Diversification isn't just a financial thing. Reuters/Luke MacGregor

The growth of minorities could have a major impact on politics.

London is now home to more than 8.6 million people, the highest the city's population has been since 1939. What's more, 44% of London now consists of black and ethnic minorities, compared to only 28.9% in 2001. That's according to the Greater London Authority, which serves the London mayor's office [via the BBC].

London's proportion of immigrants may seem high, but that's not an uncommon balance for many global business capitals. Below are diversity readings for some of the world's largest financial centers, according to research group Long Finance's Global Financial Centres Index. (Zurich, Seoul, Tokyo, and Geneva are also in the top 10, but reliable demographic data for those cities was not readily available.)

The data on U.S. cities count anyone who did not identify as white, including Hispanic and Latino people. The dates for each city's reading above range from 2011 to 2015.

London has always attracted immigrants, but they've often come one group at a time, the Economist notes. That began to change in the 1990s, as conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, the Soviet Union's collapse, E.U. expansion, and growing emerging market wealth drove more foreigners to Britain. Between 2001 and 2011, London's white population decreased by 6%, while the "Black other" population (not African or Caribbean) increased 110%, according to the 2014 Greater London Authority report. Overall, black and ethnic minorities grew 55.5% over the decade.

The growth could have a major impact on politics. A recent report from the Migrants' Rights Network and the University of Manchester estimates that around four million foreign-born residents will be eligible voters in this year's May elections. Though they don't vote uniformly, there are a few issues immigrants tend to agree on. For instance, the report suggests that migrant voters (ethnic minorities who are not born in the UK) care more about issues of immigration and discrimination. Those sentiments could be bad news for the right-wing UK Independence Party, which has veered toward anti-immigration policies.

This piece originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner piece.

More from Quartz:

The Most Frustrating Gadget in Your House Is Getting a User-Friendly Makeover

A Handy Chart for Haggling With Girl Scouts This Year Over the Price of a Box of Cookies

Boko Haram Is a Case Study in How Development Is Hurting Nigeria

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a map comparing the sizes of several cities
    Maps

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  2. A woman looks straight at camera with others people and trees in background.
    Equity

    Why Pittsburgh Is the Worst City for Black Women, in 6 Charts

    Pittsburgh is the worst place for black women to live in for just about every indicator of livability, says the city’s Gender Equity Commission.

  3. a photo of a full parking lot with a double rainbow over it
    Transportation

    Parking Reform Will Save the City

    Cities that require builders to provide off-street parking trigger more traffic, sprawl, and housing unaffordability. But we can break the vicious cycle.   

  4. a photo rendering of "Siemensstadt 2.0" in Berlin
    Life

    Berlin’s Take on a High-Tech ‘Smart City’ Could Be Different

    The German company Siemens is launching an ambitious adaptive reuse project to revitalize its historic corporate campus, with a modern data-collecting twist.

  5. a photo of a woman on a SkyTrain car its way to the airport in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    Transportation

    In the City That Ride-Hailing Forgot, Change Is Coming

    Fears of congestion and a powerful taxi lobby have long kept ride-hailing apps out of transit-friendly Vancouver, British Columbia. That’s about to change.  

×