Exploring the migration of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs in Birmingham by ward concentration and deprivation


  • Serena Hussain Coventry University




Birmingham, deprivation, ethno-religious clustering, internal migration, segregation, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs


This paper explores the migration within as well as migration to Birmingham of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. It provides analysis and reflection on the relationship between migration, faith group concentration and deprivation. The findings demonstrate how Muslim, Hindu and Sikh migration trends differ for specific wards characterised by contrasting levels of both socio-economic disadvantage and faith group clustering. Hindus are shown to migrate to more affluent areas, however this does not necessarily translate to moving away from wards where there are clusters of the same faith group, as discussion on Hall Green illustrates. Muslims, on the other hand, displayed a greater propensity to move away from wards with high concentrations of the same faith group, yet this did not also result in moving to more affluent wards.

Author Biography

Serena Hussain, Coventry University

Serena Hussain is a Sociologist and Human Geographer. She is currently an Associate Professor at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations. Her previous roles include Principal Scientist on Multiculturalism and International Migration at Charles Darwin University in Australia; and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the School of Geography, University of Oxford, where she remained a Visiting Senior Research Associate till 2013. Before coming to Oxford in 2009 she completed an ESRC funded Research Fellowship at the University of Leeds, investigating the internal migration of ethnic groups in Britain. Serena completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Manchester, and her PhD in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Bristol. Her doctoral thesis, 'A Statistical Mapping of Muslims in Britain' (subsequently published as 'Muslims on the Map: A National Survey of Social Trends in Britain') was supervised by Professor Tariq Modood MBE and was the first PhD jointly funded by the Muslim Council of Britain and the Economic and Social Research Council.


Abbas, T. (2006) Muslims in Birmingham, UK Background Paper for COMPAS, University

of Oxford. https://www.compas.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/RR-2008 Muslims_Cohesion_Birmingham.pdf

Attwood, C., Gurchand, S., Duncan, P., and Creasey, R. (2003) 2001 Home Office

Citizenship Survey: People, Families and Communities, Home Office Research Study 270. London: Home Office.

Awan, I. (2014) Operation ‘Trojan Horse’: Islamophobia or extremism? Political Insight 5

(2): 38-39

Ballard, R. (2008). Inside and outside: Contrasting perspectives on the dynamics of kinship

and marriage in contemporary South Asian transnational networks. in Grillo, R. (ed.) The Family in Question: Immigrants and Minorities in Multicultural Europe University of Amsterdam Press

Battu, H. and Mwale, M. (2004) Ethnic enclaves and employment in England and Wales,

Centre for Labour Market Research, Discussion Paper 2004-02 http://aura.abdn.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/2164/10/ISSN%200143-04-02.pdf;sequence=1

Bécares, L., Stafford, M. and Laurence, J. (2011) Composition, concentration and

deprivation: Exploring their association with social cohesion among different ethnic groups in the UK, Urban Studies 48 (13): 2771-787

Beck‐Gernsheim, E. (2007) Transnational lives, transnational marriages: a review of the

evidence from migrant communities in Europe, Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs 7 (3):271-288

Bolt, G.; Ozuekren, A.S. and Phillips D. (2010) Linking Integration and Residential

Segregation, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36 (2):169-186

Cameron, D. (2014) British Values. June 15, 2014. Accessed April 17, 2016.


Cangiano, A. (2004) Mapping of race and poverty in Birmingham, Oxford Centre on

Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford. www.bhamcommunity.nhs.uk/EasySiteWeb/GatewayLink.aspx?alId=13245

Cantle, Ted. 2001. Community Cohesion: A Report of the Independent Review Chaired by

Ted Cantle. London: Home Office.

Casey, L. (2015) The Casey Review: A review into opportunity and integration,

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk › file › The_Casey_Review_Report

Catney, G. and Simpson, L. (2010) Settlement area migration in England and Wales:

Assessing evidence for a social gradient, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 35:571–584

Charsley, K., Bolognani, M., & Spencer, S. (2016). Marriage migration and integration:

interrogating assumptions in academic and policy debates. Ethnicities 17 (4):469-490

Duke-Williams, O. and Stillwell, J. (2007) Investigating the potential effects of small cell

adjustment on interaction data from the 2001 Census, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 39(5) 1079 – 1100

Finney, N. and Simpson, L. (2008) Internal migration and ethnic groups: evidence for Britain

from the 2001 Census, Population, Space and Place 14 (2): 63-83

Finney, N. and Simpson, L. (2010) Sleepwalking to segregation? Challenging myths about

race and migration, Policy Press, University of Bristol

Gale, R. (2013) Religious residential segregation and internal migration: The British Muslim

case, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 45 (4):872-891

Harris, D (2008) Christian preachers face arrest in Birmingham, The Telegraph


Hussain (2007) Muslims on the Map: A National Survey of Social Trends in Britain, IB

Tauris London

Hussain, S. and Sherif, J. (2015) Minority religions in the census: the case of British

Muslims, Religion 44 (3), 414-433

Kalra, V. and Kapoor, N. (2009) Interrogating segregation, integration and the community

cohesion agenda, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35 (9): 1397-1415

Karner and Parker (2010) Conviviality and conflict: Pluralism, resilience and hope in inner-

city Birmingham, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 37(3):355-372

Kaufmann, E. and Harris, G. (2015) ‘White flight’ or positive contact? Local diversity and

attitudes to immigration in Britain, Comparative Political Studies 48(12):1563-1590

Krysan, M. (2002) Whites who say they’d flee: Who are they, and why would they leave?

Demography, 39 (4): 675–696

Lenton, P. & Mosley, P. (2012) Financial Exclusion and the Poverty Trap: overcoming

deprivation in the inner city, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis

Maloutas, T. (2004) Segregation and residential mobility: Spatially entrapped social mobility

and its impact on segregation in Athens, European Urban and Regional Studies. 11(3): 195-211

Mcgarrigle, J. and Kearns, A. (2009) Living apart? Place, identity and South Asian residential

choice, Housing Studies, 24 (4):451–475

Munoz, S.A. (2006) Geographies of faith: the differing residential patterns of the Indian‐

Hindu, Indian‐Sikh and Indian‐Muslim populations of Dundee and Glasgow. Population, Space and Place 16 (4): 269-285

Owen, D. (1994) Spatial variations in ethnic minority group populations in Great Britain,

Population Trends 78:23-33

Pais, J.F., South, S.J. and Crowder, K. (2009) White flight revisited: A multi-ethnic

perspective on neighborhood out-migration Population Research Policy Review, 28(3): 321–346

Peach, C. (1994) Three phases of South Asian emigration, in Brown, J. and Foots, R. (Eds)

Migration: The Asian Experience, Springer, pp. 38-55

Peach, C. (2002) Social geography: new religions and ethnoburbs - contrasts with cultural

geography, Progress in Human Geography, 26 (2): 252-260

Peach, C. (2006) Islam, ethnicity and South Asian religions in the London 2001 census,

Transaction of the Institute of British Geographer 31(3): 353-370

Phillips, D. (1998) Black minority ethnic concentration, segregation and dispersal in Britain,

Urban Studies, 35(10): 1681-1702

Phillips, D., Davis, C & Ratcliffe, P. (2006) British Asian narratives of urban space,

Transaction of the Institute of British Geographers 32(2): 217-234

Phillips, D. (2007) Ethnic and racial segregation: A critical perspective, Geography Compass,

(5): 1138-1159

Phillips, T. (2005, 22 September) After 7/7: Sleepwalking to segregation, Speech given at

Manchester City Council for Community Relations, Commission for Racial Equality, London.

Ratcliffe, P. (1981) Racism and reaction: A profile of Handsworth, Routledge and Kegan

Paul, London

Rex J. and Moore R. (1967) Race, community and conflict: A study of Sparkbrook, Oxford

University Press, Oxford

Rex, J. and S. Tomlinson (1979) Colonial Immigrants in a British City: A Class Analysis.

London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Sehmi (2019) Attitude towards marriage among British Sikhs, PhD thesis, Coventry


Simpson, L. (2005) Measuring residential segregation. Presentation to ESRC. Available at

http://www.ccsr.ac.uk/ research/migseg.htm

Shaw, A. (2001) Kinship, cultural preference and immigration: consanguineous marriage

among British Pakistanis, Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute, 7(1):315-334.

Stillwell, J., Hussain, S. and Norman, P. (2008) The internal migration propensities and net

migration patterns of ethnic groups in Britain, Migration Letters 5 (2):135-150

Stillwell, J. and Hussain, S. (2010) Exploring the ethnic dimension of internal migration in

Great Britain using migration effectiveness and spatial connectivity, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 36 (9), 1381-1403

Wei Li, (1998) Anatomy of a new ethnic settlement: The Chinese ethno-burb in Los Angeles,

Urban Studies 35(3): 479-501




How to Cite

Hussain, S. (2021). Exploring the migration of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs in Birmingham by ward concentration and deprivation. Migration Letters, 18(3), 339–348. https://doi.org/10.59670/ml.v18i3.868




Most read articles by the same author(s)