Dr Pablo Mateos gave a seminar on October 7th, at the Bolivar Hall of the Venezuelan Consulate, organised by the Alianza Iberoamericana. He presented a first attempt to measure the size and geographical distribution of the Latin or Iberian-American community in the UK (i.e. those with ancestry in Latin America, Spain, Portugal, and Portuguese speaking Africa), using conventional as well alternative statistical sources. Dr Cathy McIlwaine, Reader in Geography at Queen Mary UL, also presented evidence for the size of the Latin American community and its social characteristics, based on a large scale survey.
There is little research on Latin Americans or Iberian-Americans living in London or the UK. Most looks at specific national communities within the Ibero-American diaspora, repeatedly noting its low visibility in national and local politics, and the dearth of knowledge about alleged structural disadvantage and discrimination. One of the first steps towards increasing visibility is to establish reliable figures about the scale and distribution of the communities and the demographic characteristics of the places where they live.
Pablo’s talk presented statistics derived from official sources: The Census of Population, Labour Force Survey, Home Office Border Agency statistics, International Passenger Survey, and National Insurance Number Applications.
He has also mapped the geographical distribution in London of people with Spanish or Portuguese origin names, as registered in the electoral roll. The areas of higher concentration coincide with those found in several studies based on the languages that London pupils speak at home.
Download Pablo’s presentation at: http://popgeog.org/files/2009/11/P_Mateos_Bolivar-Hall_IberoAmericans-in-UK.pdf
Cathy McIlwaine: http://www.geog.qmul.ac.uk/staff/mcilwainec.html