There is no recent data available, but according to the last census of 2001 in the UK, they were 21,601 UK residents that were born in Barbados, compared to the 53,785 Barbadian-born residents of the United States at the same time. This made the UK home to the second largest Barbadian community outside of the island of Barbados. It would be good to get an update of the present situation but regardless of the actual data the situation is more or less the same today.
They say culture is the way of life of a society. It is the traditions values and norms that are passed down from generation to generation. The culture of a society is a direct way of relating a society to its people. The way in which people of a society learn of their culture is through a process of socialisation. This lends us to critique that as so many Barbadians were originally born in Barbados and socialised in the ‘Bajan’ way and then came to the UK as children or as adults and were still living in Barbadian families’ traditional Barbadian values are still strongly a part of their daily lives. The extent that British values have replaced Barbadian values in the Barbadian community in the UK, is an interesting area to be explored by the sociologists among our ranks.
What do you think are ‘Bajan’ values still strong among the Barbadian community in the UK ?
Historically migration from Barbados to the UK was fairly simple, since many Barbadians once held overseas British citizenship, but the number of Barbadians migrating to the UK increased after the 1952 McCarran Act put “severe curbs” on Caribbean immigration to the nearby United States. In 1955, the Barbados government established a Sponsored Workers Scheme and appointed an officer in London to help find work for Barbadians in the UK, due to the perception that population pressure was too great in Barbados. Between 1955 and 1966, more than 27,000 Barbadians migrated to the UK. This represented the largest mass migration from the Caribbean island since 45,000 people emigrated to Panama in the 1900s and 1910s, and was part of a wider migration of people from the Caribbean to the UK which saw 550,000 people migrate between 1948 and 1973, with the majority doing so before the passing of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962. They were recruited to fill labour shortages in the UK in sectors such as transport and healthcare. Migration from Barbados to the UK between 1951 and 1971 represented 12 per cent of the population of Barbados.
According to the 2001 UK Census, 21,601 people born in Barbados were living in the United Kingdom, representing around 8 per cent of all Caribbean-born people living in the country. In 2001, Barbados was the second most common birthplace in the Caribbean for UK residents and 47th most common out of all birth countries. By comparison, the 1971 Census recorded 27,055 people born in Barbados.
Reading in Berkshire is reported to have the largest Barbadian community outside of the Caribbean,whilst Ipswich, the county town of Suffolk is also home to a large Bajan population, with 2.7 per cent of the population originating in the Caribbean nation. The National Council of Barbadian Associations (UK) has branches in Huddersfield, Leeds, Liverpool and Merseyside, Manchester, Oldham, Preston, Coventry, Leicester, Birmingham, London, Bath and Bristol, and Reading.