Coventry has a long tradition of welcoming people to the city from all over the world. These people have bought new skills and expertise with them and have been proud to make Coventry their home. In 1685, for instance, French refugees settled here following religious persecution in their country and introduced the weaving trade to Coventry – a trade that helped to make the city wealthy and successful.
During the 19th and 20th centuries people came to Coventry from across England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Commonwealth to settle here, and in the 1970s the city made a new home for East African refugees fleeing from Uganda and the regime of Idi Amin. More recently people have come to Coventry from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Africa and from a number of European countries.
Today, Coventry is a city of around 329,800 residents (mid 2013) and has a younger population than average in comparison with the UK. The 2011 Census tells us that 1 in every 5 people living in Coventry (21%) were born outside the UK.
People move in and out of the city every year, including students from the UK as well as an estimated 14,340 overseas students (2013-2014 figures) who come to Coventry to study at the city’s two universities.
Coventry’s vibrant economy means that new people are also arriving here to work mostly from within the UK and the European Union Countries. A smaller number of people come to Coventry as asylum seekers because they fear for their own safety in their home country.