A new sociological definition of the term ‘modernization’ is suggesting that the UK could become more diverse over the next two decades.
A report commissioned by the Universities UK Modernization Research Group (UMKRG) says the country could be “more multicultural and multiracial” by 2045.
The report, published in the British Sociological Review, says: “Modernization theory suggests that the global economy and society has moved beyond a single-culture world and towards a multicultural one.
It argues that this is in part because the modernising effects of the industrial revolution and the subsequent rise of the welfare state have contributed to the rise of a multiracials society and multiculturalism.”
The report cites the examples of the NHS, schools, universities and businesses, which are all more diverse than they were 50 years ago.
Modernization, the report says, can be defined as the “continuation of the transformation of the environment, culture and society in which individuals have become increasingly integrated into the global community”.
The report suggests that Britain could become less multicultural by 2023 if immigration levels were to remain stable and that the rate of change in society were to stay constant.
The authors believe that the growth in immigration from non-Western countries will also reduce the potential for new arrivals from the EU to contribute to the growth of the UK’s population.
“There is a potential to be more diversity in Britain, but there is a greater risk of this happening by 2044 than by 2033,” the authors write.
The report also warns that the “mixed-nation model” is not the only solution to the growing need for new immigrants to enter the UK.
“Mixed-nationality countries have higher levels of immigration than non-mixed nationalities,” the report adds.
There is also a concern that the number of migrants from the Middle East and Africa could increase.
For the report, the authors surveyed 2,000 academics and professionals in order to gain an “accurate understanding of the global trends and issues in modernisation theory”.
“There has been a rapid increase in the number and diversity of immigrants arriving in the UK, but the increase in population is still below its potential over the period 2020-2025,” the researchers write.
“We do not believe that immigration from the UK will be a significant driver of future population growth.”