St George's Day: Just 27% of people in Milton Keynes said they identified as English

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But survey shows 53% of respondents identified as British

The number of people who identify as English in Milton Keynes has been revealed.

St George's Day – a celebration of England’s patron saint and the country’s history – is on Tuesday, April 23.

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But the latest population survey from the Office for National Statistics, which covers all of last year, shows just 43% of people in England said they identified as English.

In Milton Keynes, 27% of people said they identified as English last year – down from 45% in the year to June 2016In Milton Keynes, 27% of people said they identified as English last year – down from 45% in the year to June 2016
In Milton Keynes, 27% of people said they identified as English last year – down from 45% in the year to June 2016

Respondents can select as many options as they like from British, English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish or ‘other’.

In Milton Keynes, 27% of people said they identified as English last year – down from 45% in the year to June 2016, before the Brexit referendum.

A decade earlier, 46% of people identified as English, while it was 58% in 2004.

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Nationally, the number of people identifying as English has broadly fallen over the last decade.

Some 52% said they were English in the year to June 2016, while this rose to 54% in 2013. It was as high as 59% in 2004.

Sunder Katwala, director of the British Future think tank, which works to promote diversity and social inclusion, said: "People’s sense of Englishness ebbs and flows. You'll see a lot of England flags in June when the Three Lions are competing in the Euros, and then they'll disappear again.

"We could do a lot more to celebrate English identity outside of major sporting moments, in an inclusive way – flying the flag with pride and making sure everyone feels invited to the party on St George’s Day.

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"Getting behind a shared English identity could help bring people together."

However, the Centre for English Identity and Politics at the University of Southampton, said the findings should be approached with caution.

Its director, Professor John Denham, said many people only select one response, despite having ‘multiple identities’.

He added the British social attitudes survey suggests there has been an increase in the numbers saying they are equally English and British, but a smaller rise in the numbers saying they are British rather than English.

In Milton Keynes, 53% of respondents said they identified as British – below the national average of 57%.