More than a third of Brighton and Hove residents do not consider themselves to be in any way English, census data has revealed.
The 34.3 per cent of the city’s population that considers itself to have no English identity is only topped in Sussex by Crawley, where 35 per cent consider themselves to have no link.
The findings come from the second major release of data from the 2011 census.
In Brighton and Hove, 55.3 per cent of residents consider themselves English while a further 10.4 per cent said they were English and either British, Scottish, Irish or Welsh.
In comparison, just a few roads away in Adur, 20.5 per cent of people said they have no English identity.
Sian Bradford, a senior research officer at the Office for National Statistics, said that it was difficult to analyse the data.
She added: “As a general trend, the more rural the area, the more people likely to consider themselves English.
“However it is difficult to read too much into this data because this is the first time we have included a national identity question.”
Nationally, the highest percentage of the population with an English identity was found in the North East, with an average of 80.5 per cent.
The lowest percentage was found in London with just 38.3 per cent considering themselves English.
Geoffrey Bowden, the chair of Brighton and Hove City Council’s tourism and culture committee, welcomed the figures, describing them as “positive for the city”.
He added: “It shows that people of all backgrounds feel happy to settle here.
“I think we work very hard at community cohesion. It isn’t something that happens by accident - I think it is something to be very proud of.”
Tariq Jung, the chair of Brighton and Hove Muslim Forum, added that there had been huge changes since his family arrived in the city in the early 20th century.
He added: “On the whole the city is a very welcoming and friendly place.
“There have been problems but things have changed and continue to change.”
The two most English local authorities in Sussex are Rother and Wealden.
Just 20 per cent of people in Rother and 20.3 per cent in Wealden said they had no English link.
Ms Bradford added: “In the future we hope to link this type of data with the likes of ethnicity, so that we can analyse it.”
One in five residents in Brighton and Hove were born outside England.
Only Crawley tops the city in Sussex for the highest percentage of foreign-born residents with almost one in four coming from outside the country.
In comparison 91.6% and 91.1% of residents living in Adur and Rother were born in England.
The changing face of Sussex was revealed this week following the second release of 2011 Census data.
The larger towns and cities were predictably the most multinational. However, there are some surprising trends.
Brighton and Hove appears to be a haven for people relocated from Jersey, with the city the second most popular per head of all the 348 local authorities. Nearly 200 island natives now call the city home.
The city is also popular with Europeans with above the national average of Spaniards, Italian, French and Germans moving here.
The Polish prefer Arun while those born in Africa head straight to Crawley. The borough’s 5,371 African-born residents is nearly twice the national average per head.
The town is also popular with those born in the Middle East and Asia, with 7,476 now calling Crawley home.
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- 22-year-old man found dead in Brighton named
- Four passengers treated for injuries as bus crashes with car
- Mortar found in Brighton school
- Second wine theft in a week as burglars make off with more than £10,000 worth of bottles
- Brighton cafe-bar wins battle to keep its licence with a few minor amendments