- Administration - Apr 20 Now is not the time for the UN to run from the DRC
- Social Sciences - Apr 13 UNICEF database project to map MENA expertise
- Social Sciences - Apr 6 A world- first in how to end slavery for The University of Nottingham
- Social Sciences - Apr 6 Education Secretary underlines ‘economic imperative’ of social mobility for Brexit Britain
- Social Sciences - Apr 4 Report highlights how universities can enrich their neighbourhoods
- Social Sciences - Apr 4 A ’stranglehold’ on the data that could help explain political extremism
- Social Sciences - Mar 31 Two Oxford academics honoured by Academy of Social Sciences
- Social Sciences - Mar 31 Human rights of people with autism not being met, leading expert tells United Nations
- Social Sciences - Mar 31 Professor Alison Phipps becomes Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences
- Social Sciences - Mar 31 Two Sussex academics made Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences
- Social Sciences - Mar 31 Bristol Psychology Professor appointed Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences
- Social Sciences - Mar 30 Just one in five Londoners think Britain will be better off after Brexit
Ethnic data ‘not always reliable’
24 March 2014
24 Mar 2014
New research from The University of Manchester shows official forms cannot record our ethnic group precisely, because many of us change how we identify ourselves each time we are asked.
According to the ESRC Research Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity, 4% of all people chose a different ethnic group in the 2011 Census than they had in the 2001 Census.
Professor Ludi Simpson said “Ethnicity is a fuzzy concept used by government and sociologists to explain and support the diversity of our society. But as individuals we don’t fit into neat boxes.
“The census form itself changes and encourages people to swap ethnic identities. 26% of White Irish changed their ethnic group from 2001, partly because the census form in 2011 added a note that mentioned that White British could include Northern Irish.”
It is published in a Census Briefing and a working paper, which note that the level of instability in the past decade 2001-2011 is twice what was observed for the decade 1991-2001.
Professor Simpson added: “Britain’s growing diversity includes more people whose family background does not fit neatly into one category. This is partly because of immigration from new parts of the world. It is also because we have grown used to defining ourselves by this thing called ethnicity, and more of us are no longer satisfied with the options provided on the census form. We more often write in our own sense of identity.”
The new research recommends the ethnic group categories that can be most reliably compared across the 1991, 2001 and 2011 censuses.