Racism 'on the rise' in UK with 1 in 3 people admitting prejudice
The British Social Attitudes Survey found a link to the immigration debate
Wednesday 28 May 2014
The 9/11 terror attacks and fears about increased immigration could be to blame for an increase in the number of Britons who admit to being racially prejudiced, according to a new study.
According to the 2013 British Social Attitudes Survey, nearly a third of people in Britain admitted being racist on some level. In 2001, that figure was just 25 per cent and researchers believe little headway is being made to tackle bigotry.
It is still an improvement on the 1980s, when 36 per cent of people classed themselves as racist, and there was another small spike in 2011.
About 30 per cent of those answering the survey described themselves “very” or “a little” prejudiced against people of other races.
Researchers believe the apparent rise in racism could be fuelling the current row over immigration that sent voters in their droves away from the main parties to Ukip in last week’s elections.
They called on political leaders to react to the apparent increase in racism.
More than nine in 10 of people who admitted to some level of prejudice also wanted a reduction in immigration levels, in comparison to around seven in 10 who denied being racist.
A graph showing the percentage of people classing themselves as racist in the NatCen British Social Attitudes Survey. Penny Young, chief executive of NatCen Social Research, which conducted the survey, called the findings “troubling”.
She said: “Levels of racial prejudice declined steadily throughout the nineties, but have been on the rise again during the first decade of this century. This bucks the trend of a more socially liberal and tolerant Britain.
“Our local and national leaders need to understand and respond to increased levels of racial prejudice if we are to build strong local communities.”
People living in inner London were least likely to describe themselves at racist (16 per cent), compared to the West Midlands, where 35 per cent of respondents said they were.
Levels of prejudice rose with age, with the highest among over-55s, and those with no qualifications.
There was also a trend among occupations, with more manual workers admitting bias than managers and “professionals”.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Young said self-reported prejudice was very difficult to study in detail.
She suggested the 9/11 attacks in New York and heightened concerns about immigration were possible reasons for the increase since 2001, when racism had seemed to be in “inexorable decline”.
"In about 2001, it seemed to change, and we think there are probably two possible things that are driving this. One, it was a very marked turning round in 2001, so it may well be an impact of 9/11, that people started to feel more fearful, or to do with people feeling concerned about the impact of immigration in their own area or being fearful of the impact of immigration in their own area."
The British Social Attitudes Survey has been conducted annually since 1983 and the most recent data used 3,244 interviews with a random sample of British adults.
It also covered political issues, social and moral attitudes and opinions on gender roles and the family.
Anti-immigrant feeling on the rise
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Russian hack of President Obama's emails worse than previously admitted
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Nepal earthquake: US Pastor Tony Miano sparks outcry by suggesting Nepalis should convert and not rebuild their 'pagan shrines'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This design and print company a...
£38000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Engineer is required to...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + £4200 car allowance: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Suppo...