The study suggests that there may be as many as two million from a mixed ethnic background instead of just under one million, which was the official estimate made earlier this year. The new figures mean that children of mixed parents may be one of the biggest ethnic groups in the country, outnumbering those who class themselves as black and much bigger than the largest single non-white grouping – those of Indian origin.
The estimate suggests that racial barriers in Britain are much less important than many have believed, and that integration is a reality for a high proportion of the population.
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It also casts a stark new light on the way many children trapped in the state care system have been denied a chance of a new home through adoption because social workers will not allow mixed race adoptions. The latest estimate was compiled by academics and disclosed by BBC 2’s Newsnight yesterday.
Newsnight added that, based on Office for National Statistics surveys, 2.9 per cent of children are described as mixed race, but 8.9 per cent live with parents who have a different ethnic background. It said: ‘There may be around two million mixed-race people living in the UK – 3 per cent of the population and therefore a larger group than any of the defined ethnic minorities.’