The Changing Demography and Household Characteristics of the Black African Population

Part of the Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship book series (MDC)


This chapter documents the changing size of the Black African population, the countries of birth of the migrant population, and the contribution of natural increase and net migration to intercensal change. Population pyramids are used to show the age structure in 2001 and 2011 and to reveal sources of population change for the Black African group. Age structures are also provided for smaller population groups (Somali, Nigerian, and Ghanaian migrants and the Somali ethnic group). Fertility rates are presented for Black African women and for non-UK born women living in England and Wales in 2011 by mothers’ country of birth in Africa. The marital and partnership status of Black Africans and subgroup populations is described. Information on household composition is presented from a number of sources, including a focus on lone parent families, fragmented families because of civil war, and transnational families, where family members may be living in both the country of origin and the host country. Household/family size is described for the Black African group and selected subgroups. Finally, distinctive Black African practices are discussed.


Labour Force Survey Lone Parent Birth Group Bride Price Lone Parent Family 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Aspinall, P. J. (2009). Estimating the size and composition of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual population in Britain (Research report 37). Manchester, England: Equality & Human Rights Commission.Google Scholar
  2. Aspinall, P. J., & Song, M. (2013). Mixed race identities (Identity studies in the social sciences series). Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bloch, A. (2008). Zimbabweans in Britain: Transnational activities and capabilities. Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, 34(2), 287–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coleman, D. (2006). Immigration and ethnic change in low-fertility countries: A third demographic transition. Population and Development Review, 32(3), 401–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coleman, D. (2010). Projections of the ethnic minority populations of the United Kingdom 2006–2056. Population and Development Review, 36(3), 441–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coleman, D., & Dubuc, S. (2010). The fertility of ethnic minority populations in the United Kingdom, 1960s–2006. Population Studies, 64(1), 19–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coleman, D. A., & Smith, M. D. (2005). The projection of ethnic populations: Problems and data needs (Working paper 13, Background paper 2). Oxford, England: Oxford Centre for Population Research.Google Scholar
  8. Demie, F., Lewis, K., & McLean, C. (2007, July). Raising the achievement of Somali pupils: Challenges and school responses. London: Lambeth Research and Statistics Unit.Google Scholar
  9. Dodds, C., Hickson, F., Weatherburn, P., Reid, D., Hammond, G., Jessup, K., et al. (2008). BASS Line 2007 survey: Assessing the sexual HIV prevention needs of African people in England. London: Sigma Research.Google Scholar
  10. Dubuc, S. (2009). Application of the own-children method for estimating fertility by ethnic and religious groups in the UK. Journal of Population Research, 26(3), 207–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dubuc, S. (2012). Immigration from high fertility countries: Intergenerational adaptation and fertility convergence in the UK. Population and Development Review, 38(2), 353–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dubuc, S., & Haskey, J. (2010). Fertility and ethnicity in the UK: Recent trends. In J. Stilwell & M. van Ham (Eds.), Understanding population trends and processes: Vol. 3. Ethnicity and integration (Chapter 4). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. Gaffney-Rhys, R. (2011). Polygamy and the rights of women. Women in Society, 1, 1–15.Google Scholar
  14. Hayase, Y., & Liaw, K. (1997). Factors on polygamy in sub-Saharan Africa. The Developing Economies, 35(3), 293–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Holman, C., & Holman, M. (2003, April). First steps in a new country: Baseline indicators for the Somali community in London Borough of Hackney. London: Sahil Housing Association.Google Scholar
  16. Hoskins, R. (2012). The boy in the river. Basingstoke, England: Pan Books.Google Scholar
  17. Ifekwunigwe, J. (1999). Scattered belongings. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). (2007, September). Britain’s immigrants: An economic profile. London: IPPR.Google Scholar
  19. Karlsen, S., & Nazroo, J. (2008). Being a Muslim in Europe: Attitudes and experiences: Full research report (ESRC End of Award Report, RES-163-25-0009). Swindon, England: Economic and Social Research Council.Google Scholar
  20. Mhende, T. C. (2013, October). The cows are coming home. African wedding customs still have value for the diaspora. Retrieved from
  21. Mitton, L., & Aspinall, P. J. (2010). Black Africans in England: A diversity of integration experiences. In J. Stillwell & M. van Ham (Eds.), Ethnicity and integration: Understanding population trends and processes (Vol. 3, pp. 179–202). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nangoli, M. (1986). No more lies about Africa. East Orange, NJ: African Heritage Publishers.Google Scholar
  23. Nzira, V. (2011). Social care with African families in the UK. Abingdon, England: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Obbo, C. (1980). African women: Their struggle for economic independence. London: Zed Press.Google Scholar
  25. Office for National Statistics. (2014a). Beyond 2011: Statistical research update (M13). London: Office for National Statistics.Google Scholar
  26. Office for National Statistics. (2014b, June 24). 2011 Census analysis: How do living arrangements, family type and family size vary in England and Wales? London: ONS.Google Scholar
  27. Office for National Statistics. (2014c, November 4). 2011 Census analysis: Social and economic characteristics by length of residence of migrant populations in England and Wales. London: Office for National Statistics.Google Scholar
  28. Office for National Statistics. (2015, August). Births in England and Wales by parents’ country of birth. London: ONS.Google Scholar
  29. Oheneba-Sakyi, Y., & Takyi, B. K. (2006). African families at the turn of the 21st century. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.Google Scholar
  30. Phillips-Mundy, H. M. (2011). An exploration of the mothering experiences among first generation Somali Muslim immigrant mothers in Bristol, England. PhD Thesis, University of Bristol, England.Google Scholar
  31. Platt, L. (2009). Ethnicity and family. Relationships within and between ethnic groups: An analysis using the Labour Force Survey. Colchester, England: Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex.Google Scholar
  32. Simpson, L. (2013, June). What makes ethnic group populations grow? Age structures and immigration. Dynamics of diversity series. Manchester, England: ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity.Google Scholar
  33. Simpson, L., & Jivraj, S. (2015a). Why has ethnic diversity grown. In L. Simpson & S. Jivraj (Eds.), Ethnic identity and inequalities in Britain. The dynamics of diversity (pp. 33–47). Bristol, England: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  34. Wohland, P., Rees, P., Norman, P., Boden, P., & Jasinska, M. (2010) Ethnic population projections for the UK and local areas, 2001-2051 (Working Paper 10/02). Leeds, England: School of Geography, University of Leeds.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Health Services StudiesUniversity of KentCanterburyUK
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthUniversity of Liverpool in LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations