More people in South Tyneside "are English"

More people in South Tyneside see themselves as ‘English’ than before the 2016 EU referendum, according to a national survey – with fewer are identifying as ‘British’.

South Tyneside is 'English' for St George's Day.
South Tyneside is 'English' for St George's Day.

The latest results – which come on St George’s Day – show that, in the lead-up to the Brexit referendum, 63% of people surveyed in South Tyneside said that they identify as being ‘English’ - but this rose to 71% in the year to December.

Over the same period, the proportion of people identifying as ‘British’ decreased from 53% to 40%.

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It was a different story across England as a whole, where ‘English’ identity has been on the decline.

Some 44% of people identified as ‘English’ last year – down from 52% in 2016 – while the proportion identifying as ‘British’ has increased from 49% to 59%.

The findings come from the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Annual Population Survey which invites a sample of local people to declare their perceived identity.

Sunder Katwala, director of the think tank British Future, said: "Most people in England have two flags and two identities, English and British. The strength of feeling for them ebbs and flows according to events – we will see a lot of Union Jacks during the Jubilee celebrations, but it will be the England flag flying for the World Cup in November.”

John Denham, director of the Centre for English Identity and Politics at the University of Southampton, said: “Young people are more likely to more likely to identify as British than older generations.”