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The changing ethnic, cultural and religious mix within Western societies is having a profound impact on consumer lifestyles, shopping behaviour and company strategies.
Minority communities often identify with one another on the basis of a boundary that distinguishes them from the majority of the population or other minorities, for example common ancestry or elements of cultural, language or religion.
The key factors affecting the ethnic and cultural mix of populations include people moving more between countries for purposes of work, leisure or study; migration and asylum; and generally higher birth rates among ethnic communities.
From an economic point of view, migrants contribute to the prosperity of their host countries, helping fill employment gaps when necessary and rejuvenating ageing populations and workforces.
Migration is also contributing strongly to the growth of urbanisation and to overall population growth in markets where birth rates are stagnant.