All the ways white people are privileged in the UK

Ethnic minorities discriminated in areas including education, employment and housing, according to new report on race.

    A boy sprays bubbles as people listen to music during Eid in Birmingham, central England [File: Reuters]
    A boy sprays bubbles as people listen to music during Eid in Birmingham, central England [File: Reuters]

    INEQUALITY IN THE UK

    A report released by the UK government has laid bare the extent of racial discrimination in the country.

    The study came as hate crimes and racism against minorities are rising in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union

    The so-called Brexit vote in June 2016 was boosted by far-right sentiment, which spread hate about immigrants, including those who had migrated many years ago. The narrative that immigrants were stealing jobs from Britons and draining resources emboldened the efforts of those campaigning to quit the bloc.

    Al Jazeera looks into the disparities affecting non-white Britons' lives, as detailed in Tuesday's report.

    READ MORE: Race review reveals gaping inequality in the UK

    Likelihood of getting a job: Fewer minorities in work

    Of Britain's 65 million people, almost 30 million are employed.

    Aside from those studying or unable to work, black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Britons are more than twice as likely to be unemployed than white people.

    Some 76 percent of white people have a job.

    Citizens of Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritage are the least likely to have a job, with 54 percent in work.

    Race also determines income levels.

    Half as many white British employees have a low income, compared with black and Asian workers.

    Racial profiling: Stop and search targets minorities

    Police are far more likely to stop and search non-white Britons. Black people are six times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people.

    Minorities are also more frequently the victims of crime and report a greater fear of it.

    But while minorities are over-represented in stop and searches, staffing in the criminal justice system fails to reflect British diversity.

    White Britons, who comprise 86 percent of the population, account for 94 percent of police officers.

    Black and Asian Britons make up 10 percent of the population, but less than four percent of the police force.

    Representation among prison officers is also very low.

    The judiciary is also overwhelmingly white. There are 26 black court judges compared with 2,506 white judges.

    READ MORE: Mental health care and rising suicides in UK prisons

    Farah Elahi, a policy analyst for the UK's Runnymede Trust race equality think-tank, said the data showed black and minority ethnic (BME) issues have been continually ignored by successive governments.

    Writing on Twitter, she said: "Since no one was listening, everything must be said again."

    Education: Roma pupils suffer

    Pupils of Roma background are more than three times as likely to be excluded from school, compared with white British children. Black Caribbean pupils are almost twice as likely to be excluded.

    Fewer than 60 percent of black students achieve A* to C grades in English and Maths by the time they finish their GCSEs aged 16. White Gypsy and Roma students have the lowest level of attainment in this category, with just 10 percent attaining A* to C grades.

    The number of ethnic minority pupils that go on to further education following school has dropped significantly in the last five years, from 804,920 in 2012 to just over 640,000 last year.

    University tuition fees were raised to a threshold of £9,000 (about $12,000) in 2012, up from the previous rate of $4,338 per academic year.

    Inequality plagues every level of the schooling system.

    About 92 percent of teachers are white. Asian and black teachers account for just six percent.

    Social housing: Far-right myths debunked

    Black and Asian ethnic groups are up to three times as likely to rely on state-supported social housing as white Britons.

    However, the accusation levelled by far-right groups and some of the UK's right-leaning media that the country's BME population burdens its benefits system does not play out in the statistics.

    In fact, white Britons are more likely to live in social housing than the country's Chinese, Indian and Pakistani households.

    White people are more likely to own their own home, compared with BME people. Just 21 percent of black African and 24 percent of Arab Britons are home-owners, compared with 68 percent of white Britons.

    Non-whites are also disproportionately affected by poor housing conditions and overcrowding. A Bangladeshi Briton, for example, is 28 percent more likely to live in an overcrowded household than a white person.

    And while just four percent of white British households have problems with damp, that figure is up to three times as high in black African, mixed-race and Pakistani homes.

    Peter Kellner, UK political expert and former head of YouGov polling, said the government's review had successfully highlighted the problematic areas that policy must now address.

    "Credit where due," he wrote on Twitter.

    Health: Black Britons more likely to become drug abuse victims

    Among children, statistics relating to healthy eating are troubling. Nearly half of black African and Caribbean children are overweight by the age of 11, compared with just 32 percent of white Britons of the same age.

    The UK's minority black population is overwhelmingly impacted by drug dependency compared with other ethnic groups. Black adults are more than two times as likely as white Britons to become victims of repeated drug abuse.

    Sense of belonging: Despite inequality minorities feel at home

    The idea of "Britishness" is often raised by conservative and far-right critics, who argue against multiculturalism. As they rally against immigration, they claim ethnic minorities do not contribute positively to society or ever see Britain as their first home.

    Despite the inequalities suffered by BME people in a number of areas of life, all ethnic groups reported strong feelings of belonging to Britain.

    More than 80 percent of black, Asian, and white people say they feel at home in the country.

    Diane Abbott, Britain's opposition Labour Party shadow home secretary, has called on the government to act following the review.

    "This [Conservative] government wants praise for collating existing data on racial disparity, yet have done nothing about it," she tweeted.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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