Ethnic minority Britons twice as likely to be unemployed, damning new government study finds

Theresa May ordered the review when she first arrived in Downing Street

Joe Watts
Political Editor
Tuesday 03 October 2017 00:09 BST
The report reveals how your ethnicity affects your life chances
The report reveals how your ethnicity affects your life chances (AFP/Getty)

The most extensive ever study of how race affects the life chances of people in Britain will reveal how a person is twice as likely to be unemployed if from an ethnic minority.

Theresa May will highlight the findings from a review she ordered when she first became Prime Minister, as part of her plans to tackle “injustices in society”.

The far-reaching study also shows how white state school pupils had the lowest university entry rate last year.

The Prime Minister will say the audit is a critical part of confronting “uncomfortable truths” about modern Britain.

Commenting ahead of the launch, she said: “In doing this groundbreaking work we are holding a mirror up to our society.

“The idea itself is not new – Charles Booth’s maps of rich and poor areas in Victorian London drew attention to hardship that was too often hidden – but this focus on how ethnicity affects people’s lives will present findings that are uncomfortable.”

She added: “Britain has come a long way in my lifetime in spreading equality and opportunity, but this audit will be definitive evidence of how far we must still go in order to truly build a country that works for everyone.”

The audit, to be fully published next week, will reveal a complex picture of how life chances can change depending on a person’s ethnicities or place of residence.

Among findings Ms May will highlight are that the unemployment rate for BAME people of working age is nearly double that for white British groups – 8 per cent compared with 4.6 per cent.

Employment rates overall are far higher for white people (75.7 per cent) compared with BAME groups (63.9 per cent).

The study also revealed that white pupils from state schools had the lowest university entry rate in 2016.

In comparison, almost a quarter of Chinese pupils attained three A grades or higher at A-level, with three out of five having gone to university, making them twice as likely to have gone into higher education than white pupils.

Meanwhile, the audit revealed more than nine in 10 headteachers are white British.

Two in three white British householders own their home, though only two in five of householders from any other ethnic group do, the review showed.

The document is also to show where in the UK young black children perform best in school, the proportion of judges from an ethnic minority, which parts of the community have the greatest fear of crime and whether white teenagers are more or less likely to smoke.

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