This section provides available statistical information relating to asylum seekers and refugees followed by data relating to the minority ethnic population in Sheffield and other contextual information about the city.

According to LFS, Yorkshire and The Humber had a faster growing population than the UK as a whole, the population increase between 2006 and 2007 stood at nearly 35,000 with migration constituting for over half the total.  At 45 people per 10,000 residents, the region had the third highest international migration rate in England after London and the East of England.



Asylum seekers and Refugees

There are no statistics available on the exact numbers of asylum seekers and refugees in Sheffield. This is because the Home Office only keeps statistics on the number of asylum seekers that are being accommodated and/or supported. As a result estimates on the number of refugees can only be made using research or client data collected by relevant agencies. It is also the case that data is not collected on the location of individuals awarded ELR, HP or DL and asylum seekers that are not accommodated or supported by the Home Office.

Regional distribution of asylum seekers including dependants, in dispersed accommodation  by Government Office Region and local authority, as at end September 2009  was 555, out of which the number of those in receipt of subsistence only support by Government Office Region and local authority, as at the same period was 15. 

According to a research on the quality of life of asylum-seekers in Sheffield (Craig, 2004), the dispersal process was experienced as a 'no choice process'. Most respondents ending up in Sheffield, were not consulted about where they wanted to go, whether internationally, nationally or within the region.

ICAR has not been able to obtain a breakdown of nationalities for the same period in Sheffield, but Asylum Support figures from the end of December 2008, show that asylum seekers from over 55 different countries of origin were receiving some form of support in the Yorkshire & the Humber region. These countries included:

Albania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, the EU Accession States (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia), Jamaica, Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Dem. Rep. of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China (inc. Taiwan), India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

Of these, Zimbabweans, Iranis, Pakistanis, Iraqis and Afghans constituted the largest national groups of asylum seekers supported in the region. See table below for the top ten national groups: 


Supported asylum seekers, including dependants, by country of nationality in Yorkshire & the Humber

 Zimbabwe 720
 Iran 530
 Pakistan 445
 Iraq 370
 Afghanistan 305
 Eritrea 285
 China (inc. Taiwan) 215
 Dem. Rep. of Congo 210
 Other Middle East 175
 Other Africa 170

 Source: Home Office, Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom 2008, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 14/09. Supplementary excel tables (Table 2p)


Based on data from local schools, it was estimated in 2002 that there were 659 refugee or asylum-seeking children at school in Sheffield, of which 83 were unaccompanied minors (Allen 2002). The gender composition of asylum seekers living in local authority managed accommodation is equally divided between men and women (51% to 49%). The largest age group amongst these residents was the 0-15 bracket, followed by the 18-29 bracket (Asylum March/April 2003).

According to the latest available estimates (Lewis 2008), around 30,000 asylum seekers from 117
countries have been dispersed since 2000 to the region and the approximate number of refugees is 15,000. Unfortunately there are no population breakdowns available for the city of Sheffield. 


Other sources of data

  • The Sheffield Asylum team holds data on numbers, origins and the neighbourhoods in which asylum seekers are located - although access to such data is carefully controlled due to its sensitive nature
  • The Local Information System & Data Observatory (LASOS) is the result of a partnership between the 4 South Yorkshire Local Authorities; Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. This resource makes available to the general public basic demographic and socio-economic data by district and ward. However, more specific data such as population estimates by country of birth can only be accesed by Local Authorities and Partner Agency Officers.


Minority and Ethnic Population

68.6% of the population in Sheffield is Christian, with the second largest group of religiously aligned people being Muslims at 4.6%.

The 2001 census found that 5.2% of the population resident in Sheffield were born outside the EU, with 1.2% born elsewhere in the EU.  91.2% of the population in Sheffield describe themselves as 'white' (compared with the England average of 90.9%) and the ethnic minority population is therefore placed at 8.8%.

The largest ethnic minority population in Sheffield is the group defined as Pakistani at 3.1%, with the second largest being Black Caribbean at 1%. Almost half the ethnic minority population is estimated to live in four wards of the city that have high instances of deprivation (Burngreave, Sharrow, Darnall, and Firth Park) (Allen 2002).



As of January 2010 the unemployment rate stands at 7.8%, down by 0.1% over the quarter but up 1.6% on last year in the UK. According to Sheffield City Council the city has seen considerable job growth in recent years. The Annual Business Inquiry reports growth of 20% over the last 10 years, an increase of 43,000 jobs in Sheffield. Since 2000 this growth has shifted positively and job creation has been an estimated around 6,000 a year.

The latest figures estimate the employment rate in Sheffield to be 68.7%. The long-term trend shows that over the last 10 years the employment rate has increased, however more recently this positive trend has stabilized. There is evidence that it is starting to fall - although this is likely to be artificially depressed, to some extent, by population growth.



As reported by the Office for National Statistics Sheffield had the highest proportion of people aged 16-24 resident in households who were full time students, 23.2 per cent, compared with 20.8 per cent for the county as a whole. 

The Refugee Education & Employment Programme (REEP) provides educational support and guidance to refugees and asylum seekers to ensure that they take an active part in the social and economic life of the community.



According to the South Yorkshire Police the average number of crimes in Sheffield has decreased by 18.5% from 4789 to 3903 compared to the same three month period last year: the average number of burglaries in this area has decreased from 786 to 609 (22.5%); the number of violent crimes has decreased from 655 to 583.3 (10.9%) while the number of vehicle crimes  has  gone down from 800 to 513.7 (35.8%).

Last Updated: 17/02/10


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