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In case you missed it: Analysis of May's race website

TOPIC OF DISCUSSION: Prime Minister Theresa May hosting a Racial Disparity Audit roundtable at 10 Downing Street, yesterday (October 10)

THIS MONDAY (October 9), Downing Street called a press conference to release a previewed version of its new interactive website, Ethnicity Facts and Figures, which presents statistics on the different experiences of white Brits and ethnic minorities in Britain. The website went live the following day (October 10), amid questions about how the findings would be actioned.

Anybody is free to look-up facts on more than 130 factors, including culture and community, home ownership, health, educational attainment and the receipt of benefits via the website, which is the first of its kind released by any government. Much of the data is already available to those who know where to look for it online and many of the statistics have already been discussed at length in a range of forums on race and equality.

However, there are some qualitative questions that Government departments have asked the public, which offer a broader and more detailed picture of how people feel about life in the UK, along with some potentially surprising revelations. Such questions include those along the lines of, 'How British do you feel?'. This particular subject revealed that white British respondents do not feel any more British than their African, Caribbean or Asian counterparts, on the whole.

The website suggests that the traditionally entrepreneurial self-image among many black Brits is not as strong as some may have thought – 11 per cent of black people surveyed are self-employed, meaning that they are the least likely ethnic group in the country to be self- employed, while 22 per cent of Pakistani/Bangladeshi Brits are most likely to own businesses.


One statistic in the Culture and Community section of the website revealed that 77 per cent of black people “feel people from different backgrounds get on together in their local area by ethnicity” compared with other ethnicities, 80-85 per cent of whom answered ‘yes’ to the same question.

‘Other/mixed’ respondents and those who identify as black seem to be the most digitally-savvy in the country – 95 per cent and 92 per cent respectively use the internet, compared with 88 per cent of white people.

Downing Street confirmed that they had been working with David Lammy MP (author of The Lammy Report which painted a bleak picture for black people in the criminal justice system) in order to collate and present the data accurately. Lammy found that 41 per cent of youths in prison belong to BAME backgrounds – a massively disproportionate figure given that only 13 per cent of the UK is non-white.

Ethnicity Facts and Figures paints a similar paints a similar picture, revealing that black people are three times more likely to be arrested than whites. For black men, the figures look particularly bleak – the website says that just 12 per cent of all BAME people arrested were women.

Black Caribbean school-leavers also fared badly, according to the data. Some 83 per cent of black African students went on to further education or employment, making them the second most likely group in the UK to do so, whilst their black Caribbean peers are “most likely to have no sustained education or employment after finishing Key Stage 5”.


Domestically, black Caribbean Brits were on par with white Brits on one front – around 19 per cent of people from both these groups lived in what the Government classifies as “non-decent homes”, compared with those of Arab descent, 34 per cent of which live in these sub-standard conditions.

The website will contribute to the achievement of one of the Prime Minster’s key aims, which is to highlight and remedy racial disparities, which currently adversely affect many BAME people in the UK. Upon entering Downing Street as Prime Minister last year, May expressed disappointment at stop and search tactics which were unfairly targeting black and Asian young men in particular, and vowed to achieve parity in this area.

To use the data as a key tool for policy change, May promises to make government departments and agencies who interface with the public to ‘explain or change’ any figures which suggest they are treating BAME inappropriately in comparison to white service users.

To visit the website, click here.

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