Over the years, English customs and identity have become fairly closely aligned with British customs and identity in general.Today many English people have recent forebears from other parts of the United Kingdom, while some are also descended from more recent immigrants from other European countries and from the Commonwealth.It tells of the difficulty that most English people have of distinguishing themselves, in a collective way, from the other inhabitants of the British Isles"."When the Oxford History of England was launched a generation ago, "England" was still an all-embracing word.
Although England itself has no devolved government, the 1990s witnessed a rise in English self-consciousness.
In their 2004 Annual Population Survey, the Office for National Statistics compared the ethnic identities of British people with their perceived national identity.
They found that while 58% of white people in England described their nationality as "English", the vast majority of non-white people called themselves "British".
He notes that this slip is normally made only by the English themselves and by foreigners: "Non-English members of the United Kingdom rarely say 'British' when they mean 'English'".
Kumar suggests that although this blurring is a sign of England's dominant position with the UK, it is also "problematic for the English [...] when it comes to conceiving of their national identity.