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Ethnicity

Key points

  • London is the most diverse city in the UK.
  • Across the UK, people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds are more likely to be in poverty.
  • It is crucial to analyse poverty from the perspective of ethnicity.

All the graphs where there is analysis by ethnicity and/or country of birth are listed on the right of this page.

There are some real challenges with this kind of analysis. Even in London, with its diverse population, some of these ethnic groups are very small. The analysis on this website uses only those official ethnic categories with large enough sample sizes to make the data reliable. These are: White British, White Other, Indian, Black African and Black Caribbean. Due to the small sample size in the Households Below Average Income survey, we have had to group together Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. The outcomes for the separate population groups appear, however, to be very similar so we do not judge this combination to be misleading.

Even these groupings hide substantial variation, as you can see in the graph on work and country of birth. Moreover, using a nationality-based definition means that cultural differences within nations are ignored.

In using this nationality-based definition, we must bear in mind that ethnicity and nationality are not the same thing. In this site, we have used the ethnic group 'Indian', for instance, to include people born in the UK of Indian heritage – and most likely born in London – as well as people born in India.