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6 Most Popular Cities in the UK for the Chinese


best UK cities for Chinese

Remember a while ago, the news of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle facing racism from the British royal family broke out? Renowned for being dignified and affectionate to the public, this scandal shocked the world and brought in global attention.

Is there really a problem of racial discrimination in the British royal family? We will not comment on it - because after all, we’re not historical experts, nor are we paparazzies. Instead, we will be talking about why foreigners and immigrants are drawn towards the United Kingdom

We found out that people are drawn to the UK because of the British life, and their ease of access to quality local education. Particularly in the United Kingdom after Brexit, there was a significant surge in the number of immigrants!

According to the investment visa report released by the British immigration authorities, this surge was caused by the increase in the investment threshold in November 2014 when it went from £1 million to £2 million, causing many people to rush and submit immigration applications before the price increases. The number of applicants at that time almost DOUBLED!

Although the market entered a cold period in 2015 after the immigration prices increased, the number of immigrants submitted and approved increased by up to 180% as the pound plummeted after the Brexit results in June 2016.

UK permanent residence - UK immigrant numbers in 2017


From 2018 to 2020, the British Immigration Service released a visa report which shows that the number of visa applications submitted during that period were at record levels. All the way up till the third quarter of 2020, the number of applications jumped 363% year-on-year! Diving in further, we found that the number of immigrants from China came in first amongst the countries of applicants in both years.

Net migration by citizenship, UK, increased since 2013

Figure 1: Net migration by citizenship, UK, increased since 2013
Source: Office for National Statistics

Comparison of countries/regions that applied for the UK investment migration visa in 2018

Figure 2: Comparison of countries/regions that applied for the UK investment migration visa in 2018
Source: Sohu

Since there are so many Chinese immigrants in the UK, which cities do they choose to live in? There are so many cities in the UK! Let's take a look at the most popular cities or regions in the UK for Chinese below!


London, England

London, the capital of the United Kingdom, has 4 "mosts": the world's wealthiest, most economically developed, growing businesses, and has the highest standard of living - it has been ranked first in the world for 8 consecutive years in the overall strength of the world's cities. But now it has added another "most" - the city with the most Chinese, with more than 100,000 of them there!

The local Chinese can be seen everywhere in London, so this is the place where you can immerse in the Chinese culture the most. Because of this, London has their very own Chinatown, where you can not only taste the most authentic Chinese food, but also stroll in a whole street full of everything Chinese.



Manchester is the third largest and second busiest city in the UK, and has transformed from a manufacturing-based industrial city into a thriving, modern and vibrant metropolis.

It is a city that has secured its position in the manufacturing industry, while also focusing on the development of a knowledge-based economy, and is among the top 10 best cities in Europe for business.

To the everyday man, Manchester is known as the "24-hour party town", with bars, dance clubs, cinemas and opera houses in the city shifts from weekend openings to seven-day socialising.

In addition, there are many Chinese and Asian restaurants there, as well as the second largest Chinatown in the UK, which is also full of restaurants and supermarkets, making it a very convenient place to live without having to worry about immigrants getting used to the food or life in the West.




Barnet is about 16 kilometers away from London, about an hour's drive away. It is not as busy as the big cities, but it is equally as prosperous, and the cost of living and housing prices are relatively cheap, so many Chinese choose to live here.

Besides that, it is also one of the London school network areas. Barnet was named the best public school district within the 20 boroughs in 2019, and many students from Oxford, Cambridge and other universities have graduated from this city's schools.

Many Chinese families who want to provide their children with a quality education and also enjoy a quiet life can choose to live in this district.


Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets

Did you know that there are also many Hong Kongese living in the UK? Hong Kong food can also be found in many places, such as Manchester and Barnet, where many Hong Kong-style tea houses are located.

If Manchester is the Mongkok of Britain, then the district of Tower Hamlets is the Wanchai district of London. Here, you can easily find many Hong Kongese faces, supermarkets with Chinese food and products, and Hong Kong style tea houses, all in this one area.

Tower Hamlets is close to Central London, and other than the convenience in travelling to Central London for work, the schools there are also remarkable, such as Queen Mary University of London. Many excellent schools ranked by Ofsted, the most authoritative school rating agency in the UK, are located in this district.

Many Chinese families live in this area because it is not only convenient for their children to attend the best schools in the UK, but also for themselves to go to work.



London Borough of Southwark, UK

London Borough of Southwark, UK
Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

Southwark is very close to London, about 5 km away, therefore it is a perfect place to find a combination of job opportunities, community facilities, famous universities, and good food.

It also has a great transport network, with a full range of bus and train services, so there’s no problem for you to go to any major UK cities to get a job!

The high quality of life here and the many residential options available make it a popular choice for many expats working in or migrating to the UK. There are also many Asian restaurants and supermarkets, be it Chinese or Hong Kong style restaurants, stores, food courts and more, that can be found here. Coming to Southward will make you feel right at home.



Birmingham, the second largest city in the UK, is located in the south central part of the country and can be considered the heart of the UK.

According to the 2011 census, the total population of the city is over 1 million, and the Chinese population is 12,712, accounting for 3.2% of the city's total population. In general, Chinese faces can be found everywhere in the city.

Because Birmingham is also a large city, it has a good transportation network from Manchester to London, a good educational development, and a lot of Asian restaurants. Chinese immigrants can surely quickly and easily adapt to life here.

Although Birmingham has long been one of the key cities in the UK economy with a wide range of consumer and entertainment facilities, it is not as busy as London, and the standard of living here is much lower. This may be because it is home to universities, including the University of Birmingham, one of the top academic institutions in the UK, so all the facilities here are affordable, convenient and easily accessible.

University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham

Major media outlets have reported earlier that UK house prices went up during the pandemic (the average house price in London even hit a record high of £496,000!). So you must be wondering: how can people invest at this price? Well, you can consider property in Birmingham!

According to the latest data from Zoopla, the UK's leading property website, the average house price in Birmingham is at most £390,000.

Since Birmingham is considered a university area, houses here also belong to the school district. If you buy a house here, you can also rent it out to students, and it can bring investors a stable return on investment! If you are interested in studying in the UK, you can also invest in a house to support your education.

Average values in Birmingham 2021

Figure 3: Average values in Birmingham 2021
Source: Zoopla

Interested to invest in one of these cities or have questions on how to start investing in overseas property?
Leave your enquiry down below, and our professional team of agents will reach out to assist you as soon as possible.

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