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Manchester Uni maps inequalities across England and Wales

INEQUALITY: Differences in employment opportunities and living standards between minorities and white Britons have remained persistent since 2000 according to Manchester University researchers

THE LIVES of ethnic minorities across the country have been mapped by experts at Manchester University with a new excel-based profiler that allows users to explore standards of living in each area of England and Wales.

Academics and researchers at the University’s Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) have joined forces with race equality think tank the Runnymede Trust to produce the Local Ethnic Inequalities Area Profiler. The tool drills down into Census data to rank districts by inequality, comparing the experience of minority groups to White British residents living side by side.

MEASURES

It measures ethnic inequalities in education, employment, health and housing for each local authority district in England and Wales, for 2001 and 2011.

Despite Britain continuing to diversify, differences in living standards for minorities and white British residents have remained persistent since 2000, according to CoDE’s findings.

The project highlights the 20 areas with the most and least inequality between ethnic minorities and White British neighbours and also shows that the problem is not unique to typically diverse urban areas, with more rural areas of Lancashire and East Staffordshire and parts of Kent, Somerset and Lincolnshire showing significant levels of inequality.

One of the team behind the project, Dr Nissa Finney said that left alone, the problem of ethnic inequality would not solve itself.

She said: “Ethnic inequalities are not only widespread in England and Wales, they are persistent. These inequalities are not, and will not, disappear of their own accord. This is particularly the case in employment and housing. For example, overcrowding was experienced by ethnic groups in every district over the past decade. The findings provide clear evidence that ethnic inequalities are a local concern, and that addressing inequalities is not purely an issue for authorities with diverse and poor populations.”

She added: “They also demonstrate that inequalities can be reduced and there are districts across the country that have achieved this over the 2000s.”

MINORITY GROUPS

The project found that in Tower Hamlets, east London, 48 per cent of Asian households and 43 per cent of households from ethnic minority groups as a whole lived in overcrowded homes compared with 24 per cent of White British households.

In Breckland, in rural East England, the minority population almost doubled from 5 per cent to 9 per cent between 2001 and 2011. Ethnic inequalities widened on all indicators in that time.

The project also found that Bradford, where 36 per cent of the population identified connections to an ethnic minority group, stands out as one of the few success stories, managing to bridge the inequalities gap between residents since the turn of the millennium. In education, the number of ethnic minority 16-24-year-olds without qualifications is now in line with the number of white British young adults. This compares to 25 per cent of ethnic minority 16-24-year-olds and 19 per cent of White British in 2001.

Dr Omar Khan, director of the Runnymede Trust, said: “This report contains a wealth of information that shows why ethnic inequalities are relevant in every village, town and city in England and Wales. The evidence also suggests that local and national policymakers and decision-makers must act much more directly to ensure that a third generation doesn’t continue to experience disadvantage because of their ethnic background.”

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