There is a long established community of Pakistani people living in London. Recent surveys have estimated that there are over 163,000 of them, many of these are 3rd or 4th generation British Asian’s who can trace their ethnic background and cultural roots to various parts of Pakistan. Their presence adding to the cultural diversity of the capital.
It is estimated that England has the second largest number of people of Pakistani origin living here outside of Pakistan itself. The country with the most overseas Pakistanis happens to be Saudi Arabia.
They started to arrive in the capital from the mid 1950’s onwards, initially it was young single men who came looking for work. But as time went by they brought over their wives and relatives to join them, this process began from the 1960’s onwards.
The majority but not all of them can trace their roots back to the Mirpur District of Pakistani administered Kashmir. Other significant ethnic and cultural groups are Pashtuns and Punjabi’s. The overwhelming majority of them at about 92 per cent are Muslims, although there are a small number of Christians as well. They tend to be able to speak Urdu, Pashto, Punjabi or Mirpuri as well as English.
Many of them have established small businesses like newsagents, small grocery shops, meat shops, clothes stores or takeaway’s. A large number of them also work as private hire and taxi drivers. One survey estimated that 20% of Pakistanis in London were classed as self employed.
The majority of them live and are concentrated in specific boroughs of the capital, for instance it is estimated that Newham has about 15 % of the London Pakistani population living there. Other large communities of people of Pakistani descent can be found n the following Greater London boroughs:
Newham 22,000 population
Waltham Forrest 17,000 population
Redbridge 15,000 population
Hounslow 9000 population
For more information about the ethnic minority population of the UK, click on the following links: