British Indians make up 1.5% of the UK population, but according to the latest General Medical Council figures makeup 12% of all doctors. These figures are also similar amongst dentists, pharmacists, nurses and opticians. In contrast, at the other end of the spectrum, Hindus make up only 0.5% of the prison population.
It is for this reason that the Daily Telegraph once said that “British Indians are not just the most successful immigrant group in this country’s recent history, but the most successful group of people full stop.” This is supported by polls that show 89% of British people believe that British Indian communities are “well integrated”.
Historically there has been a lower level of civic engagement in British public and political life among British Indians, though recently this has been changing. With younger and more prominent Hindu role models being elected and appointed to both Houses of Parliament, such as Priti Patel, Shailesh Vara, Lord Popat, Rishi Sunak and Lord Gadhia, there has been a surge in applications for selection to both local and national political positions.
This is not to say, however, that British Hindus have not contributed to British civil society. Community units are built on the strength of family units, and Hindus have the highest average level of marriage and the lowest average divorce rate of any faith group in the UK. Hindu communities are not limited to dealing with other Hindus however- in one survey, 89% of British Hindus felt that they got along well with people from different communities and backgrounds in their neighbourhoods.