HC Deb 15 November 1988 vol 140 c561W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to introduce a classification on the basis of ethnic origin to the general household survey, earnings survey, and census, in order that comparative data may be collected.

Mrs. Currie

Plans for the 1991 census were announced in the White Paper "1991 Census of Population" Cm. 430 published in July 1988. The Government propose to include a question on ethnic group in the 1989 census test and to study the results before deciding whether to include such a question in the 1991 census.

The general household survey has included a question on ethnic group since 1983 and the labour force survey has included one since 1979. The same classification is used in both these voluntary surveys but it is slightly different from that proposed for the census question. If the 1991 census does include a question on ethnic group, consideration will be given to using a similar classification in voluntary surveys, to ensure comparability of data from different sources.