Ethnic group

Mnemonic (reference code): ETHNICID_S

Type: Primary variable

Definition: Ethnic group classifies people according to their own perceived ethnic group and cultural background.

Applicability: Person

Classification: The Ethnicity question has 6 broad categories from which the user would select one and then pick a specific ethnicity within that category, or fill in the text box underneath whilst ticking the “other” box. Responses are assigned codes based on the ethnicity classification codes.

The categories in this classification may have been combined within the tables based on the Ethnic Group hierarchy (Excel 279 Kb download)

Not applicable category (X) comprises: Schoolchildren and full-time students living away from home during term time.

Source Question:

What is your ethnic group?

Choose ONE section from A to F, then tick ONE box which best describes your ethnic group or background.

A. White

  • Scottish
  • Other British
  • Irish
  • Gypsy/Traveller
  • Polish
  • Other white ethnic group, please write in

B. Mixed or multiple ethnic groups

  • Any mixed or multiple ethnic groups, please write in

C. Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British

  • Pakistani, Pakistani Scottish or Pakistani British
  • India, Indian Scottish or Indian British
  • Bangladeshi, Bangladeshi Scottish or Bangladeshi British
  • Chinese, Chinese Scottish or Chinese British
  • Other, please write in

D. African

  • African, African Scottish or African British
  • Other, please write in

E. Caribbean or Black

  • Caribbean, Caribbean Scottish or Caribbean British
  • Black, Black Scottish or Black British
  • Other, please write in

F. Other ethnic group

  • Arab, Arab Scottish or Arab British
  • Other, please write in

Reason for asking: This information helps public bodies meet statutory obligations relating to race equality. It is also used for resource allocation and to develop and monitor policy on improving the life-chances for disadvantaged groups, including many ethnic minority groups.

The statistics provide a better understanding of communities and are used for the government-wide race equality and community cohesion strategy, which seeks to improve race equality outcomes in areas such as housing, education, health & Criminal Justice for all groups across society.

Additionally, the Ministry of Defence uses the information to provide a benchmark against which to measure ethnic minority recruitment and representation in the armed forces.

England & Wales (2011) comparison:

What is your ethnic group?

Choose ONE section from A to E, then tick ONE box to best describe your ethnic group or background.

A. White

  • English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
  • Irish
  • Gypsy or Irish Traveller
  • Any other White backgroundp, write in

B. Mixed/multiple ethnic groups

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Any other Mixes/multiple ethnic background, write in

C. Asian/Asian British

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese,
  • Any other Asian background, write in

D. Black/African/Caribbean/Black British

  • African
  • Carribbean
  • Any other Black/African/Caribbean background, write in

E. Other ethnic group

  • Arab
  • Any other ethnic group, write in     

Scotland (2001) comparison:

What is your ethnic group?

Choose ONE section from A to E, then the appropriate box to indicate your cultural background.

A. White

  • Scottish
  • Other British
  • Irish
  • Any other White background, please write in

B. Mixed 

  • Any mixed background, please write in

C. Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Any other Asian background, please write in

D. Black, Black Scottish or Black British

  • Caribbean
  • African
  • Any other Black background, please write in

E. Other ethnic group

  • Any other background, please write in

Changes to the Question:

  • Colour terms “White” and “Black” are retained, because testing showed that an ethnic classification based only on geography can cause confusion
  • Under the “White” category, new tick boxes are provided for “English”, “Welsh”, “Northern Irish”, “British”, “Gypsy/Traveller” and “Polish”
  • The “Mixed” category is re-termed “Mixed or Multiple Ethnic Groups”
  • The “Black, Black Scottish or Black British” category is re-termed “African, Caribbean or Black”. A new tick box is added for “Black, Black Scottish or Black British” to give respondents the option to identify in this way if they wish. People who do not wish to identify as “Black” will not be required to do so and will be able to choose an “African, African Scottish or African British” or “Caribbean, Caribbean Scottish or Caribbean British” tick box or to write-in their response
  • Tick boxes under the “Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British” and “African, Caribbean or Black” category are re-worded to add references to “Scottish” and “British” e.g. “Indian, Indian Scottish or Indian British”, “African, African Scottish or African British”
  • A tick box is added in the “Other Ethnic Group” category for people who are “Arab”

Tables:

To see which of our published standard, additional and commissioned tables use this variable please use the Table Index.