Romanians in the United Kingdom
83,168 (2011 Census)
427,000 (2019 ONS estimate)
|Regions with significant populations|
|London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester|
|Romanian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Protestant, Jewish|
|Related ethnic groups|
Romanians in the United Kingdom refers to the phenomenon of Romanian people moving to the United Kingdom as citizens or non-citizen immigrants, along with British citizens of Romanian ancestry. The number of Romanian-born people resident in the UK has risen from 83,168 at the time of the 2011 Census to an estimated 427,000 in 2019.
History, population, and settlement
The small number of Romanians that first arrived in Britain were primarily Jews fleeing persecution during the Second World War. The activities of the Romanian exiles started in 1941, through the effort of individuals such as Ambassador Viorel Tilea, Major George Emil Iliescu, and legal counselor Ecaterina Iliescu. They founded the Anglo-Romanian Refugee Committee (ARRC) in 1948. The Free Romanian Orthodox Church was active in parallel to the ARRC between 1950–55, under the leadership of Father Gildau, with a Parish Committee chaired by Mihai Carciog. This later transformed into the 'Romanian Orthodox Women's Association in the UK', which, in turn, became in 1956 the British-Romanian Association - also known under its Romanian name of ACARDA ("Asociația Culturală a Românilor din Anglia") - through the initiative of a representative group of individuals from the small Romanian community, including Ion Rațiu, Horia Georgescu, George Ross, and Leonard Kirschen, Marie-Jeanne Livezeanu, Gladys Wilson, Sanda Cârciog, and Mihai Cârciog.
Ion Rațiu was the President of the British-Romanian Association between 1965 - 1985, followed by Iolanda Stranescu Costide between 1985 until its closure in 1996, the organisation having fulfilled its aim to restore a democratic regime in Romania. At the time of the 2001 Census, 7,631 Romanian-born people were residing in the UK. In the 2011 Census, the Romanian-born population grew to 83,168 people throughout the UK, with 79,687 in England & Wales, 2,387 in Scotland, and 1,094 in Northern Ireland. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated that, in 2012, 101,000 Romanian-born people were resident in the UK. By 2019, this estimate had risen to 427,000.
|Note: Besides for 2011 when a census of the population took place, figures are ONS estimates of the number of Romanian-born residents. Figure given is the central estimate. See the source for 95% confidence intervals.|
Most Romanians belong to the Romanian Orthodox Church religion and there are several Romanian Orthodox churches throughout the UK, such as those in Aberdeen, Ballymena, Birmingham, Boston, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Caterham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Luton, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, or Poole.
Around 75 per cent of women trafficked to the UK are from Romania, with the majority being victims of sexual exploitation. In October 2020, an online summit was held to discuss the problem. Ahead of the event, the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on commercial sexual exploitation, Dame Diana Johnson, argued that "The industrial-scale sexual exploitation of Romanian women by UK men is a national scandal".
Romanians in the UK have faced discrimination and xenophobic abuse, and were targets of some hate crimes following the Brexit referendum. In early 2020, the Romanian government launched a campaign to attract emigrants back to Romania, suggesting that a million jobs awaited them.
Notable Britons of Romanian descent
- Ikechi Anya, footballer
- Alma Cogan, singer
- Jimmy Cornell, yachtsman, bestselling author of World Cruising Routes
- Steven Berkoff, actor and author
- John Bercow, politician
- Maria Björnson, theatre designer
- Octav Botnar, businessman
- Alina Cojocaru, ballet dancer
- George Constantinescu, scientist, engineer and inventor
- Moses Gaster, scholar
- Miron Grindea, literary journalist (OBE)
- Rosemary Harris, actress
- Michael Howard, politician
- George Hurst, music conductor
- George Iacobescu, chief executive of the Canary Wharf Group (CBE)
- Irina Lăzăreanu, model
- Jeff Leach, comedian
- Anamaria Marinca, actress
- Micachu, singer, songwriter and composer
- Nelly Miricioiu, opera singer
- David Mitrany, scholar
- Paul Neagu, artist
- Valentino Petrescu, mixed martial artist
- Emma Răducanu, tennis player
- Sir Roy Redgrave, army officer (KBE)
- Ion Raţiu, politician
- Constantin Silvestri, music conductor
- Peter Solley, pianist
- Martin Sorrell, businessman
- Monty Sunshine, jazz clarinetist
- Viorel Tilea, diplomat (CBE)
The Embassy of Romania in London.
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- Mazurkiewicz, Anna (2019). East Central European Migrations During the Cold War: A Handbook. De Gruyter Oldenbourg. ISBN 978-3-11-060753-6.
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- Sleigh, Sophia (26 October 2020). "UK has become a 'pimp's paradise' for sex traffickers, senior MP warns as she calls for website ban". Evening Standard. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
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