The term Anglo-Indians
can refer to at least two groups of people: those with mixed
Indian and British ancestry, and people of British descent
born or living in the Indian subcontinent. The latter sense is now mainly historical, but confusions can arise. The Oxford Dictionary
, for example, gives three possibilities: "Of mixed British and Indian parentage
, of Indian descent but born or living in Britain, or (chiefly historical) of British descent or birth but living or having lived long in India". People fitting the middle definition are more usually known as British Asian or British Indian. This article focuses primarily on the modern definition, a distinct minority
community of mixed Eurasian ancestry, whose native
language is English.
During the centuries that Britain was in India, the children born to British men and Indian women began to form a new community. (This process was replicated in many other meetings of European traders and colonisers across the subcontinent, including in Burma - Anglo-Burmese people - and Sri Lanka - Burgher people.) These Anglo-Indians formed a small but significant portion of the population during the British Raj, and were well represented in certain administrative roles. The Anglo-Indian population dwindled from roughly 800,000 at the time of independence
in 1947 to fewer than 350,000 by 2010. Many have adapted to local communities and emigrated to the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the United States and New Zealand.