§ Lord Willoughby de Broke
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Based on the most recent census figures, what percentage of the British population consists of ethnic minorities; what is the breakdown in percentage terms between those minorities; and what percentage is the minority of Irish descent. [HL4157]
§ Lord McIntosh of Haringey
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
Letter to Lord Willoughby de Broke from the National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales, Office for National Statistics, Mr Len Cook, dated 23 October 2000.
As National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking, "based on the most recent census figures, what percentage of the British population consists of ethnic minorities, what is the breakdown in percentage terms between those minorities, and what percentage is the minority of Irish descent." [HL4157]5WA
The 1991 Census is the most recent census and the percentage of the population of Great Britain (54,888,844) from an ethnic minority background was 5.5 per cent. The breakdown in percentage terms between those minorities was:
Percentage Black Caribbean 0.9 Black African 0.4 Black Other 0.3 Indian 1.5 Pakistani 0.9 Bangladeshi 0.3 Chinese 0.3 Other Asian 0.4 Other 0.5
There was no explicit category of 'Irish' in the ethnic group question in the 1991 Census, although space was allowed for people to describe their ethnic group in their own words if they felt that none of the pre-coded categories applied.
In statistical material published after the 1991 Census, the numbers of people 'born in Ireland' were presented as a proxy for data on 'Irish' as an ethnic group. The percentage of persons who stated they were born in Ireland in response to the Country of Birth question was 1.5 per cent. This includes those born in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland.
The above figures were calculated from data published in Table 6 of the 1991 Census Report for Great Britain Part 1, laid before Parliament in 1993. This report is available from the House of Commons Library.