Posted On 21 Dec 2016
Deep concern over growing segregation as new research shows Britons are socialising less with people from different ethnic backgrounds
A study commissioned by the UK’s leading social integration charity, The Challenge, has found that, compared to a similar survey in 2014, Britons are socialising less with people from a different ethnicity to their own and that as a society we are becoming more segregated by ethnicity.
The research in the British Integration Survey, published today, shows:
– White Britons are least likely of all to socialise with other ethnic groups
– Black Britons socialise with other Black Britons nearly eight times as much as the researchers expected given the ethnic mix of where they live
– Asian Britons socialise with other Asian Britons more than 5 times as much as the researchers expected given the ethnic mix of where they live
– Those categorised as in socio-economic groups A and B- those in higher professional occupations – are more likely to socialise with different ethnic groups to their own than those in lower socio-economic groups
The study gives a unique insight into how much we socialise with those different to ourselves, and comes shortly after the Government published its major review into integration by Dame Louise Casey. The review found growing segregation in cities up and down the country. It also comes amid the ongoing national and international debate about integration and immigration following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the victory of Donald Trump.
A key finding of the survey, of 4,265 13 to 80-year-olds living in Britain is that White Britons are the least likely ethnic group to take the opportunity to mix socially with those from a different ethnic background to themselves. The researchers found White Britons take up just 38% of the opportunities to socialise with those from a different ethnicity to their own given the demographics of where they live, and that this percentage has dropped from 40% in 2014.
The survey also shows that Black Britons take up just 42% of the opportunities open to them to mix socially with a different ethnicity to themselves given the demographics of where they live. This has fallen considerably from 2014 when the figure was 52%.
Asian Britons only take up 41% of the opportunities open to them to mix socially with a different ethnicity.
Overall, Britons of all ethnicities are socialising less with people from other ethnicities than in the past.
Jon Yates, Director of The Challenge, the country’s leading social integration charity, said:
“These figures are stark and show millions of Britons are not mixing with people from a different age or ethnicity to themselves.
“The research shows there is an urgent need to improve integration if we are to reap the benefits of an integrated society and avoid the dangers of growing segregation. We know from previous studies that those who mix with people who are different to them have closer ties to their neighbourhoods and higher levels of trust with their neighbours, while those who do not mix are less likely to earn a good salary and more likely to feel isolated and ostracised from their community.
“Both individually and collectively we need to make more opportunities – in schools, in the workplace and in our communities – to have meaningful contact with those from different walks of life to ourselves. That’s why The Challenge is at the forefront of improving social integration through programmes like the National Citizen Service, which enables young people from different backgrounds to mix together.”