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British Pakistanis
James Caan (entrepreneur).jpgSajid Mahmood train.jpgMiss Khan.jpgTarique Ghaffur 1.jpgShk7.jpegHanif Kureishi.jpg
Tariq Ali.jpgAmir Khan 2007.jpgSalma yaqoob smiling.jpg

Notable British people of Pakistani descent:
James Caan, Sajid Mahmood, Natasha Khan, Tarique Ghaffur, Sajjad Karim, Hanif Kureishi, Tariq Ali, Sir Anwar Pervez, Amir Khan, Salma Yaqoob

Total population
United Kingdom United Kingdom Over 1,000,000 (2009)
England England 900,000 (2009)[1]
Scotland Scotland 70,000 (2009)[2]
Wales Wales 20,000 (2009)[3]
Northern Ireland 1000 (2009)[4]
Over 1.5% of the UK's population
(this figure does not include illegal immigrants, recent immigrants, and people who do not claim full Pakistani ancestry.)
Regions with significant populations
Regions: West Midlands, Greater London,Yorkshire and The Humber, North West England, Scotland
Metropolitan Areas: Greater London, Birmingham Metro Area, Greater Manchester, Leeds-Bradford, Greater Glasgow
Cities and towns: Batley, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford, Burnley, Bury, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Glasgow, Huddersfield, London, Luton, Manchester, Nelson, Nottingham, Oldham, Peterborough, Preston, Reading, Rochdale, Slough, Stoke-on-Trent, Walsall

British English, Urdu, Punjabi, others


Majority Islam (92%)
Minority Christianity (1%)

Related ethnic groups

Overseas Pakistani, British Asian

British Pakistanis (also Pakistani Britons) are citizens of the United Kingdom whose ancestral roots lie in Pakistan. The UK has the second largest overseas Pakistani population after Saudi Arabia. Pakistanis make up a large subgroup of British Asians largely due to historical and colonial links and Pakistan still being part of the Commonwealth of Nations. The British Pakistani population is very diverse and differs from region to region. British Pakistanis are victims of the North-South divide in Britain. This means that in London and the South East, the community is socially mobile and educational achievement is on or above national averages. While in the West Midlands and the North of England, the community has generally suffered from a decline in the manufacturing industry and the change to a service economy.[5] Science and Mathematics remain popular subjects with the youngest generation of British Pakistanis, as the youth begin to establish themselves within the field.[6].



Pakistan came into existence in 1947, so documentation of the life of Pakistani Britons technically can only start from that year. However, Muslim immigrants from the part of British India now known as Pakistan, entered the British Isles as early as the mid-seventeenth century.

Many from what is now Pakistan fought alongside the British Army during World War I. Many Pakistanis also fought alongside the British during the Second World War, particularly during the Battle of France, the North African Campaign and in the Burma Campaign. During World War II, many contributed directly to the British war effort as many skilled Pakistanis worked on the assembly lines of the Spitfire fighter aircraft manufacturing plant in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham during the crucial and critical periods of the Battle of Britain.

Following the Second World War and the break-up of the British Empire, Pakistani migration to the United Kingdom increased, specifically during the 1950s and 1960s, as Pakistan was a part of the Commonwealth.[7] Pakistanis were invited by employers to fulfill labour shortages and by being Commonwealth citizens, Pakistanis were eligible to full rights of entry and residence as well as full civic rights. Pakistanis found employment in the steel and textile industries of Yorkshire, Lancashire and the West Midlands, mainly working night shifts and in the light industry of Luton and Slough.[8]

The majority of the immigration began in the mid-1950s when manual workers were recruited to fulfil the labour shortage which resulted from World War II. Many people began immigrating from Azad Kashmir after the completion of Mangla Dam in Mirpur in the late 1950s as well, that destroyed hundreds of villages and stimulated a large wave of migration. Up to 5,000 people from Mirpur (5% of the displaced)[9] left for Britain.[10]

In the years to come, many from Punjab began immigrating in the 1960s; they worked in the foundries of the English Midlands and a large number worked at Heathrow Airport as well. During the same time, medical staff from Pakistan were recruited for the newly formed National Health Service. Over 7,000 Pakistani doctors currently work for the NHS.[11]

During the 1970s, a large number of East African Asians, who already held British passports, entered the UK after they were expelled from Kenya, Uganda and Zanzibar. The Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 and Immigration Act 1971 largely restricted any further primary immigration, although family members of already-settled migrants were still allowed.

Apart from those who came from rural areas, a considerable number of Pakistanis arrived from cities and towns in the 1960s. Many of these were qualified Teachers, Doctors and Engineers and they had a predisposition to settle in London, as opposed to the Midlands or the North.[8]

When work in the Mills began to dry up many British Pakistanis became unemployed. Some, however, were more resourceful and instead became self-employed. This initiative is still seen today, particularly in the North of England, where a large proportion of British Pakistanis work as Taxi drivers.[12][13]


A chart showing the location of birth for British Pakistanis in 2001 (by location against percentage born there)


According to the 2001 UK Census, 747,285 Pakistanis were residing in the UK and by most recent estimates the figure has increased to well over 1,000,000. This represents 1.5% of the UK's total population and makes it the world's second largest overseas Pakistani community.[14] Kashmiris make up the largest proportion of the British Pakistani population. Large Kashmiri communities can be found in Birmingham, Bradford, Oldham and the surrounding Northern towns.[15] Luton and Slough have the largest Kashmiri communities in the South of England.[8] The Pakistani community of London is made up of the most diverse cohort Pakistanis.[8]

There is a small Pakistani Pashtun population in the UK.[16] But the majority of British Pakistanis are from the Kashmir and Punjab areas of Pakistan.

Integrating in British society

Integration of Kashmiri Pakistanis

Around half of the British Pakistanis living in Britain can trace their origins to Mirpur in Azad Kashmir, which was the site of the Mangla Dam, which was built in the 1960s and flooded the surrounding farmland. Mirpur is a conservative district, even by Pakistani standards and rural life here has not changed much over the years. Families are not only a source of rigid hierarchies, but also the guiding influence behind everything from marriage to business.[17] This has clashed with British values, in which people tend to be more independent and liberal. As a result, some Pakistanis live in secluded areas, and thus the rise of ghettos in those communities. New research shows that the population of these mostly inner city communities has been rising very fast, a sure way to avoid cross-cultural contact. It seems to be the route taken by some people of Pakistani origin. There are statistics which suggest that of all communities, Mirpuri Pakistanis live in the most segregated areas of Britain, and their children attend the most segregated schools. The British government has dedicated itself to integrating immigrants, providing some kind of shared identity which Pakistanis could learn to accept. One plan includes the busing of Pakistani background students to "white schools" in an attempt to bridge the divide between the British public and Pakistanis.[18]

Most Kashmiri people are proud of their heritage. Many have named their businesses after the Pakistani area, a most notable example is Kashmir Crown Bakeries which is a food making based in Bradford. The company is a major local employer and is the largest Asian Food Manufacturer in Europe.[19] The owner of Kashmir Crown Bakeries, Mohammed Saleem, says that combining traditional Kashmiri Baking methods with vocational British training has made his Bakery a multi-million pound business.[20]

Integration of Punjabi Pakistanis

British Punjabis of Pakistani origin make up a third of the British Pakistani population. People who came from the Punjab area of Pakistan (Punjabis) have integrated much more easily into British society due to the Punjabis more Liberal culture. British Punjabis tend to reside more in the South of the England, while people of Kashmiri origin are more commonly found in the West Midlands and North of England.

James Caan and Amir Khan are notable examples of successful Punjabi Pakistanis.


Most Pakistani Britons speak English and second, third and fourth generation Pakistani Britons consider English as their first language. Urdu is understood and spoken by many in the community and is often the language of communication between Pakistani Britons. Urdu is taught in madrassas along with Arabic. In some of the larger communities Urdu is also taught in secondary schools and colleges to GCSE and A Levels respectively. Overwhelming, the majority of Pakistanis in the Britain are from Mirpur, Azad Kashmir[15] and the dominant languages therefore spoken are Pothwari and Hindko which are dialects of Punjabi. Other languages include Punjabi as spoken in the Punjab province, Pashto, Sindhi, Kashmiri and Balochi. According to an Ethnologue report, the number of speakers of such languages (as a primary language) in the United Kingdom are shown below. Please note that some of these languages are not only spoken by British Pakistanis however by other groups such as British Indians and British Afghans to name a few, these are indicated by an asterix.[21]

Population by UK Censuses

Excluding Bangladeshis pre 1971:

Year Population
1951 10,000
1961 25,000
1971 119,000
1981 296,000
1991 477,000
2001 747,000

Source: [22]


The majority 92% of Pakistanis in the UK are Muslims (mainly Sunni), however there is a sizeable minority of Shia Muslims as well as some Christians (around 8,000 people), and a few Hindus and Sikhs throughout some communities.

Pakistanis make up the largest group of Muslims in Britain at 43%. However, this varies from a high of 71% in Yorkshire and The Humber to a low of 21.5% in Greater London.[15] The overall religious breakdown of British Pakistanis in 2001 can be seen below:

Religion Percentage of British Pakistani pop. Percentage of total British pop. Population (2001)
Star and Crescent.svg Islam 92.01% British Pakistani Muslims represent 43.21% of the British Muslim community
and 1.17% of the UK population
Not Stated 6.16% 1.07% of the total number of non-correspondents
and 0.08% of the UK population
Gold Christian Cross no Red.svg Christianity 1.09% British Pakistani Christians represent represent 0.02% of the British Christian community
and 0.01% of the UK population
Agnostic 0.50% 0.04% of the total number of Agnostics
and 0.01% of the UK population
Om.svg Hinduism 0.08% British Pakistani Hindus represent 0.10% of the British Hindu community
and close to 0.00% of the UK population
Star of David.svg Judaism 0.05% British Pakistani Jews represent represent 0.14% of the British Jewish community
and close to 0.00% of the UK population
Khanda1.svg Sikhism 0.05% British Pakistani Sikhs represent 0.11% of the British Sikh community
and close to 0.00% of the UK population
Other Religion 0.04% 0.17% of the total of people with another religion
and close to 0.00% of the UK population
Dharma Wheel.svg Buddhism 0.03% British Pakistani Buddhists represent represent 0.13% of the British Buddhist community
and close to 0.00% of the UK population
Total 100% 747,285

See also:[23]

Population distribution

Pakistani population in the United Kingdom regions
Region Population Pakistani Population Pakistanis as Percentage of Population Cities / Boroughs with Significant Pakistani communities (2005)
England West Midlands [24] 5,350,700 172,400 3.2% Birmingham - 105,000 (11.0% of the city's population) [25]
Walsall - 10,000 (5.6%)
Sandwell - 8,500 (3.0%)
Stoke-on-Trent - 7,000 (3.0%)
Dudley - 6,500 (3.3%)
Coventry - 6,500 (2.1%)
Burton-on-Trent - 4,000 (6.6%)
Wolverhampton - 3,000 (1.3%)
England Greater London [26] 7,456,100 163,800 2.2% Newham - 21,000 (8.7% of the city's population)
Waltham Forest - 17,500 (7.7%)
Redbridge - 15,000 (6.6%)
Ealing - 11,500 (3.9%)
Brent - 11,000 (4.3%)
Hounslow - 9,500 (4.4%)
Croydon - 7,500 (2.6%)
Wandsworth - 5,500 (1.9%)
Harrow - 4,500 (2.5%)
Hillingdon - 4,000 (1.8%)
Barnet - 4,000 (1.6%)
Barking & Dagenham - 3,000 (2.2%)
England Yorkshire and the Humber [27] 5,107,500 163,400 3.2% Bradford - 75,000 (15.3% of the city's population)
Huddersfield/Kirklees - 27,000 (6.8%)
Sheffield - 16,000 (3.0%)
Leeds - 15,500 (3.5%)
Halifax/Calderdale - 10,000 (5.0%)
Rotherham - 5,000 (4.3%)
Wakefield - 3,500 (4.4%)
England North West [28] 6,839,800 133,900 2.0% Manchester - 23,500 (5.9% of the city's population) [29]
Rochdale - 16,000 (8.2%)
Oldham - 14,000 (13.5%)
Blackburn - 12,500 (11.9%)
Nelson/Pendle - 12,000 (13.1%)
Bolton - 7,000 (5.0%)
Accrington/Hyndburn - 6,000 (7.3%)
Bury - 6,000 (9.9%)
Burnley - 5,000 (5.6%)
Trafford - 3,000 (1.4%)
Stockport - 3,000 (2.2%)
England South East [30] 8,184,600 71,300 0.9% Slough - 15,000 (12.0% of the city's population)
High Wycombe - 10,000 (8.5%)
Aylesbury - 5,000 (8.3%)
England East [31] 5,563,000 50,800 0.9% Luton - 17,500 (9.4%)
Peterborough - 7,500 (4.6%)
Watford - 4,000 (5.0%)
England East Midlands [32] 4,327,500 37,600 0.9% Nottingham - 10,000
Derby - 9,000
Leicester - 5,000
Scotland Scotland [1] 5,094,800 40,000 0.6% Glasgow - 30,000
Edinburgh - 6,500
Dundee - 2,500
England North East [33] 2,549,700 17,900 0.7% Middlesbrough & Stockton-on-Tees - 7,500
Newcastle Upon Tyne - 5,000
England South West [34] 5,086,700 14,400 0.3% Bristol - 4,500
Wales Wales [35] 3,004,600 4,347 0.3% Cardiff - 3,000
Northern Ireland [36] 1,685,267 666 0.03% Belfast is likely to be home to the vast majority

Notable communities


2006 estimates state that almost 200,000 British Citizens of Pakistani origin live in the Boroughs of London (making up 2.3% of the population). The population is made up of Punjabis, Pathans, Urdu Speakers, Mirpuris and Sindhis. This mix makes the British Pakistani community of London the most diverse of any in the UK, since the population can trace their origins from all the various regions and cities of Pakistan. The largest presence is in the East London communities of Ilford, Walthamstow, Leyton and Barking, however Newham in East London continues to support the largest community. Other large communities can be found in Southall and Hounslow in West London and Tooting, Croydon and Streatham in South London. A considerable number of Pakistanis have set up their own businesses, often employing family members. Today a fifth of Pakistani Londoners are self-employed. Businesses such as grocery stores and newsagents are common, while others who arrived later in London work as taxi drivers or chauffeurs (especially from NWFP area in Pakistan). Well-known British Pakistanis from London include Anwar Pervez, whose Earl's Court grocery store expanded into the Bestway chain with a turnover of £2 billion and the playwright and author Hanif Kureishi.


Birmingham has one of the largest Pakistani expat communities in the World (110,900 Pakistanis made up 11.0% of the city's population in 2006).[37] Most can trace their origins to Azad Kashmir and Punjab.


The largest visible minority in Manchester are Pakistanis (Majority of Azad Kashmir and Punjabi origin) which make up 5.9% of the total population (some 26,800 people in 2006). Sizeable Pakistani populations are also to be found in the neighbouring districts of Oldham and Rochdale. Significantly, one in eight of all Pakistanis reside in Greater Manchester. This cultural diversity is expected to increase over time, given existing trends.[38]

With greater affluence, a recent trend has seen the some of the Pakistani community move out of the inner city into more spacious suburbs. In South Manchester this means that they have been moving from Longsight/Levenshulme to more suburban areas such as Cheadle, Chorlton and Heaton Mersey. Due to some of these suburbs having high house prices, the Pakistanis who live there tend to be of later generation with successful/professional careers or those who have saved money for many years. The inner city areas that are being left are generally filled with newer immigrants from places like Iran, Afghanistan and Poland.[39][40][41][42]


Bradford is famous for its large Pakistani population and is often dubbed Bradistan by both Pakistani Britons and the British themselves[43]. In 2001, riots escalated between the city's majority white population and the ethnic visible minorities (mainly Pakistani), and were called the Bradford Riots. The riot was estimated to have involved 1,000 youths. More than 300 police officers were hurt during the riot. There were 297 arrests in total; 187 people were charged with riot, 45 with violent disorder and 200 jail sentences totalling 604 years were handed down. In 2006, an estimated 77,100 Pakistanis resided in Bradford representing 15.6% of the city's population.[44]


The majority of Pakistanis living in Scotland reside in Glasgow (and the surrounding Greater Glasgow area). With an estimated 30,000 Pakistanis living in Glasgow, there are large Pakistani communities throughout the city, notably in the South and West sides with a noticeable presence of Pakistani owned businesses there. The majority have origins from the central Punjab part of Pakistan, around Faisalabad.[45]

A survey by the University of Glasgow found that Scottish Pakistanis feel more patriotic than English people. The survey also revealed Scottish Pakistanis preferred political party to be the SNP.[46]


Pakistani Britons come together to celebrate Pakistan's Independence Day on 14 August of each year. Together with the Pakistan Consulate in London, and other embassies within the country it's mission is to project Pakistan in its true colour as a dynamic, moderate and peaceful country. The events usually occur in large Pakistani populated areas of various cities in the United Kingdom, most primarily on Green Street in Newham, London and the curry mile in Manchester. The celebration lasts all day with various festivals. Pakistani Muslims from the community also mark the Islamic Festivals of Eid ul Adha and Eid ul Fitr.

Contemporary issues

Allegations of extremism

Central Intelligence Agency and MI5 currently believe that a British-born Pakistani extremist entering the US under the Visa Waiver Program is the most likely source of another terrorist attack on American soil.[47] Gareth Price, head of the Asia Program at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London stated that British Pakistanis are more likely to be radicalized as compared to other Muslim communities in Britain.[48]


British Pakistanis are 8 times more likely to be victims of a racist attack than white individuals. The chances of a Pakistani being racially attacked in a year is more than 4% - the highest rate in the country, along with British Bangladeshis. Though, this has come down from 8% a year in 1996.[49]

Educational attainment

Pakistani Pupils are the largest ethnic minority group in primary and secondary schools. 98.8% of Pakistani Pupils are Muslim, 0.6% are Sikh, 0.3% are Christian and 0.3% have no religion [50].

British Pakistani students achieve below national GCSE pass rates. However, the British Pakistani GCSE pass rate has steadily increased since 1999, bridging the gap to the UK national average, year by year. In addition, the British Pakistani GCSE pass rate fails to distinguish between the differences in achievement around the country, since Pakistani pupils have greater regional fluctuations than others [8]. This is a result of differences in material circumstances, social class and migration histories between the different communities of British Pakistanis [8].

Already in 2004, Pakistani pupils from London were achieving above the regional and UK national averages. 50.2% of Pakistani boys and 63.3% of Pakistani girls from London achieved five or more A*-C grades [8]. Compared to the national averages of 46.8% and 57%, for boys and girls, respectively [8].

By 2008, 58.2% of British Pakistani students had passed 5 or more GCSE's, showing an improvement of almost 10%, between 2005 & 2008.[51]

British Pakistani GCSE Pass Rates 5 A Cs by Region.jpg
British Pakistani GCSE Pass Rates 5+A-Cs 2005.jpg

GCSE Pass Rates (5 A*-Cs) by region

British Pakistani GCSE Pass Rates by LAs

Latest figures available, pertaining to British Pakistanis, by local authority, dated: year 2004.[8]

Region Region status Pass Rate
London Borough of Redbridge London Borough 64.9%
Manchester City and Metropolitan borough 54.2%
London Borough of Ealing London Borough 54.0%
Nottingham City 53.3%
London Borough of Newham London Borough 52.7%
England Average (All Ethnic Groups) (2004): 51.9%[8]
London Borough of Waltham Forest London Borough 49.9%
Rochdale Metropolitan borough 48.3%
Slough Borough 47.7%
Lancashire Non-metropolitan county 46.1%
Birmingham City and Metropolitan borough 45.2%
British Pakistani Average (2004): 45.2%[8]
Luton Borough 45.2%
Calderdale Metropolitan borough 42.7%
Oldham Metropolitan borough 41.5%
Kirklees Metropolitan borough 40.2%
Blackburn with Darwen Borough 37.8%
Leeds City and Metropolitan borough 35.7%
Buckinghamshire Non-metropolitan county 34.9%
Bradford City and Metropolitan borough 34.4%
Sheffield City and Metropolitan borough 33.3%


GCSE Pass Rates (5 A*-Cs) by year

British Pakistani GCSE Pass Rates by year
Year Pakistani Pupils All Pupils Attainment Gap References
1991 26% 37% -11% [52]
1993 24% 42% -18% [52]
1995 23% 44% -21% [52]
1997 29% 46% -17% [52]
1999 30% 49% -19% [52][53]
2001 40% 51% - 11% [52]
2003 41.5% 52% - 10.5% [54]
2005 48.4% 54.9% - 6.5% [50]
2007 53% 59.3% - 6.3% [55]
2008 58.2% 63.5% - 5.3% [51]


UCAS points achieved as of 2004 (on average by gender and combined):[56]

Gender UCAS points
Male 213
Female 221
Both 218


British Pakistani pupils are 1.7% of the 18 year old's in the country, but they make up 2.4% of the first year students at University[8]. Regions of predominantly non-Kashmiri settlement, such as Greater London and the South East are sources of greater university applications [8]. University applicants are over represented by 7.5% from Greater London and by 4.6% from the South East. Where as, they are under represented by 4.9% from West Midlands, by 4.4% from the East of England and by 4.3% from Yorkshire and Humber. Whilst from other regions, there is a slight over representation by between 0.2% to 0.6%[8]. 33% of British Pakistani boys choose to continue their studies to the university level. This rate is the third highest rate in the country after Chinese and Indian boys and is higher than the rate for White British boys (23%), Black African boys (30%), Bangladeshi boys (29%), Black Caribbean boys (16%) and those falling into the other black category (20%).[57]


Bradford in the North of England is considered to be a typical "Mill and mosque town" due to its large Pakistani community.

British Pakistanis contribute £31 billion to the UK GDP.[58]

Pakistanis in Britain are more disadvantaged than Indians. Weak economies of Northern Mill towns have limited entrepreneurial success. Whilst a sluggish housing market has restricted movement. Lower class resources and inner-city living have hampered social mobility. The existence of a North- South divide leaves Pakistanis in the North of England economically depressed, although there is a small concentration of wealthy Northerners living in the suburbs of Greater Manchester as certain individuals have taken advantage of the opportunities[59] that arise from living in the UK's Second City.[60]

Location in Britain has had a great impact on the success of British Pakistanis. Those based in large cities such as Manchester or London are successfully making the transition into professional middle class, where as, those based in the peripheral towns are struggling. This is due to the fact that whilst Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow & Oxford have provided an encouraging environment for Pakistani entrepreneurs. Other towns in Lancashire and Yorkshire, have provided far fewer opportunities. Most of the initial funds for entrepreneurial activities were collected by working as factory workers. Further helped by working in the food and clothing industries, money saved by wifes of migrants and interest free loans between fellow migrants. British Pakistanis quickly began dominating the ethnic & halal food businesses, "Indian" restaurants, Asian fabric shops and travel agencies. Many also began manufacturing and wholesaling clothes due to the availability of cheap family labour. The multi-million pound Joe Bloggs has such origins. Dominance in the clothing market, was affected by imports from South East Asia, however it didn't manage to stop many families in Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester from prospering.[59]

In the housing rental market, rooms were first rented out to incoming migrants, later, as these rentees were in a position to buy their own homes, non-Asian university students became the main customers. By the year 2000, Pakistanis had established low-cost rental properties throughout England, apart from the most economically depressed towns in the North.[59]

Many have invested in properties in Pakistan as well. Purchasing houses, in the cities, next to their villages and sometimes even being able to buy property in the most expensive cities, such as Islamabad and Lahore. Upon reaching retirement age, many migrant Pakistanis, handed over their houses in Britain to their offspring and settled in the homes previously invested in, in Pakistan, where the value of the British state pension multiplies significantly. Investing in Pakistan, nonetheless, limited success in Britain, due to lack of financial returns. Where as, other migrant groups, such as the Indian refugees from East Africa, benefited from investing only in Britain, which was helped by their lack of cultural links to India.[59]

As of 2001, around 3,500 British Pakistanis were in the highest ranking business and professional occupations, compared to 1,000 Bangladeshis and 10,000 Indians. Keeping in mind the lower class resources of Kashmiris, the rates of entry of non-Kashmiri Pakistanis, into managerial or professional occupations, turns out to be similar to that of British Indians.[59]

As of 2007, 257 British Pakistanis were serving as elected councillors or mayors in Britain, whilst many more worked as doctors, academics, or for big financial institutions.[61] Furthermore, more than a 100 Pakistanis in the UK are multi-millionaires.[62]

Research by the Office for National Statistics shows that British Pakistanis are far more likely to be self-employed than any other ethnic group. Pakistani men are most likely to work in the transport and logistics industry, most British Pakistanis in this sector are employed as cab drivers and taxi drivers. Pakistani women are most likely to be working as sewing machinists in the Textiles industry.[63]


Statistics from the 2001 census show that Pakistani communities in England, particularly in the North and the Midlands, are severely affected by poverty, unemployment and social exclusion, and that they are much less likely than the majority of the population to be employed in managerial and professional occupations. Figures collected by the DfES show that almost 40 per cent of Pakistani students in secondary schools are eligible for free school meals, compared with a national average of about 15 per cent.

A study by Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2007 found that Pakistani Britons have the second highest relative poverty rates in Britain, second only to Bangladeshis. Their study found the following:

Ethnic group Percentage in poverty
Bangladeshi 65%
Pakistani 55%
Black African 45%
Black Caribbean 30%
Indian 25%
White Other 25%
White British 20%

Social class

As of January 2005, 34% of British Pakistanis are classified as being part of the Middle or Upper Classes. The majority of British Pakistanis are considered to be working class.[64]


British Pakistanis have traditionally been poorly represnted in the Media. However there have been a few notable portrayals, some of which include BAFTA award winning films such as My Beautiful Laundrette and East is East. In April 2007 the BBC produced a series of documentaries called "Pakistani, actually", the series offered an insight into the lifes of Pakistanis living in Britain and some of the issues the community face.[65][66]

The executive producer of the series said:

These documentaries provide just a snapshot of contemporary life among British Pakistanis - a community who are often misunderstood, neglected or stereotyped.

Sarfraz Manzoor is a regular columist for The Guardian, one of the largest newspaper groups in the UK. Mishal Husain is newsreader and presenter for the BBC.


British Pakistanis make up a sizable proportion of British voters and votes from the community are known to make a difference in an election (both local and national).[67] While the SNP remains the preferred party for Scottish Pakistanis,[68] the situation in England remains more mixed. The Conservative Party have become increasingly popular with many British Pakistanis.[69] David Cameron recently opened a new gym aimed at British Pakistanis in Bolton after being invited by Amir Khan. [70] The Conservative party also made Lord Ahmed, a Kashmiri born politician, the first Pakistani peer in the UK. Multi-millionaire Sir Anwar Pervez, who claims to have been born Conservative, [71] has donated large sums to the party and is a member of the influential Conservative Leader's Group. [72][73]

Influential Pakistani politicians within the Labour Party include Shahid Malik and Lord Nazir Ahmed. Sadiq Khan became the first Muslim cabinet minister in June 2009 after being invited to the post by Gordon Brown. [74]

Salma Yaqoob is leader of the left wing Respect party. The small party has seen success in areas such as Sparkbrook, Birmingham and Newham, London where there are large Pakistani populations.

Awards and societies

British Pakistanis have many societies where different members of the community can come together. Notable societies include:

On August 14 2009 (Pakistani independence day) the Jinnah Awards UK was launched. The Jinnah Awards ceremony was created as a prestigious annual gathering in the City of Bradford to recognise and celebrate British Pakistanis who have made significant positive contributions to all aspects of life in Britain.[82]

Health and social issues

On average, British Pakistanis, male and female, claim to both have only one sexual partner. The average age of losing virginity is claimed to be 20 years for Pakistani males and 22 years for Pakistani females, thus giving an average of 21 years. 3.2% of Pakistani males reported to have been diagnosed with an STI, compared to 3.6% of Pakistani females. These statistics can be explained by the role of cultural norms, regarding issues such as multiple partners and the age of losing one's virginity. Resulting in substantially older age of first intercourse, lower number of partners and low STI rates.[83]


A BBC report found that British Pakistanis, 55% of whom marry a first cousin, are 13 times more likely than the general population to produce children with genetic disorders, and that one in ten children of cousin marriages either dies in infancy or develops a serious disability. Thus Pakistani-Britons, who account for some 3% of all births in the UK, produce "just under a third" of all British children with genetic illnesses.[84] A study published in 1988 in Journal of Medical Genetics found that the rate of consanguineous marriage was 55% and rising.[85] Though this figure is still lower than the figure of 60% back in Pakistan. Where as, around the world, the figure is less than 29%.[86]

Forced marriage

According to British Home office more than half the cases of forced marriage investigated involve families of Pakistani origin followed by Bangladeshis and Indians.[87] Also British home office estimates 85 per cent of victims of forced marriages are women, aged 15–24, 90 per cent are Muslim and 90 per cent are of Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritage.[88]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ Pakistanis in England in 2006
  2. ^ Pakistanis in Scotland
  3. ^ Pakistanis in Wales
  4. ^ Pakistanis in Northern Ireland
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o
  9. ^
  10. ^,000
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ The Telegraph as on 28-11-2008.
  15. ^ a b c
  16. ^
  17. ^ The limits to integration - BBC News, 30 November 2006
  18. ^ [ Asian Muslim Ghettos Keep Growing, Hindering Integration
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Ethnic groups by religion". 2001 Census. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ Pakistanis in Birmingham
  38. ^ Manchester Facts & Figures - 1
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^ Pakistanis number around 75,000 in Bradford
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ CIA warns Barack Obama that British terrorists are the biggest threat to the US
  48. ^ Why Britain Increasingly Worries About Pakistani Terrorism, U.S. News & World Report, 2008-12-24
  49. ^
  50. ^ a b
  51. ^ a b
  52. ^ a b c d e f
  53. ^
  54. ^ - For 2003, I took away the 3.7% increase from 2004's figure of 45.2%
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^ a b c d e
  60. ^
  61. ^
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^ - Figure 12
  65. ^
  66. ^
  67. ^
  68. ^
  69. ^
  70. ^
  71. ^
  72. ^
  73. ^
  74. ^
  75. ^
  76. ^
  77. ^
  78. ^
  79. ^
  80. ^
  81. ^
  82. ^
  83. ^
  84. ^ Rowlatt, J, (2005) "The risks of cousin marriage", BBC Newsnight. Accessed January 28, 2007
  85. ^ The frequency of consanguineous marriage among British Pakistanis., Journal of Medical Genetics 1988;25:186-190
  86. ^
  87. ^ Groups try to break bonds of forced marriage, USA Today, 2006-04-19
  88. ^ Woman saved from forced marriage in Pakistan by new UK law, The Daily Telegraph, 2009-02-11

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