MANCHESTER, England, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Three major English cities now have a majority of immigrant and minority residents, a University of Manchester study released Thursday said.
Researchers found the demographics of Luton, about 50 miles north of London, Slough, 22 miles west, and Leicester, near Birmingham, have changed rapidly since a large group of former Soviet-bloc countries joined the European Union in 2004, The Daily Telegraph reported. In Leicester, for example, one-third of the 100,000 residents born outside Britain arrived after 2004.
All three cities also have large Pakistani and Indian communities.
Researchers predicted that fewer than half the residents of Birmingham, the country's second-largest city, will be native-born whites in seven years. The 2011 Census found that in London immigrants and minorities were more than 55 percent of the population.
But the report also said many newcomers identify themselves as British. In Luton, for example, 81 percent of the population say they identify with the country.
"We already know from other sources that British identity is felt at least as strongly by those of minority ethnicity as those of white British ethnicity," researchers said. "This is the case for people of similar age and background born in the U.K."