NRI Sikhs most successful religious group in UK

London, October 12, 2004
Vijay Dutt
Hindustan Times

The Sikhs in Britain are now enjoying most rewards of their work ethic compared to any other religious group.

Eight out of 10 Sikhs are likely to own a house, considered the basic symbol of prosperity. Their success is a tribute to the hard work of the first generation and then the ever-growing economic success and educational achievement of subsequent generations.

The figure of 82 per cent home ownership among Sikhs compares to 70 per cent (seven out of 10) homeowners among the Christian majority. Sikhs are also, it has been found, as likely as Christians to hold a university degree.

A quarter of Hindus have a degree, while 16 per cent of Christians and Sikhs are educated to that level. The first ever breakdown of religious groups by the Government shows that Britain has proved most receptive to ambitions of migrants.

Hindus and Jews too are ahead of Christians in terms of home ownership. While 74 per cent Hindus own homes, 77 per cent of Jews are home owners, second only to Sikhs who are at top of the table with 82 per cent having their own homes.

Hindu men are second only to Jews among major religious groups as likely to hold managerial posts or be top professionals. Some 45 per cent of management roles, and one in 20 Hindu men is a doctor, 10 times the percentage of the Christian majority.

The figures also show high levels of deprivation among Muslim communities. This has raised concern that some are increasingly becoming economically and culturally isolated. Almost a third of Muslims have no qualifications, the highest proportion of any other religious groups. Worse 14 per cent are unemployed and health problems are also greater. Two-thirds of Muslim women have no jobs, compared to more than a third in any other religious group.

These figures compiled by the Office of National Statistics from the 2001 Census were published on Monday in a document called Focus on Religion. Over 41 million said they were Christians. Muslims were the next largest group with a population of 1.6 million, followed by Hindus (558,000), Sikhs (336,000), Jews (267,000) and Buddhists, numbering 150,000.

Muslims have the largest households, 3.6 persons in each home on an average, and are also the most likely to suffer over-crowding.

Table at a glance:

Homeowners (housing by religion) in UK :

Sikhs 82%

Jews 77%

Hindus 74%

Christians 70%

Religion not stated 63%

No religion 62%

Other religions 58%

Buddhists 54%

Muslims 52%

All people 68%