British Indians

British Indians (also Indian British or Indian Britons) are citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) whose ancestral roots lie in India.

This includes people born in the UK who are of Indian descent, and Indian-born people who have migrated to the UK.

Today, Indians comprise about 1.4 million people in the UK (not including those of mixed Indian and other ancestry), making them the single largest visible ethnic minority population in the country.

They make up the largest subgroup of British Asians, and are one of the largest Indian communities in the Indian diaspora, mainly due to the Indian-British relations (including historical links such as India having been under British colonial rule and still being part of the Commonwealth of Nations).

The British Indian community is the sixth largest in the Indian diaspora, behind the Indian communities in the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and Nepal.

The largest group of British Indians are those of Punjabi origin, accounting for an estimated 45 percent of the British Indian population (based on data for England and Wales), with smaller groups including Gujarati and Marathi communities.


British Indians are socioeconomically affluent and are primarily members of the middle class, with official figures demonstrating that British Indians have the highest average pay levels among all ethnic groups in Britain.


A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2011 found British Indians have among the lowest poverty rates among all ethnic groups in Britain, second only to White British.


Studies and official figures have shown that Indians are more likely to be employed in professional and managerial occupations,
including financial services, than all other ethnic groups, including White British people.

By the early 21st century, the British Indian community had grown to number over one million. According to the 2001 UK Census, 1,053,411 Britons had full Indian ethnicity (representing 1.8% of the UK’s population).


An overwhelming majority of 99.3% resided in England (in 2008 the figure is thought to be around 97.0%). In the nine-year period between 2001 and 2010, the number of Indian-born people in the UK has increased in size by 43% from 467,634 to around 669,000 (an
increase of over 200,000).


The United Kingdom Census 2011 recorded 1,451,862, residents of Indian ethnicity, accounting for 2.3 per cent of the total UK population (not including those of mixed ethnic backgrounds). The equivalent figure from the 2001 Census was 1,053,411 (1.8 per cent of the total UK population).


People born in India are the UK’s largest foreign-born population, totalling an estimated 734,000 in 2013.


According to the 2011 census, the cities with the most Indian-born residents are London (262,247), Leicester (37,224), Birmingham (27,206), Sandwell (15,190), Wolverhampton (14,955).


Today there are considerable numbers of British Indians who have ancestry via the Caribbean, South and East Africa (including parts of the Ugandan British, Kenyan British and Tanzanian British communities) as well as the Pacific Islands.


Religion                Percentage of Indian population in England and Wales
Hinduism                         44.02%
Sikhism                             22.15%
Islam                                 13.95%
Christianity                      9.62%
Not Stated                        4.47%
No religion                       3.13%
Buddhism                         0.26%
Judaism                            0.06%
Other religions                 2.34%

Total                                   100%