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Thus it was in very hostile circumstances that overseas Chinatowns emerged, with the first generation Chinese, in particular, confined to such enclave communities. According to the 1991 Census, which asked people to specify their ethnic origins for the first time, there were estimated to be Page 24 about 156,900 Chinese in Britain, with 77,700 males and 79,200 females (Owen, 1993). 2 The Chinese constitute the third largest ethnic minority group in Britain, after people of Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi) and African-Caribbean origin.

2 The Chinese constitute the third largest ethnic minority group in Britain, after people of Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi) and African-Caribbean origin. 7 percent over 45 years of age. 3 However, the Chinese in Britain actually constitute a much more diverse group of people than the term suggests; not only are there regional differences (and corresponding dialect differences, such as Cantonese, Hakka, and Hokkien speakers) among the Chinese from Hong Kong, but there are also Chinese people from Singapore, Malaysia, and more recently, Vietnam (Bozorgmehr and der-Martirosian, 1994).

In addition to the changes in rural Hong Kong's economy and society, variations in immigration controls and the growth in demand for ethnic cuisine in Britain were key underlying factors that led to increased levels of immigration to Britain (Parker, 1995:63). The "pull" factors of the restaurant boom in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s were crucial for the formation of a more permanent Chinese community there. , Italian and Greek people). The settlement patterns of the Chinese in Britain have been integrally shaped by the need to find new markets for their restaurants and take-aways.

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