Introducing the groundbreaking release of a report that unveils the authentic experiences of Birmingham’s Pakistani community. Known as the Birmingham Pakistani Report (BPR), its purpose is to enlighten politicians and community leaders on how to better cater to the needs of this ethnic group.

The BPR extensively explores various aspects by posing questions to Birmingham Pakistanis, including their aspirations for the city’s future, engagement in sports activities, and the significance of religion in their lives. Given that the 2021 census data revealed Pakistanis as the largest ethnic minority group in Birmingham, researchers argue that this report is long overdue.

Inspired by a heartfelt desire to contribute more to his community, Atif Ali BEM BCAc, the Project Director, transformed the initial idea into the BPR after facing initial challenges. The consultation process involved hundreds of Pakistanis across Birmingham, from Hodge Hill to Ladywood.

In a powerful poem titled ‘Hear Birmingham, Here,’ composed by Zarah Alam to accompany the report, one verse resonates:

“We, the 17%, have been called to speak and we have sung,

But know that long before this ink dries,

We were here in this city, bursting with pride,

British Pakistanis waving both flags, holding them high,

And still we continue the work and hustle and grind

That our parents’ parents started long before our time

For the future to be that bit easier, more hopeful, bright.”

Key findings from the BPR include:

  • Close to 75% of respondents express low optimism regarding Birmingham’s future.
  • The report delves into Pakistanis’ sense of identity, with 81% selecting British as their primary identification among various options.
  • When asked about their interest in participating in more sports and physical activities, 82% of respondents expressed a desire to do so. Among the barriers preventing participation, 41% identified cost as a significant factor.
  • In terms of library usage, 28% of respondents reported never having used the Birmingham Public Library.
  • The BPR inquired about the importance of religion to Pakistanis, with 86% of respondents considering it very important and 11% choosing quite important. This significance was highlighted even in comparison to other aspects of life such as work, study, family, friends, leisure, and politics.
  • Regarding the May 2022 elections, 40% of respondents did not vote, citing a common perception that all political parties are similar.
  • Approximately 55% of respondents reported witnessing or experiencing crime in the past year. Among those who experienced racism, the most prevalent form was racist name-calling, insults, and jokes/banter.
  • Nearly 80% of respondents expressed pride in being both British and “Brummie.”

To collect data, an online questionnaire/survey was available from December 2022 until February 2023, yielding 609 responses. Additionally, two focus groups were conducted in February 2023, one with women and another with young people aged 16-24. Lastly, prominent ethnic Pakistanis in Birmingham who hold leadership positions were interviewed. Atif Ali BEM, the Project Director of the Birmingham Pakistani Report, expressed his pride in this comprehensive community effort after a year of dedicated work.

The report, which offers long-overdue insights into Birmingham’s Pakistani community, emphasises the community’s presence and urges society to listen. As a proud Birmingham native himself, Atif Ali feels a personal connection to this endeavour. The Birmingham Pakistani Report is now available for download on its website


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