Census reveals rise of Englishness and death of Britishness

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

The 2011 census results have been released and they make for interesting reading.  I didn’t take a constructive part in last year’s census (not so much on ideological grounds but because I don’t trust the British government with the information) but it’s interesting reading nonetheless.


For the first time, the census allowed us to say if we identified ourselves as English and an overwhelming majority of people did – 37.6m people (67.1% of the respondents) identified themselves as English with 32.4m (57.7%) identifying themselves as solely English.

I have said many times that Britishness is not just in decline but fatally wounded and the census figures bear that out.  Only 16.3m people (29.1%) identified themselves as British and just 10.7m people (19.1%) identified themselves as solely British.  Even as a dual identity Britishness is dead in the water.

The ethnicity figures are a little worrying – only 59.8% of people in London identify themselves as having British ethnicity.  Ignoring the fact that there is no such thing as a British ethnicity, this isn’t a healthy statistic.  London is the political and media capital of the UK, the place where policy is formed and in no way does London give a realistic view of the UK which is one of the reasons why so much British government policy makes no sense.

In 2001, 9% of the population identified themselves as immigrants (ie. born outside of the UK).  Last year it was 13%.  Since 2001, something like 3.8m immigrants moved to England and Wales.  When we are so short of jobs and housing already, this level of immigration is simply unsustainable – it’s over 5% of the population.

The census data is supposed to drive British government policy and provision of services – that’s the reason given for compelling every adult in the country by law to complete the census – so it will be interesting to see how the 2011 census results drive policy.  The promotion of Britishness clearly has to stop, it’s a minority identity which costs tens (if not hundreds) of millions to promote and British government policy is geared around its exclusive promotion.  Most people in England identify themselves as English but this identity is subject to official policies of marginalisation and suppression.


  1. Tartanrock (3 comments) says:

    Can you give a link to the relevant part of the census from which yu take your percentages? The media have, universally, merely said that White British has declined from 86% to 80%. I’ve seen no references to Englishness in anything reported.

  2. Geoff, England (22 comments) says:

    It’s no surprise that this has been completely ignored by the media. I can’t help thinking that the questions on identity will be a lot different in 2021.

  3. Guy Aston (1 comments) says:

    When many of the Scots say they want a divorce from us, what can be expected. The relationship is ruptured and I do not think that we will really view Scotland with trust again. Win or lose a referendum, the damage is done.

  4. Jamie (5 comments) says:

    Tarton rocks its in the first line of the blog and then go from there mate.

    Good blog Wonko as usual.:)

  5. Tartanrock (3 comments) says:

    Well, it ain’t, Jamie. The tags get you to the census but it’s a devil of a job trying to where the info about the English on the site. I panned around, opening things that looked promising and could not find. It is certainly not obvious where you look for it and I wondered if that might be deliberate.

  6. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    Follow the link to the Census page, click on Ethnicity and Nationality and then National Identity on the left hand side.

  7. Chris (8 comments) says:

    Your figures are accurate but slightly misleading. The number of people in England identifying as English was 70.1%, not 67.1% (that figure relates of all of England and Wales).

    More interestingly this is higher than the number of Welsh people who identify as Welsh at 65.9%. Even more startlingly, 13% of people in Wales identify themselves as English.

    I find the figures quite surprising, and quite worrying.

  8. Lee Ingram (2 comments) says:

    Can you show me the actual Census stats that support your stats? Give me a link please maybe?

  9. Ben Alltimes (1 comments) says:

    I’ve just discovered this blog. Really love it and find myself agreeing with everything here.

    The good news is that the Englishness brand is spreading. I am surprised that relatively few saw themselves as just British, and probably many of them ethnic minorities. In my experience a lot of English people still conflate Englishness/Britishness and are attached to both identities in some way. I know a few people who would say they were English not British but most would say they are both.

  10. William Gruff (138 comments) says:

    I’ve been saying since well before 1997 that Britishness means nothing; it merely describes the right of people who are not English, and may actually wish to kill us, to live and work in England, which is perhaps why the collection and sorting of data was entrusted to a US ‘defence’ contractor.

    ‘Darling, do you remember those purple forms that came through the letterbox last year? Can you remember what we did with them?’ On a completely unrelated note, shredded paper can be added to compost heaps and makes a useful addition to the (not fully composted) foul smelling muck I bury in my borders. Poppies thrive on it.

    I am not the slave of my paid servants.

  11. Lee Ingram (2 comments) says:

    Census 2011 Results for England:
    Ethnic Group ‘White'(English/N Irish/Scottish/Welsh/British) 79.8%

    Surprise, surprise, just as many predicted before the Census, the English are just lumped in with the rest as ‘whites’ or ‘British’ some will define, if you like, with no stats to use for ‘White English ethnicity’ as there is no breakdown of the sub-categories of the ethnic group ‘white’ section as they are terrified of how many English assert ‘white English ethnicity’ as this assertion of a unique identity may encourage us to act as one distinct community and they don’t want us statistically accounted for and protected either.
    Remind me who the racists are again please?

    I predict approx 70% minimum have ticked White for English ethnicity out of the total.

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