The term British Asian is used to refer to British citizens who are immigrants or descendants of immigrants from South Asia, or the Indian subcontinent. The term Asian British is used by the UK Government for the same group. In British English, the term 'Asian' usually excludes East Asians (see East Asians in the United Kingdom).
Immigration of South Asian people to the United Kingdom began with the arrival of the East India Company to the Indian subcontinent. Immigration continued during the British Raj and increased in volume after the independence of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from British rule, chiefly for education and economic pursuits. A major influx of Asian immigrants, the majority of them of North Indian and Pakistani ancestry, also took place following the expulsion of Indian communities (then holders of British passports) from Uganda and other nations of East Africa (see African migration to the United Kingdom).
In British English, the word "Asian" is often used to refer to those of South Asian origin, particularly Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, as well as the less numerous Sri Lankans, Nepalese and Maldivians. Additionally, Britons who mark the "Other Asian" category on the UK census are normally of Afghan, Iranian, Iraqi, Turkish and Yemeni ancestries. Although there are exceptions, the term generally excludes people of East Asian (such as Chinese, Korean or Japanese) or Southeast Asian origin; they are more likely to be defined by their country of origin, or may instead be grouped under the umbrella term "oriental". This is reflected in the "ethnic group" section of UK census forms and other government paperwork, which treat "Asian" and "Chinese" as separate.
This usage contrasts with American English, Canadian English and Australian English, in which "Asian" refers mainly to people with East Asian ancestry, as the majority of Asians in those countries originate from the 'Far East'.
The terms "Asian" or "British Asian" are contested. According to Qasim Mohammad, Britain's Hindu community considers the term somewhat vague given the religious and national origin difference between Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. Britain's Hindu community is debating whether to adopt a specific label based on nationality (e.g. "British Indian") or religion (e.g. "British Hindu"). Some British Indians do not feel they want to be in the same ethnic group as British Pakistanis. Others see a certain degree of unity in the South Asian diaspora; the term desi is also sometimes used to name a South Asian person, pointing to a common identity, but is more often a word used within the Asian community.
According to the 2001 UK Census there are 2.33 million British Asians, making up 4% of the population of the United Kingdom. This further subdivides to 1.05 million of Indian origin (1.8% of the population), 747,000 of Pakistani origin (1.3%), 283,000 of Bangladeshi origin (0.5%), and 247,000 from other Asian origins (0.4%) (largely of Sri Lankan origin). British Asians make up 50.2% of the UK's non-European population. British Indians tend to be religiously diverse, with 45% Hindu, 29% Sikh, and 13% per cent Muslim, while their counterparts of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin are much more religiously homogeneous, with Muslims accounting for 92% of each group. 2006 estimates show 1.6 million Indians in the UK, almost 1 million Pakistanis, 500,000 Bangladeshis, 300,000 Sri Lankans and just under 100,000 Nepalis, meaning the total British Asian population stands at around 3.5 million (or 5.7% of the UK's population). Between 2001 and 2006, the British Asian population increased in size by over 1.2 million.British Asians who marked "Other Asian" as an ethnic group and then wrote in their specific ethnic group were mostly (23%) of Sri Lankan origin. This was followed by fill-ins of Middle Eastern (9%) origin. Due to a growing sense of affiliation with Britain, many third generation Asians chose to not mark "Asian or British Asian" and instead marked "British Asian" in the "Other Asian" write in section.
In terms of key demographic measures, the two Asian groups, Indians and Pakistani/Bangladeshis have developed significant differences. The unemployment rate in Indians in UK is about 2%, comparable to that of the White British. On the other hand Bangladeshis have higher unemployment rates of 13-14% with Pakistanis having one of the highest rates,around 23% On the other the same surveys also showed that Pakistanis did not have the highest unemployment rates (circa. 15-16%), though this is probably attributable to the fact a greater proportion were found in self employment  . The same surveys also revealed the Indian unemployment rate to be 6-7%  Persons of Indian or mixed Indian origin are more likely than White British to have university degrees, whereas Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are less likely.
British Asian ethnic groups mostly originate from a few select places in South Asia. British Pakistanis originate largely from the Mirpur area, with the remainder originating from cities and villages in Punjab Province and North-West Frontier Province along with some from Karachi. British Bangladeshis largely originate from the Sylhet region of the country. British Indians tend to originate mainly from two Indian States, Punjab and Gujarat. However, in recent years, there has been significant Tamil immigration from Sri Lanka.
According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, British Asian men from all British Asian ethnic groups intermarried with another ethnic group more than British Asian women. Among British Asians, British Indians intermarried with a different ethnic group the most both absolutely and proportionately, followed by British Pakistanis and British Bangladeshis.
No one knows the earliest origins of settlement of South Asians in Great Britain for certain; if the Romani (Gypsies) are included, then the earliest arrivals may have been in the Middle Ages - although not normally included as South Asian, the Roma and Sinti (most in the UK have been Sinti) are both believed to have originated in parts of what is now North India and Pakistan and to have begun travelling westward around 1000, though they have mixed with Southwest Asians and Europeans over the centuries. Romani began arriving in sizeable numbers in parts of Western Europe in the 16th century.
People from South Asia have settled in Great Britain since the East India Company (EIC) recruited lascars to replace vacancies in their crews on East Indiamen whilst on voyages in India. Many were then refused passage back, and were marooned in London. There were also some ayahs, domestic servants and nannies of wealthy British families, who accompanied their employers back to "Blighty" when their stay in Asia came to an end.
The Navigation Act of 1660 restricted the employment of non-English sailors to a quarter of the crew on returning East India Company ships. Baptism records in East Greenwich suggest that young Indians from the Malabar Coast were being recruited as servants at the end of the seventeenth century, and records of the EIC also suggest that Indo-Portuguese cooks from Goa were retained by captains from voyage to voyage. In 1797, 13 were buried in the parish of St Nicholas at Deptford.
Since the 17th century, the East India Company brought over thousands of South Asian lascars, scholars and workers (who were mostly Bengali and/or Muslim) to Britain, most of whom settled down and took local white British wives, due to a lack of Asian women in Britain at the time. Due to the majority of early Asian immigrants being lascars, the earliest Asian communities were found in port towns. Naval cooks also came, many of them from the Sylhet Division of what is now Bangladesh. One of the most famous early Bengali immigrants to Britain was Sake Dean Mahomet, a captain of the British East India Company. In 1810, he founded London's first Indian restaurant, the Hindoostane Coffee House. He is also reputed for introducing shampoo and therapeutic massage to the United Kingdom. By the mid-19th century, there were more than 40,000 Indian seamen, diplomats, scholars, soldiers, officials, tourists, businessmen and students in Britain. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were around 70,000 South Asians in Britain, 51,616 of whom were lascar seamen (when World War I began).
Following the Second World War and the break up of the British Empire, Asian migration to the UK increased through the 1950s and 1960s from Pakistan (including present-day Bangladesh) and Commonwealth countries such as India, at the same time as immigrants from former Caribbean colonies were also moving to Britain.
Although this immigration was continuous, several distinct phases can be identified:
The Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 and Immigration Act 1971 largely restricted any further primary immigration, although family members of already-settled migrants were still allowed. In addition, much of the subsequent growth in the British Asian community has come from the births of second- and third-generation Asian Britons.
It is notable that although there are roughly double the amount of British Asians in the UK today compared to people of African descent, British Asians are less represented in global and British media than any other major group; in the UK there is less than half the amount of British Asians represented in the media than those of African and Caribbean descent.
The biggest influence of British Asians on popular culture has probably been the so-called Indian restaurant, though in fact most are run by people of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin. British Asian have also played a pivotal role in rejuvenating a number of UK street markets. According to the New Economics Foundation, Queen's Market, Upton Park is officially the most ethnically diverse.
The influence on popular music has been a long standing one for British Desis with music producer, composer and song-writer Biddu who produced and composed a number of music hits in the early part of the British Disco scene in the mid-1970s such as the smash hit Kung fu fighting for Carl Douglas and the 1 UK hit and worldwide smash I Love to Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance) for Tina Charles.
Bhangra music has in addition become popular among many in the general British public (Although only really popular amongst Asian British) not only from the works of British Asian musicians such as Panjabi MC, Swami and Rishi Rich but also incorporated into the works of a number of non-Asian musicians not only British but including North American artists such as Canadian Shania Twain, who created a whole alternate version of her multi-platinum album Up! with full Indian instrumentation, produced by legendary British Asian producers Simon & Diamond. Diamond, better known as DJ Swami has also collaborated with superstar rapper Pras, of The Fugees, and his band Swami have become one of the most renowned acts in British Asian music history, having had songs in major Hollywood movies and best-selling video games. One of the first artists of Asian Indian origin to achieve mainstream success was Apache Indian who infused reggae and hip hop with Indian popular music to create a sound that transcended genre and found a multicultural audience. he is the only Indian artist to have achieved 7 top forty hits in the National UK charts. A subsequent wave of "Asian Underground" artists went on to blend elements of western underground dance music and the traditional music of their home countries, such Nitin Sawhney, Talvin Singh and Asian Dub Foundation.
The influence of Asian music has not only been from Asians living in the UK, but also from some UK artists that were starting using Asian instruments creating a new and dynamic sound that was a mixture of sitars and tablas with a more rock traditional rock-based Western instruments like the drums and guitars. This created a inauthentic use of such cultural resources as all of the instruments were used to create a overall sound that treated all the instruments and influences equally.  Bhangra Asian identity and the search for authenticity There is one important thing to notice is the relationship of Bhangra and other musical genres namely Reggae, Dub, and Soul Not only has Asian culture popularity in the UK has boomed, it also has influenced many local artists that created their own mixture of genres. 
The films East is East, Chicken Tikka Masala and Bend It Like Beckham and the TV shows Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42 have managed to attract large, multi-ethnic audiences. The success and popularity of British Pakistani boxer Amir Khan influenced the revival of boxing on ITV Sport. In 2006, Time Asia magazine voted the late British Asian musician Freddie Mercury, the lead singer and writer of the rock band Queen, as one of the most influential Asians in the past 60 years.
Lakshmi Mittal is currently Britain's richest man and the fifth richest man in the world. The Mittal family owns 43% of Arcelor-Mittal, the world's largest steel manufacturer, which was known as Mittal Steel Company before the merger with Arcelor. He was listed in the Forbes List of Billionaires (2006) as the richest Indian and the fifth richest man in the world with an estimated fortune of $55.0 billion and, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2006, is the richest in the UK, with a net worth of £29 billion. The Financial Times named Mittal its 2006 Person of the Year. In 2005, he was the third richest man in the world according to Forbes List of billionaires (2005).
This refers to the growing body of literature that refers to and documents aspects of the British Asian experience.
Jawed Khaliq The first world champion boxer of Pakistani origin was born in Nottingham England. Amir Khan, the silver medallist at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, has become a cultural icon in the UK with audiences of up to 8 million watching him live on national television whenever he fights. He represents Britain in boxing and currently holds the titles of WBO inter-continental lightweight champion, WBA international lightweight champion, and Commonwealth lightweight champion. Another notable boxer is Haider Ali who won the first ever gold medal for Pakistan in boxing at the commonwealth games in Manchester in 2002 in the featherweight division he now fights professionally out of Luton, England.
Nasser Hussain was the captain of the England cricket team. Michael Chopra played for the England national under-21 football team and became the first footballer of Indian descent to play and score in the Premier League. In 2006, he made news for scoring the fastest goal in Premier League history, as Chopra had only been on the pitch for ten seconds after coming on as a substitute.
List of other British Asian Sport personalities:
Early British Asian stars include Sabu Dastagir, who had been famous for playing non-specific foreigners in British and Hollywood films, fondly remembered for his lead roles in The Thief of Bagdad and Jungle Book. Since the 1970s, British Asian performers and writers have achieved significant mainstream cultural success. The first British Asian musician to gain wide popularity in the UK and worldwide fame was the late Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara), who led the rock band Queen, although many people may be unaware of his Asian Parsi ethnicity. At around the same time, Biddu also gained worldwide fame for producing a number of hit songs, including "Kung Fu Fighting". In the 1990s, several other British Asian artists also achieved mainstream success. These included Apache Indian, whose 1993 single "Boom Shack-A-Lak" was used in many Hollywood movies, and Jas Mann, who headed Babylon Zoo and whose 1996 single "Spaceman" set a UK chart record when it sold 418,000 copies in its first week of release.
Famous British Asian actors in the 1980s included Art Malik, for his roles in The Jewel in the Crown and The Living Daylights, and Sir Ben Kingsley, one of Britain's most acclaimed and well-known performers. Kingsley is one of few actors to have won all four major motion picture acting awards, receiving Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards throughout his career, including the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Gandhi. The actress Parminder Nagra has a prominent role in the US TV series ER, and played the lead role in the successful British film Bend It Like Beckham. The actor Naveen Andrews plays the role of Sayid Jarrah in the popular US TV series Lost, and also had a prominent role in the award-winning film The English Patient. Long-running British soap operas such as Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks have all had a number of Asian characters.
The comedians Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal and Shazia Mirza are all well-recognised figures in British popular culture. The presenter and match maker of the BBC marriage arranging show Arrange Me a Marriage is Asian-Scot Aneela Rahman. Hardeep Singh Kohli is a presenter, reporter and comedian on British television. British Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian contestants have appeared on The Apprentice including Syed Ahmed, Tre Azam, Lohit Kalburgi, Ghazal Asif, Shazia Wahab, Sara Dhada, and most notably Saira Khan, who is now a British TV presenter. The broadcaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Samira Ahmed, meanwhile, present the Channel 4 News.
The term British Asian then was given the popular tag "Br-Asian", this was carried forward by two British Asian well known media business owners by the names of Moiz Vas and Nav Sagoo who together helped to define the term in the late ninety's and through to the millennium. They were responsible for various huge achievements for the community such as the British Asian Music awards which aired on ITV1 in the UK and Nav Sagoo then went on to conceive the first ever Br-Asian stage at Glastonbury in 2004 and 2005, taking every household name from the British Asian music scene out to the fields in the west country. Urban went Rural for the first time but with headline acts such as Rishi Rich, Jay Sean, Swami, Raghav to name a few even flying in were Indian supergroup Pentagram.
In 2008, in the second season of Britain's Got Talent, one of the most successful reality television shows, the British Asian dance duo Signature, consisting of Suleman Mirza (a British Pakistani) and Madhu Singh (a British Indian) performing a fusion of Michael Jackson and Bhangra music and dance styles, ended up as the runner-up on the talent show, second only to George Sampson. Currently, the most successful British Asian musician is the British Tamil artist M.I.A., who has been nominated for two Grammy Awards for her single "Paper Planes", and has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score for "O... Saya", from the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack. The actor Dev Patel, who played the role of Anwar Kharral in the teen drama series Skins, also played the leading role in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, for which he received several awards and was nominated for the 2009 BAFTA Award for Best Leading Actor.
Although there are Asian communities all over the UK, towns and cities with particularly significant Asian populations include:
Counties with a high population of British Asians include -
London Boroughs with a high population of British Asians include -