Filipino immigration to the United Kingdom has increased in recent years, making the Filipino community one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the country. During the 1970s, many Filipinos immigrated to the United Kingdom to work in the National Health Service and other sectors.
According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, there will be 160,000 Filipinos living in the country by 2020. There are many Filipino entrepreneurs and business owners in the country, and those working in healthcare, education, and domestic work.
The majority of Filipinos in the UK are under the age of 50, making them a relatively young community. The Filipino community in the United Kingdom maintains strong ties with its families and communities in the Philippines, and Filipino festivals and events are held throughout the year.
Filipino immigration to the United Kingdom has also been influenced by UK immigration policies, making it easier for highly skilled workers and students to immigrate to the country. Nevertheless, Filipino migrants in the UK face several challenges, including language barriers, cultural differences, and discrimination.
A vibrant Filipino community in the United Kingdom plays an important role in the country’s social and economic structure. Some of the reasons for this are as follows:
Work in healthcare, education, and hospitality are some industries where Filipinos are active in the UK economy. The Filipino workforce is highly skilled and educated, and their contributions are essential to the continued success of these industries.
Diversity of culture
The Filipino community in the UK contributes to the country’s rich cultural diversity. Filipinos celebrate and share many cultural heritage elements with the broader community, including food, music, dance, and other traditions.
The Filipino community in the United Kingdom supports its members through various community organizations, religious groups, and social networks. A number of these organizations assist Filipino migrants with everything from finding employment to finding housing, as well as creating a sense of community and belonging.
The Filipino community in the United Kingdom is a hub for exchanging ideas and knowledge between the Philippines and the United Kingdom. In the UK, Filipinos often maintain close ties with their families and communities in the Philippines, and they are usually happy to share their experiences and knowledge with others.
Filipinos in the United Kingdom are also important voices regarding advocacy and representation. As Filipinos in the United Kingdom advocate for policies and programs that support the rights and well-being of Filipino migrants, they raise awareness of issues affecting their community.
Filipino migration wave in the UK
Philippine immigration to the United Kingdom dates back to the early 20th century. A few key events in the history of Filipino immigration to the United Kingdom are listed below:
Filipino seamen who worked on British ships were the first Filipinos to arrive in the UK in the early 1900s. Many of these seamen settled in the port cities of Liverpool and Cardiff, and some married British women and began families.
During the 1940s and 1950s, the United Kingdom began to recruit workers from its former colonies to assist in rebuilding the country. It is estimated that many Filipinos immigrated to the UK to work in industries such as healthcare and domestic services during this period.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service began recruiting nurses from the Philippines to address a shortage of healthcare workers. The number of Filipinos in the UK grew due to these nurses settling in the country and bringing their families.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the UK implemented more restrictive immigration policies, making it more difficult for Filipinos to migrate to the country. There were, however, many Filipinos who had already settled in the UK who could bring their families over through family reunification programs.
Over the past few years, a renewed interest has been in recruiting highly skilled workers from overseas to address shortages in specific industries. The result has been an increase in Filipino professionals migrating to the United Kingdom, such as doctors and IT professionals.
Filipino immigrants to the United Kingdom have faced various challenges during their immigration history, including discrimination, language barriers, and cultural adjustment difficulties. However, they have also made significant contributions to the country and have formed a vibrant community that continues to flourish.
Various factors, including economic opportunities, political instability, and family reunification, influence Filipino migration to the United Kingdom. The following are some of the most common migration patterns and reasons for migration:
Migration for economic reasons
Filipinos often migrate to the UK for higher wages and better job opportunities. Filipinos have historically been employed by the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, and Filipinos are also engaged in other industries such as education, hospitality, and domestic services.
Filipinos who have immigrated to the United Kingdom often seek to reunite with their families through family reunification programs. There has been a significant increase in the number of Filipino families living in the United Kingdom as a result of this.
Instability in the Philippines
Some Filipinos migrate to the UK to escape political instability or conflict in the Philippines. During the Marcos dictatorship in the 1980s, many Filipinos sought refuge in the United Kingdom.
The UK is a popular destination for Filipino students seeking higher education. Many Filipinos study in the UK to gain valuable skills and experience to help them succeed in their careers.
Highly skilled migration
The UK has recently implemented policies to attract highly skilled workers from overseas. This has led to an increase in Filipino professionals, such as doctors and IT workers, migrating to the UK.
The reasons for Filipino migration to the UK are complex and multifaceted. Economic opportunities, family ties, and political instability all shape migration patterns, and the motivations for migration can vary widely among individuals and families.
The first Filipinos to settle in the UK were seamen who worked on British ships in the early 20th century. These seamen often settled in port cities such as Liverpool and Cardiff and formed small communities. However, it wasn’t until after World War II that more Filipinos began migrating to the UK to work in various industries. Here are some key developments in the early history of Filipino communities in the UK:
Liverpool and Cardiff
The first Filipino communities in the UK were centered around the port cities of Liverpool and Cardiff, where many Filipino seamen settled. These communities were small and largely isolated from the wider British population.
Healthcare workers: After World War II, the UK began recruiting workers from its former colonies to help rebuild the country. Many Filipinos came to the UK to work as nurses and other healthcare workers in the National Health Service. These Filipinos formed tight-knit communities around hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Many Filipino women migrated to the UK in the 1960s and 1970s to work as domestic workers. These women often lived with their employers and formed close relationships with other domestic workers, creating small communities within larger households.
As the Filipino population in the UK grew, so did the number of community organizations and social clubs catering to Filipinos. These organizations provided social support, cultural events, and advocacy for Filipino migrants.
Despite the growth of Filipino communities in the UK, Filipinos faced discrimination and racism from some segments of the British population. This discrimination took various forms, including job discrimination, harassment, and violence.
Overall, the early history of Filipino communities in the UK was shaped by various factors, including migration patterns, employment opportunities, and social and cultural ties. Despite facing significant challenges, Filipino migrants in the UK formed solid communities and have made lasting contributions to the country’s social and economic fabric.
The Filipino community in the UK is diverse and encompasses people from various backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. Here are some key demographic characteristics of the Filipino community in the UK:
According to the 2011 UK Census, there were approximately 200,000 people of Filipino descent living in the UK, making Filipinos one of the largest non-European migrant groups in the country.
Filipino migrants throughout the UK are the largest in London and southeast England. Significant communities exist in other major cities, such as Manchester, Liverpool, and Glasgow.
Age and gender
The Filipino community in the UK is relatively young, with a median age of 36.6 years. The community is also predominantly female, with women accounting for around 60% of the total population.
Education and employment
Many Filipinos in the UK are highly educated and work in professional or skilled jobs. According to the 2011 UK Census, over half of the Filipino population in the UK held a degree or higher qualification. The most common occupations for Filipinos in the UK include healthcare, education, and the service sector.
Family is an integral part of Filipino culture, and many Filipino migrants in the UK have close ties to their families in the UK and the Philippines. Many have migrated to the UK to join family members who have settled there.
Most Filipinos in the UK are Roman Catholic, reflecting the dominant belief in the Philippines. However, significant numbers of Protestants, Muslims, and other religious groups within the community also exist.
Overall, the Filipino community in the UK is a diverse and dynamic group of people who have significantly contributed to the country’s social, cultural, and economic fabric. Despite facing challenges and barriers, Filipino migrants have formed solid communities and continue to thrive in the UK.
Demographic profile of Filipinos in the UK
According to the 2011 UK Census, approximately 200,000 people of Filipino descent lived in the UK. However, it is worth noting that this figure is likely an undercount, as many Filipinos may have yet to identify themselves as such on the census.
The Filipino population in the UK has grown significantly in recent years. Between 2001 and 2011, Filipinos in the UK increased by over 50%. A range of factors, including the expansion of the UK economy, the demand for skilled workers in specific sectors, and family reunification, has driven this growth.
It is difficult to estimate the current size of the Filipino population in the UK, as no official figures have been released since the 2011 Census. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that the community has continued to grow in recent years, particularly in areas with solid Filipino populations, such as London, Manchester, and Glasgow.
The Filipino population in the UK is also relatively young, with a median age of 36.6 years. This suggests that the community will continue to grow and evolve in the coming years as younger Filipinos settle in the UK and contribute to the country’s social, cultural, and economic life.
The Filipino community in the UK is geographically distributed throughout the country, but the largest concentrations are in London and southeast England. According to the 2011 UK Census, approximately 40% of Filipinos in the UK live in London, with the majority residing in the boroughs of Westminster, Hounslow, and Brent. Other areas with significant Filipino populations include Manchester, Liverpool, and Glasgow.
The concentration of Filipinos in London and the southeast is partly due to economic and historical factors. London has long been a central hub for international migration and is home to a diverse range of communities worldwide. The southeast of England, meanwhile, is one of the most economically prosperous regions in the country and offers a range of job opportunities in industries such as healthcare, education, and finance – sectors in which many Filipinos work.
The concentration of Filipinos in certain areas has also led to the developing of strong community ties and support networks. Filipino organizations and businesses, such as restaurants and grocery stores, are standard in rooms with large Filipino populations, and many community groups and associations serve Filipinos’ needs in the UK.
Overall, the geographic distribution and concentration of the Filipino community in the UK reflect the complex interplay of economic, social, and historical factors that have shaped migration and settlement patterns.
The Filipino community in the UK is relatively young, with a median age of 36.6 years. This reflects that many Filipino migrants are economic migrants who have come to the UK to work, often in industries such as healthcare, education, and finance.
Regarding gender, the Filipino community in the UK is predominantly female, with women accounting for around 60% of the total population. This gender imbalance is common in many migrant communities. It is often a result of the fact that many migrants come to the UK to work in sectors traditionally dominated by women, such as domestic work and healthcare.
The gender imbalance in the Filipino community in the UK has implications for social and cultural dynamics within the community. For example, women may be more likely to form close-knit social networks and support systems, while men may face social isolation and difficulties in finding suitable partners or spouses.
It is worth noting that these demographic characteristics are subject to change over time as the community continues to grow and evolve. As younger generations of Filipinos settle in the UK and begin to start families, for example, the age and gender distribution of the community may shift.
Filipinos in the UK are well-educated and highly skilled and are employed in various industries and occupations.
Education and skill levels
Regarding education, Filipinos in the UK are more likely than the general population to hold a degree or higher education qualification. According to a study by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, around 62% of Filipinos in the UK aged 16 and over have a degree or higher education qualification, compared to 37% of the UK population.
Filipinos are employed across various industries but are particularly well-represented in healthcare, education, and finance. Many Filipinos work as nurses or healthcare assistants in the National Health Service, while others work in teaching, banking, and accounting roles.
Filipinos are also well-represented in sectors requiring highly skilled workers, such as engineering and information technology. This reflects that many Filipino migrants come to the UK under the Tier 2 (General) visa category aimed at highly skilled workers.
Overall, the high levels of education and skill among Filipinos in the UK reflect that many are economic migrants who have come to the UK to work and seek better economic opportunities. These skills and qualifications enable Filipinos to contribute more broadly to the UK economy and British society.