Mapping diversity in the UK


A new map, created by geographer Oliver O’Brien, shows the incredible diversity of London, illustrating in bright colours areas of the city where more than eight per cent of the residents were born outside the UK.

Oliver has created a zoomable map of the whole of the UK, using small-area statistics from the 2011 Census; the map reveals that London is by far the most diverse place in the country.

The aim of the new ‘map of country of birth’ is to map the approximate extent of single-country communities within the UK. Only where more than eight per cent of people in an area are from a single country outside the UK is that country represented by a colour on the map. This eight per cent rule means that very multi-cultural areas do not get mapped; they may have a large number of non-native residents but these are split between various countries such that none reaches the eight per cent threshold. At the eight per cent threshold Hackney, for example, doesn’t show up on the map but lowering the threshold to five per cent reveals a patchwork effect of communities of Irish, Turkish, Nigerian and Jamaican-born immigrants.

Oliver O’Brien is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Geography at University College London, based in the Geospatial Analytics and Computing Research Group. He runs his own blog with more information about the project and others which use small-area statistics.

More from RGS-IBG

Migration is one of the themes that the RGS-IBG has explored through the 21st Century Challenges programme. Find out more about our events ‘Integrated Britain?‘ and ‘Europe’s Migration Crisis?‘.

Find out more about small-area statistics and why these data are useful.

Image: Oliver O’Brien, UCL

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s