Ethnic Inequalities in Bristol, Manchester and Barking and Dagenham

Research conducted by the Runnymede Trust and the University of Manchester’s Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity has analysed the extent of the “ethnic penalty” suffered by black and minority ethnic (BME) citizens in Bristol and Manchester.

Our January 2017 briefings can be found here:

BRISTOL CoDE Briefing Bristol

MANCHESTER CoDE Briefing Manchester

BARKING AND DAGENHAM CoDE Briefing Barking & Dagenham

New analysis using population census data we found:

  • Black African and Caribbean adults were more likely to be unemployed in Bristol compared to the national (England and Wales) average, and the extent of inequality widened in the decade between 2001 and 2011;
  • Black African employment inequality got worse across Greater Manchester in the same decade;
  • Somali children were over 25% less likely to achieve GCSE grades A*-C in English and Mathematics in Bristol compared to the national average for Somalis;
  • Housing inequality has worsened for all BME groups in Greater Manchester over the decade.

The research also found:

  • Indian, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis in Bristol had better employment outcomes than those communities in England and Wales, but Pakistani and Bangladeshi Bristolians remained behind the White average;
  • Bangladeshis and mixed White/Black African children in Bristol achieved better GCSE A*-C grades in English and Mathematics than the Bristol and England and Wales averages;
  • BME citizens in Greater Manchester have better health than their White counterparts.

Recommendations include:

  • More action by Government to address economic and social racial inequality, including adopting the call by the equalities watchdog – the Equaluty and Human Rights Commission – for a national race equality action plan;
  • More local partnerships between BME groups and authorities including City Councils;
  • More projects to raise the aspirations of BME young people;
  • Employers should adopt positive action schemes to tackle ethnic inequality in the job market;
  • More training for employers on unconscious biases and the impact of whiteness and white privilege.

Dr Nissa Finney, from the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity, said:

“The extent of ethnic inequalities is striking and it has not improved in the last 15 years. Ethnic minorities are disadvantaged in education, employment and housing across the country. This is despite many initiatives to reduce inequalities. There is some great work going on in local areas and we need more of this. But our evidence shows this issue is so marked, persistent and potentially divisive that it also needs concerted attention at a national level.”

Farah Elahi, Research Analyst for the Runnymede Trust, added:

“Our research highlights the shocking extent of unequal and unfair outcomes for black African and Caribbean people in Britain today, which is particularly acute in the big cities and in ‘inner London’ boroughs.  We looked at the factors that are driving this inequality and talked to local communities, and we found that there is an urgent need for changes to workplace culture and for positive action schemes.”

In 2014 the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity and Runnymede Trust published a report on Ethnic Differences in Education, Employment, Health and Housing in Districts of England and Wales, 2001−2011, available here:

Also, see The Guardian article on Ethnic minorities face barriers to social mobility and job opportunities, here:

The Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and is a collaboration between the Universities of Manchester, Glasgow and St Andrews.

Analyses use England and Wales Census data 2001 and 2011 (Crown Copyright). The Census is the only UK data that enables nationwide local analysis of ethnic inequalities.

Help us end racism

As an independently funded charity we rely on the support of generous individuals to continue our work.