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11th October 2017

enei comments on the Race Disparity Audit

enei welcomes the results of the Race Disparity Audit published on 10 October. “The key findings of the audit clearly demonstrate the increased diversity of the UK population. Now more than ever, it is essential to encourage employers to engage in the debate and recognise that talent is everywhere.” stated Denise Keating, CEO of enei.

The Race Disparity Audit, examines how people of different backgrounds are treated across areas including health, education, employment, and the criminal justice system.

All Government Departments identified what data they held on UK public services that could be analysed by ethnicity, some of which had not yet been analysed for ethnic differences. The data varied in quality and depth including the Census, published official statistics, numerous Government surveys, and Departments’ own administrative records.


The data is presented under themes adapted from the Equality Measurement Framework, developed by the EHRC. Most of the data is for England or England and Wales, with some UK data. Since ethnic groups differ widely in their age profiles and other characteristics, to help inform like-for-like comparisons, where possible, the data is broken down by people’s age, sex, or other relevant factors.

Further research would be required to establish the full context in which any disparities should be interpreted. It is not possible from the Audit data alone to determine the causes of any differences observed between ethnic groups. Even where analysis shows differences between ethnic groups are associated with other relevant factors such age, sex, or socio-economic status, it is not possible to say whether those factors are the cause or the effect of differences between ethnic groups.


Key findings


  • The UK has become more ethnically diverse.
  • The proportion of people identifying as White British in England and Wales decreased from 87.4% in 2001 to 80.5% in 2011.
  • 13% (7.5 million) of the population was born outside the UK.
  • A substantial majority of adults in the White, Asian, Black, and Mixed ethnic groups felt a sense of belonging to Britain, and manifested in a range of positive civic behaviours and attitudes.


  • Pupils in several ethnic groups were achieving and progressing better than White British pupils.
  • Pupils from Chinese and Indian backgrounds showed high attainment and progress throughout their school careers and high rates of entry to university.
  • Although pupils in the Black ethnic group made more progress overall than the national average, Black Caribbean pupils fell behind.
  • There is a sizeable gap in attainment between disadvantaged pupils and those from better off households among White British, White Irish and Mixed pupils.
  • Pupils from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds are achieving almost as well as, and progressing better than, White British pupils, whereas the attainment and progress of Black Caribbean pupils is much lower.
  • White pupils from state schools had the lowest university entry rate of any ethnic group in 2016.


  • Employment rates have increased for all ethnic groups, but substantial differences remain in their participation in the labour market.
  • Around 1 in 10 adults from a Black, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Mixed background were unemployed compared with 1 in 25 White British people.
  • Women from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds were the least likely to be employed.
  • While employment rates among people from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds have been improving, these populations remain more likely to be in low skilled, low paying occupations than other ethnic groups.

More information

More detailed exploration of the data is contained in the Race Disparity Audit summary report and the full range of data on all 130 datasets is available on the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website.