Case study

Ethnicity and deprivation in England

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Author: Stephen Jivraj, University of Manchester, in collaboration with colleague Ludi Simpson

Date: 2 June 2014

Type of case study: Research

About the research

In the context of ongoing policy concern and debate around issues of ethnic diversity, integration, immigration and inequality, this study aims to transform our understanding of the contemporary patterning of ethnic inequalities. The research has been presented in a series of briefings using ethnicity and related data from the 2011 Census to address policy issues.

Findings from these briefings show that ethnic diversity is increasing in all parts of England and Wales as minority groups grow through natural change and immigration. Although neighbourhood ethnic segregation is decreasing and most ethnic minorities describe themselves as British, some ethnic groups continue to face disadvantages in housing, employment and health.

In particular, results from a briefing on ethnicity and deprivation found that all ethnic minority groups in England are more likely to live in deprived neighbourhoods than the White British majority. The proportion living in the most deprived neighbourhoods decreased for most ethnic groups between 2001 and 2011 as a result of faster population growth in all other neighbourhoods.

In 2011, more than one in three in the Bangladeshi and Pakistani groups lived in a deprived neighbourhood, which is considerably more than any other ethnic group. There is considerably regional variation in the proportion that live in a deprived neighbourhood. The difference between ethnic groups is greatest in the Midlands and smallest in the South.

About the data

This research draws on aggregate data from the UK 2011 Census released from December 2012 onwards.

These data were key to the study and have been used to produce other briefings on topics such as ethnic group change, segregation, plural cities, immigration, age structures, national identity, employment, housing, health language. The data were compared with previous censuses where possible.


A range of variables from the 2011 Census key statistics, detailed characteristics and local characteristics tables were used to produce descriptive analysis. The data and methods used are described in each briefing.

In the ethnicity and deprivation briefing, a deprived neighbourhood is defined using a cut-off of the 10 per cent most disadvantaged on the English Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010. The IMD 2010 data is matched to the 2011 Census boundaries using lookup tables available from ONS Geography.

Publications and outputs

Jivraj, S. and Khan, O. (2013) Ethnicity and deprivation in England: How likely are ethnic minorities to live in deprived neighbourhoods? Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity briefing paper. Retrieved 25 March 2014 from

The other briefings in the series are available at

The findings have also been shared with users through policy exchange events with:

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