 February 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  16. ^ "Ghana Flag Flies High in Ayr". 9 February 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2012. [permanent dead link]
  17. ^ BBC Born abroad - Ghanaian Economics


  • Herbert, Joanna; May, Jon; Wills, Jane; Datta, Kavita; Evans, Yara; McIlwaine, Cathy (2008). "Multicultural living? Experiences of everyday racism among Ghanaian migrants in London". European Urban and Regional Studies. 15 (2): 103–117. doi:10.1177/0969776407087544. 

External links[edit]