Destination Hackney: A history of diverse communities

People from African countries began arriving in significant numbers during the 1960s and then again in the 1980s

MELTING POT: The east London borough is rich in diversity

HISTORICALLY HACKNEY has welcomed people from around the world and inward migration can be traced back to the 17th century with the arrival of immigrants such as the French Huguenots.

There are well established Caribbean, Turkish and Kurdish, Vietnamese and Orthodox Jewish communities as well as newer communities of people from African countries and Eastern Europe.

The 2011 Census estimates Hackney’s population to be 246,300 which is expected to grow to 316,500 by 2041. Around 40% of the population come from Black and Minority Ethnic groups with the largest group (approximately 20%) being Black or Black British. 36% the population are White British and 16% are “other White.”

Hackney has one the largest groups of Charedi Jewish people in Europe who predominately live in the north east of the borough and represent 7% of the borough’s overall population. At least 4.5% of Hackney’s residents are Turkish and are mainly concentrated in the South, East and Central parts of the borough. At least 89 different languages are spoken in the borough.


Migration from the Caribbean

Hackney’s Caribbean community is very diverse, compared to some other areas in the UK. People from Antigua and Jamaica have settled in Stoke Newington, St Lucians and Dominicans mainly moved into the Clapton neighbourhoods in the 1960s and 1970s and Hackney was also a main settlement for refugee Montserratians displaced after the eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano in 1995.

At the time of the 1981 census, 26,653 people (around 15% of Hackney’s population) lived in households headed by somebody born in the Caribbean.

By 2001, black or black British – Caribbean residents made up around 10% (20,887 people) of Hackney’s population and in 2011 8% (19,168 people) described themselves as black/black British Caribbean.

There has been a significant growth in Hackney residents with a mixed white and black Caribbean heritage, along with other mixed groups.

Mixed white and black Caribbean residents now account for two per cent of Hackney’s population, reflecting a high degree of integration.

Migration from African countries

People from African countries began arriving in significant numbers during the 1960s and then again in the 1980s from a number of different countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Uganda. Initially they settled in the Dalston area but now live throughout the borough.

In 1991, 6.7% of the population identified themselves as Black/Black British – African and this rose to 11.4% by 2011.

Age and sex

Hackney is a relatively young borough with 25% of its population under 20 and a further 23% aged between 20-29 years old. People aged over 55 make up 18% of the population.

The proportion of children and young adults in Hackney is likely to change little between now and 2041. In contrast, the working age population (aged 16-64) is projected to rise by over 45,000 over the next 25 years. The 65+ age group is also projected to rise both in terms of numbers and the proportion of the population, particularly after 2021.

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