This is a catch all term used to describe British citizens who are of Asian descent. The term can be taken to refer to Asian people from many different countries, however it is generally used to describe Asian people who can trace their ethnic origins to the South Asia specifically Indian, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Other countries that can be used in this context are Nepal and Sri Lanka.
According to the United Kingdom Census 2001 there were 2.3 million British Asians in the UK, making up roughly 4% of the national population. A breakdown of these figures reveals that over 1 million were of Indian descent, over 740,000 were of Pakistani descent and 280,000 were of Bangladeshi descent.
What these statistics show is that British Asians make up well over half the UK’s ethnic minority group.
The census also revealed the religious make up of Britain’s ethnic minorities. For instance the vast majority of people of Pakistani descent were Muslims (well over 92%). Whereas the Indian descended communities were more diverse, split between the Hindu, Sikh and Muslim faiths.
Its also interesting to note that many British Asians tend to originate from very specific locations in South Asia. A example of this being Mirpur in Pakistan is from where the majority of Pakistani people come from.
It should be noted that people of Arab, Chinese or Far East descent are not included in these statistics.