British Pakistanis

British Pakistanis (Urdu: برطانیہ میں مقیم پاکستانی; also known as Pakistani British people or Pakistani Britons) are citizens or residents of the United Kingdom whose ancestral roots lie in Pakistan. This includes people born in the UK who are of Pakistani descent, and Pakistani-born people who have migrated to the UK. The majority of British Pakistanis originate from the Azad Kashmir and Punjab regions, with a smaller number from other parts of Pakistan including Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

British Pakistanis
برطانیہ میں مقیم پاکستانی
Total population
1,174,983 (2011)[1][lower-alpha 1]
England: 1,112,282 (2011)
Scotland: 49,381 (2011)
Wales: 12,229 (2011)
Northern Ireland: 1,091 (2011)
1.86% of the UK's population (2011)[1]
Regions with significant populations
West Midlands, Greater London, Yorkshire and the Humber, North West England
English (British and Pakistani) · Urdu · Punjabi · Potohari · Hindko · Pashto · Saraiki · Sindhi · Balochi · others
Majority: Sunni Islam
Minority: · Shia · Christianity · Hinduism · Sikhism · others
Related ethnic groups
British Asian

The UK is home to the largest Pakistani community in Europe, with the population of British Pakistanis exceeding 1.17 million based on the 2011 census. British Pakistanis are the second-largest ethnic minority population in the United Kingdom and also make up the second-largest sub-group of British Asians. In addition, they are one of the largest overseas Pakistani communities, similar in number to the Pakistani diaspora in Saudi Arabia.[2][3]

Due to the historical relations between the two countries, immigration to the UK from the region, which is now Pakistan, began in small numbers in the mid-nineteenth century when parts of what is now Pakistan came under the British Raj. People from those regions served as soldiers in the British Indian Army and some were deployed to other parts of the British Empire. However, it was following the Second World War and the break-up of the British Empire and the independence of Pakistan that Pakistani immigration to the United Kingdom increased, especially during the 1950s and 1960s. This was made easier as Pakistan was a member of the Commonwealth.[4] Pakistani immigrants helped to solve labour shortages in the British steel, textile and engineering industries. The National Health Service recruited doctors from Pakistan in the 1960s.[5]

The British Pakistani population has grown from about 10,000 in 1951 to over 1.1 million in 2011.[1][6] The vast majority of them live in England, with a sizable number in Scotland and smaller numbers in Wales and Northern Ireland. The most diverse Pakistani population is in London, which comprises Punjabis, Mirpuris, Pashtuns, Sindhis, Muhajirs, Saraikis, Baloch and others.[2][7] The majority of British Pakistanis are Muslim; around 90% of those living in England and Wales at the time of the 2011 UK Census stated their religion was Islam.[8][9] The majority are Sunni Muslims, with a significant minority of Shia Muslims. The UK also has one of the largest overseas Christian Pakistani communities; the 2011 census recorded around 17,000 Christian Pakistanis living in England and Wales, 1.52 percent of the Pakistani population of England and Wales.

Since their settlement, British Pakistanis have had diverse contributions and influence on British society, politics, culture, economy and sport. Whilst social issues include high relative poverty rates among the community according to the 2001 census,[10] significant progress has been made in recent years, with the 2011 Census showing British Pakistanis as having amongst the highest levels of home ownership in Britain.[11]