New study finds majority in UK believe racism is a major impediment to prospects of minorities

A new study which exposes the widespread belief that racism still dogs the employment, health and development prospects of minority communities in Britain, was published this week by the British Future Think Tank.  The study which used data provided from polls taken by Focaldata, was published to coincide with the 75th Anniversary of Windrush – the name given to the post war migration of commonwealth citizens to the UK, which began in 1948.

The Empire Windrush arriving at Tilbury Dock from the Caribbean, 1948


‘Britain is the best western nation to live in’

It was particularly noticeable that most of the British press and broadcast media chose to focus on the positive outcome of the study, which indicates overwhelmingly that most (80%) of ethnic minority citizens in Britain, regard the UK as a better place to live than other countries in Europe such as Germany or France and also the US. The Times Newspaper headline on 7th June echoed the tone of most other newspapers and stated:

 ‘Britain is the best western nation to live in, say ethnic minorities’

Black and Asian people face discrimination in their daily lives

Arguably the most important statistic in the study was less prominently displayed in the content of the article in the Times. Half way into the 800 word article, it chose to discreetly reference the finding that:

 ‘…67 per cent of ethnic minority respondents said that black and Asian people in Britain faced discrimination in their daily lives. The same proportion said they felt Britain had made “significant progress” in tackling racism over the past 25 years, but 80 per cent of non-white and 64 per cent of white people said Britain must make “much more progress on race in the next 25 years’

The British Future report indicates that amongst its white respondents there seemed to be a noticeably progressive tone with significant numbers in agreement with their non-white counterparts on the disparities in future prospects based on colour. Almost half (48%) of white British respondents and 60% of ethnic minorities said they believe it is easier to “get on” in Britain if you are white.

The report detailed a number of findings that were positive and contrasted those with others that were not so positive. These included the following:

·  Some 71% of the public and 68% of ethnic minorities agree that “The UK has made significant progress on racial equality in the last 25 years”. 

·  But 80% of ethnic minorities and 66% of the public as a whole agree that “The UK needs to make much more progress on racial equality in the next 25 years.”

·  80% of ethnic minority Britons agree that the UK is a better place to live, as someone from an ethnic minority, than other countries like the USA, Germany or France.

·  But 67% of ethnic minority respondents agree that “Black and Asian people face discrimination in their everyday lives in Britain today,” while only 10% disagree.

New Report findings contrast with UK Government’s Report on Race and Ethnic Disparities

The tone and findings of this latest study represent a significant contrast from the UK Government’s own commissioned ‘Race and Ethnic Disparities Report’ which was published in 2021 and which was condemned by numerous human rights groups, including the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner at the time which stated:

‘The UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent categorically rejects and condemns the analysis and findings of the recently published report by the UK’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which, among other conclusions, claim that “geography, family influence, socio-economic background, culture and religion have more significant impact on life chances than the existence of racism… The Report’s conclusion that racism is either a product of the imagination of people of African descent or of discrete, individualized incidents ignores the pervasive role that the social construction of race was designed to play in society, particularly in normalizing atrocity, in which the British state and institutions played a significant role’

The British Future study, which was conducted through March and April of this year (2023) was built on data gathered from an industry respected 1,000 nationally representative GB sample, a 1,000 ethnic minority sample and an additional boosted sample of 300 Black Caribbean respondents. In simple terms they polled 944 white people and 1026 people from a non-white background for their views on racism. Additional data was extracted from separate focus, qualitative discussion groups in different parts of the country.


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