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Old 02-11-2011, 05:29 AM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
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When I first came to live in London last year after living elsewhere in Britain one of the first things I noticed was how it feels like a whole different country even compared to the towns just outside it, both in its size and scale but more particularly the pace of life, the attitudes and the demographic profile. London is 69% white and 58% white British according to the 2006 estimates, but if you consider the percentage of white British people actually raised in the area it's likely to be well under 50%, whereas I'd imagine the equivalent percentage in an average part of the country would be somewhere in the 80s or at least the 70s, so a big cultural discrepancy. The traditional Cockney accent is dying out in the city itself and is more commonly heard in the smaller towns to the south and east of the city these days. It's hard to find restaurants serving traditional English food, and the vast majority of working-class jobs are done by people with no or weak family roots in the area (large-scale immigration of non-whites here only started in the late 1940s). Furthermore, it's much rarer to see children or the over-60s in London than the rest of the country, and the amount of people in their 20s and 30s create a culture quite untypical of the rest of the country, and few people who move here intend staying their whole lives, myself included.

Is this just the inevitable nature of a 21st-century city in a developed country? I know the population of Brussels is nearly half foreign-born, and though I've never been myself I've heard it said that New Yorkers are not real Americans, but is there still a major city where the demographic profile and culture are still representative of the country as a whole?
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:48 AM
 
Location: Brisbane
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Most major cities in east asia, although they are catching up fast.

Seoul is a great example, around 2% of the pop is foreign born, and i love it for that.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsa1775 View Post
Most major cities in east asia, although they are catching up fast.

Seoul is a great example, around 2% of the pop is foreign born, and i love it for that.
But do you have families with children/older people there as much as the rest of the country, or is it dominated by younger singles?
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:24 AM
 
Location: The middle of nowhere Arkansas
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In america there is a huge difference between the rural areas and the urban areas. I live in a small town in the flyover states, arkansas. I don't really feel comfortable in my state capital which I'm certain you would consider the size of a postage stamp.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Brisbane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben86 View Post
But do you have families with children/older people there as much as the rest of the country, or is it dominated by younger singles?
Being a large city and an economic centre packed full of univerisites etc young singles are naturally attracted to it and i have no doubt they would represent a larger portion of the cities population than the rest of the country.

My mother in law still lives in central seoul however and going out where she does to traditional markets, and Karoke bars etc. I would say older people and children are much more represtative of the population than London (which i have lived in as well).

Just my personal opinion

Last edited by danielsa1775; 02-11-2011 at 06:47 AM..
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Singapore.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Scotland
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i really can't think of one large city where it is the same as in other parts of the country, its always or usually different in big cities than it is in rural parts, for example america and britain, basically different cultures in different regions, even in small countries like scotland east and west are totally different, even different parts of big cities are sometimes different, sometimes due to class, religion, race etc
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paull805 View Post
i really can't think of one large city where it is the same as in other parts of the country, its always or usually different in big cities than it is in rural parts, for example america and britain, basically different cultures in different regions, even in small countries like scotland east and west are totally different, even different parts of big cities are sometimes different, sometimes due to class, religion, race etc
Well, does Edinburgh still feel like Scotland? What proportion of people living in Edinburgh were brought up in the area and sound and generally behave Scottish? Often in London if I'm sat on the bus and somebody's phone goes off I'm genuinely surprised if somebody actually answers it in a native English-speaking voice. If you eat in a restaurant here it's very rare to be served by somebody born in this city.
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:54 PM
 
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Britain and France with London and Paris, regrettably, at the center of all things ... at least to those who've never been to Britain or France (and, thus, don't realize the rich regional differences in those countries). But, there are real historical reasons for it. Both England and France became nation-states long before any of their neighbors. And, the capital city-centric structure of things remains to this day. All one needs to do is to look at the structure of roads coming out of each of these cities into the hinterland to understand the "wheel-and-spoke" nature of these countries.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:03 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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I think London and New York stand out as special cases, they are both contenders for 'world city' and in terms of 'international status' they beat all the other big world cities like Paris, Tokyo, Mexico City. While these other big cities are huge and globally important, they still feel very much a part of their country. Rome still seems extremely Italian as French feels very French (a different kind of French to the provincial French of course). To me it is only NY and London which have been marooned into international waters, so to speak. To a lesser extent this is happening in Australia and Canada. Chicago and LA still seem to me to be thoroughly American (a global culture as it is) whereas Sydney and Toronto have a more truly multicultural feel to them (both these cities are almost half overseas born) and in their cities 'foreigners' definitely outnumber locals.
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