Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 7 to 11 (key stage 2)

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Last updated 11 October 2017 - see all updates

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1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2015/16, there were 586,165 pupils in key stage 2 at state-funded mainstream schools in England, of which ethnicity was known for 581,286 (99%)

  • 76% were White, 11% were Asian, 6% were Black, 5% were Mixed, 2% were from the Other ethnic group and 0.4% were Chinese

  • overall, 72% of pupils met the expected standard and 22% of pupils met the higher standard (making these figures the national averages)

  • Chinese and Indian pupils were most likely to meet both the expected and the higher standard

  • Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma pupils were least likely to meet both the expected and the higher standard

  • across all ethnic groups, girls were more likely than boys to meet both the expected and higher standard

  • Chinese boys and girls had the highest average scaled score, at 107 and 109 respectively

  • Gypsy/Roma boys and girls had the lowest average scaled score, at 94 and 96 respectively

Things you need to know

The Department for Education (DfE) has excluded, or ‘suppressed’, very small numbers (for example, values of 1 or 2, a percentage based on 1 or 2 pupils who achieved, or 0, 1 or 2 pupils who did not achieve a particular standard).

This is because, where the size of the ethnic group population is small enough that an individual’s identity could be revealed, information is suppressed to preserve confidentiality. This is consistent with DfE’s statistical policy statement on confidentiality (PDF opens in a new window or tab).

Pupil numbers for key stage 2 vary between measures of attainment for different subjects. This is because pupils who don't have a valid test result for a particular subject are excluded from the total. For more about valid test results, see Methodology.

What the data measures

This data measures the grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment of children in key stage 2 (years 3 to 6, when pupils are aged between 7 and 11).

The data covers the academic year 2015/16 (September 2015 to July 2016).

Key stage 2 test results range from 80 to 120 on a ‘scaled score’. (A ‘scaled score’ allows for variations in test difficulty year on year by standardising each pupil’s test results. This allows a clearer comparison between years.)

The standards for this measure, which combines grammar, punctuation and spelling, are divided in 2 categories:

  • expected standard

  • higher standard

To reach the expected standard, pupils must have achieved a scaled score of 100 or more in their key stage 2 grammar, punctuation and spelling tests.

To reach the higher standard, pupils must have achieved a score of 110 or more in their key stage 2 grammar, punctuation and spelling tests.

The data is published in the Department for Education’s statistical publication, National curriculum assessments: key stage 2, 2016 (revised)

The ethnic categories used in this data

This data uses categories from the Department for Education’s school census, which is broadly based on the 2001 national census, with two exceptions:

  • Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma children have been separated into two categories
  • Sri Lankan has been added to the Asian/Asian British group but is not reported separately
  • Chinese pupils have been assigned a separate category

These changes were made after consultations with local authorities and lobby groups.

The categories in the school census are as follows:

White:

  • White British
  • White Irish
  • Traveller of Irish Heritage
  • Gypsy/Roma
  • Other White

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Other Mixed background

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Sri Lankan
  • Other Asian background

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • Black African
  • Black Caribbean
  • Other Black background

  • Chinese

  • Other ethnic group

Information about grammar, punctuation and spelling standards is provided for both detailed and broad ethnic groups where possible and when the data is available.

The 6 broad categories used are as follows:

  • White
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
  • Asian/Asian British
  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
  • Other ethnic group
  • Chinese

However, local authority data is only provided for 5 broad ethnic groups. Information about the specific ethnic categories is excluded to preserve confidentiality and ensure individuals cannot be identified. Information about the Other ethnic group is not given because DfE does not publish data for this group at the local authority level.

The 5 broad categories are as follows:

  • White
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
  • Asian/Asian British
  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
  • Chinese

2. Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 7 to 11 by ethnicity

Percentage of pupils meeting the expected and higher standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling and average scaled score by ethnicity
Ethnicity Expected standard Higher standard Average scaled score
All 72 22 104
Asian 79 30 106
Bangladeshi 81 30 106
Indian 85 39 107
Pakistani 73 22 104
Asian other 82 37 107
Black 75 24 105
Black African 78 27 105
Black Caribbean 67 16 103
Black other 72 21 104
Chinese 87 46 108
Mixed 75 25 105
Mixed White/Asian 81 32 106
Mixed White/Black African 75 25 104
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 69 18 103
Mixed other 77 27 105
White 71 21 104
White British 72 21 104
White Irish 78 31 105
White Irish Traveller 33 4 97
White Gypsy/Roma 22 2 95
White other 67 22 103
Other 72 25 105
Unknown 60 18 103

Download table data for ‘Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 7 to 11 by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 7 to 11 by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 7 to 11 (key stage 2) Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 7 to 11 by ethnicity Summary

The data shows that:

  • of White British pupils, 72% met the expected standard and 21% met the higher standard

  • of the broad ethnic categories, Chinese, Asian, Mixed and Black pupils all did better than the national average for the expected standard, which is 72%

  • Chinese and Indian pupils were most likely to meet the expected standard, at 87% and 85% respectively

  • Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma pupils were least likely to meet the expected standard, at 33% and 22% respectively

  • Chinese and Indian pupils were most likely to meet the higher standard, at 46% and 39% respectively

  • Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma pupils were least likely to meet the higher standard, at 4% and 2% respectively

3. Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment by ethnicity and area

Percentage of pupils meeting the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling by ethnicity and area
Local Authority All Asian Black Chinese Mixed White
% % % % % %
Barking and Dagenham 78 90 84 withheld to protect confidentiality 74 69
Barnet 80 85 75 withheld to protect confidentiality 77 82
Barnsley 72 withheld to protect confidentiality 80 withheld to protect confidentiality 77 72
Bath and North East Somerset 73 89 71 withheld to protect confidentiality 73 72
Bedford 68 71 70 100 72 66
Bexley 78 91 86 withheld to protect confidentiality 77 73
Birmingham 71 74 71 92 73 69
Blackburn with Darwen 74 78 83 withheld to protect confidentiality 82 70
Blackpool 69 90 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 72 68
Bolton 76 83 72 100 74 74
Bournemouth 75 85 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 79 74
Bracknell Forest 64 79 73 withheld to protect confidentiality 70 61
Bradford 69 73 76 50 69 66
Brent 77 81 74 withheld to protect confidentiality 81 75
Brighton and Hove 75 76 70 100 77 75
Bristol, City of 72 76 65 69 69 72
Bromley 81 91 85 withheld to protect confidentiality 87 79
Buckinghamshire 77 79 68 100 78 77
Bury 74 76 63 withheld to protect confidentiality 76 74
Calderdale 69 72 74 withheld to protect confidentiality 77 68
Cambridgeshire 70 85 67 71 77 69
Camden 79 83 75 withheld to protect confidentiality 77 80
Central Bedfordshire 68 74 72 73 74 67
Cheshire East 76 94 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 75 75
Cheshire West and Chester 73 78 69 withheld to protect confidentiality 79 73
City of London withheld to protect confidentiality 100 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 100
Cornwall 68 64 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 70 68
County Durham 76 88 withheld to protect confidentiality 81 80 76
Coventry 74 82 76 withheld to protect confidentiality 73 71
Croydon 75 84 72 100 76 73
Cumbria 70 78 withheld to protect confidentiality 79 85 70
Darlington 75 82 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 86 74
Derby 69 76 80 100 71 66
Derbyshire 72 78 withheld to protect confidentiality 86 75 72
Devon 71 80 61 withheld to protect confidentiality 78 71
Doncaster 65 70 87 75 76 65
Dorset 67 76 withheld to protect confidentiality 100 75 67
Dudley 69 77 69 63 73 68
Ealing 78 80 75 100 78 77
East Riding of Yorkshire 71 100 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 74 71
East Sussex 67 81 64 47 72 67
Enfield 75 88 75 100 77 73
Essex 74 87 83 93 78 73
Gateshead 78 77 80 withheld to protect confidentiality 79 78
Gloucestershire 73 84 78 82 80 72
Greenwich 78 86 83 withheld to protect confidentiality 80 70
Hackney 77 79 74 100 81 80
Halton 70 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 76 70
Hammersmith and Fulham 82 88 83 withheld to protect confidentiality 82 81
Hampshire 74 85 80 84 77 74
Haringey 76 80 71 71 81 78
Harrow 82 88 73 withheld to protect confidentiality 82 78
Hartlepool 74 85 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 74
Havering 80 90 84 withheld to protect confidentiality 79 78
Herefordshire, County of 74 100 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 77 74
Hertfordshire 77 86 77 90 78 76
Hillingdon 80 86 80 withheld to protect confidentiality 81 75
Hounslow 80 86 79 100 76 74
Isle of Wight 64 56 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 69 64
Isles of Scilly 60 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 60
Islington 77 86 78 withheld to protect confidentiality 77 77
Kensington and Chelsea 87 92 86 withheld to protect confidentiality 84 87
Kent 73 88 84 93 82 71
Kingston upon Hull, City of 70 91 70 withheld to protect confidentiality 74 70
Kingston upon Thames 80 85 71 withheld to protect confidentiality 77 79
Kirklees 69 72 65 withheld to protect confidentiality 65 69
Knowsley 70 86 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 85 69
Lambeth 79 93 78 withheld to protect confidentiality 80 79
Lancashire 73 74 65 82 77 73
Leeds 70 73 66 88 72 70
Leicester 72 79 75 withheld to protect confidentiality 72 64
Leicestershire 72 83 70 86 73 71
Lewisham 75 86 73 withheld to protect confidentiality 74 74
Lincolnshire 71 89 67 100 74 71
Liverpool 68 80 69 84 67 67
Luton 71 72 76 100 69 69
Manchester 73 77 78 81 72 70
Medway 67 85 90 withheld to protect confidentiality 70 64
Merton 78 86 78 100 66 75
Middlesbrough 70 76 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 75 68
Milton Keynes 75 89 81 100 74 72
Newcastle upon Tyne 73 81 72 withheld to protect confidentiality 69 72
Newham 82 86 80 57 79 73
Norfolk 66 83 65 80 71 66
North East Lincolnshire 71 69 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 79 71
North Lincolnshire 70 84 45 100 76 69
North Somerset 73 80 57 withheld to protect confidentiality 72 73
North Tyneside 74 76 64 100 76 74
North Yorkshire 68 83 55 withheld to protect confidentiality 83 68
Northamptonshire 70 82 76 withheld to protect confidentiality 70 69
Northumberland 70 78 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 63 70
Nottingham 70 76 75 100 68 68
Nottinghamshire 73 81 68 withheld to protect confidentiality 77 72
Oldham 72 73 78 withheld to protect confidentiality 72 72
Oxfordshire 72 70 68 withheld to protect confidentiality 69 72
Peterborough 65 71 68 withheld to protect confidentiality 65 63
Plymouth 72 79 80 100 77 71
Poole 73 86 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 71 73
Portsmouth 70 86 72 withheld to protect confidentiality 73 68
Reading 74 82 73 withheld to protect confidentiality 72 72
Redbridge 78 83 73 100 75 69
Redcar and Cleveland 77 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 79 78
Richmond upon Thames 85 92 81 100 88 84
Rochdale 74 73 75 100 70 75
Rotherham 71 77 74 100 71 70
Rutland 75 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 67 75
Salford 77 85 76 100 82 77
Sandwell 73 80 72 100 75 70
Sefton 78 78 67 withheld to protect confidentiality 91 77
Sheffield 70 76 71 withheld to protect confidentiality 70 69
Shropshire 69 75 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 72 69
Slough 77 84 72 withheld to protect confidentiality 77 67
Solihull 77 85 77 withheld to protect confidentiality 76 77
Somerset 71 87 67 withheld to protect confidentiality 82 71
South Gloucestershire 73 84 72 withheld to protect confidentiality 74 73
South Tyneside 75 86 100 withheld to protect confidentiality 83 74
Southampton 72 76 92 withheld to protect confidentiality 77 70
Southend-on-Sea 73 74 74 73 76 73
Southwark 76 90 76 withheld to protect confidentiality 71 75
St. Helens 75 85 withheld to protect confidentiality 57 77 75
Staffordshire 72 77 75 89 69 72
Stockport 77 80 70 withheld to protect confidentiality 81 77
Stockton-on-Tees 76 80 83 withheld to protect confidentiality 81 75
Stoke-on-Trent 67 75 66 withheld to protect confidentiality 64 66
Suffolk 68 82 78 57 72 67
Sunderland 75 88 69 withheld to protect confidentiality 75 75
Surrey 77 83 72 92 82 76
Sutton 80 93 81 100 80 76
Swindon 73 79 87 withheld to protect confidentiality 76 71
Tameside 74 83 75 withheld to protect confidentiality 80 73
Telford and Wrekin 77 77 76 withheld to protect confidentiality 78 77
Thurrock 72 81 85 100 73 68
Torbay 72 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 74 71
Tower Hamlets 82 84 78 100 77 74
Trafford 84 86 87 100 86 82
Wakefield 69 71 69 79 77 68
Walsall 70 76 76 100 74 67
Waltham Forest 75 81 75 76 76 71
Wandsworth 78 80 73 73 75 81
Warrington 76 82 45 100 83 76
Warwickshire 75 88 69 withheld to protect confidentiality 73 74
West Berkshire 72 82 79 withheld to protect confidentiality 75 71
West Sussex 68 76 68 71 71 67
Westminster 80 84 80 100 84 80
Wigan 75 76 71 100 69 75
Wiltshire 71 80 61 withheld to protect confidentiality 72 70
Windsor and Maidenhead 74 73 73 withheld to protect confidentiality 76 74
Wirral 70 84 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 75 69
Wokingham 82 92 84 withheld to protect confidentiality 78 81
Wolverhampton 74 82 77 withheld to protect confidentiality 70 71
Worcestershire 67 78 67 40 72 66
York 70 83 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 84 69

Download table data for ‘Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment by ethnicity and area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment by ethnicity and area’ (CSV)

Summary of Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 7 to 11 (key stage 2) Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment by ethnicity and area Summary

The data shows that:

  • the highest achieving local authority was Kensington and Chelsea in London, where 87% of pupils met the expected standard

  • the lowest performing local authority overall was the Isles of Scilly, where 60% of pupils met the expected standard – however, because there is only one school of 20 pupils on the Isles of Scilly, this result should be treated with caution

  • White pupils were most likely to meet the expected standard in the City of London – however, because there is only one school of 28 pupils in this area, this result should be treated with caution

  • White pupils were least likely to achieve the expected standard in the Isles of Scilly and then in Bracknell Forest in the South East

  • Asian pupils were most likely to meet the expected standard in the East Riding of Yorkshire in Yorkshire and the Humber, in Herefordshire in the West Midlands, and in the City of London; they were least likely to meet the expected standard on the Isle of Wight in the South East

  • Black pupils were most likely to meet the expected standard in South Tyneside in the North East; they were least likely to meet the expected standard in Warrington in the North West, and in North Lincolnshire in Yorkshire and the Humber

  • 100% of Chinese pupils met the expected standard in 33 local authorities: 11 of these were in London, 6 in the North West, and 3 in the East of England

  • Chinese pupils were least likely to meet the expected standard in Worcestershire in the West Midlands

  • pupils of a Mixed ethnic background were most likely to meet the expected standard in Sefton in the North West, and least likely to in Northumberland in the North East

4. Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment by ethnicity and gender

Percentage of pupils meeting the expected and higher standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling and average scaled score by ethnicity and gender
Boys Girls
Ethnicity Boys Expected standard Boys Higher standard Boys Average scaled score Girls Expected standard Girls Higher standard Girls Average scaled score
All 68 18 103 78 27 105
Asian 74 26 105 83 35 107
Bangladeshi 77 24 105 85 36 107
Indian 81 35 106 89 45 108
Pakistani 68 18 103 78 27 105
Asian other 79 32 106 85 41 107
Black 70 20 104 80 28 105
Black African 74 23 104 83 31 106
Black Caribbean 61 13 102 74 19 104
Black other 67 18 103 77 25 105
Chinese 83 43 107 90 50 109
Mixed 70 21 104 80 30 106
Mixed White/Asian 76 27 105 85 37 107
Mixed White/Black African 70 21 104 79 29 105
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 62 14 102 75 22 104
Mixed other 72 22 104 82 32 106
White 66 17 103 77 25 105
White British 67 17 103 77 25 105
White Irish 73 25 104 83 36 107
White Irish Traveller 26 2 96 40 7 99
White Gypsy/Roma 18 2 94 26 3 96
White other 63 18 103 71 25 104
Other 67 22 104 77 28 105
Unknown 57 17 102 65 21 104

Download table data for ‘Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment by ethnicity and gender’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment by ethnicity and gender’ (CSV)

Summary of Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment for children aged 7 to 11 (key stage 2) Grammar, punctuation and spelling attainment by ethnicity and gender Summary

The data shows that:

  • overall, girls out-performed boys in grammar, punctuation and spelling

  • 78% of girls met the expected standard, compared to 68% of boys

  • 27% of girls met the higher standard, compared to 18% of boys

  • Chinese girls did best – 90% met the expected standard

  • Gypsy/Roma boys were least likely to meet the expected standard – 18% did so

  • the biggest attainment gap, at 14 percentage points, was found among Traveller of Irish Heritage pupils, where 40% of girls met the expected standard, compared to 26% of boys

  • the smallest attainment gap, at 1 percentage point, was found among Gypsy/Roma pupils, where 3% of girls met the higher standard, compared to 2% of boys

  • Chinese girls had the highest average scaled score (109) and Gypsy/Roma boys had the lowest average scaled score (94)

5. Methodology

The key stage 2 datasets are compiled using information matched together from three data sources:

  • prior attainment records (key stage 1 results)

  • school census records

  • qualification entries and results collected from awarding bodies

Key stage assessment data received from the Standard Testing Agency (STA) is combined with information on pupil's characteristics from the school census and prior attainment by the department's contractor.

Records are matched, using fields such as surname, forename, date of birth, UPN (unique pupil number), gender and postcode. This successfully matches around 60% to 70% of pupils.

Additional, more complex, routines are then applied to match as many of the remaining pupils as possible, up to around 98%. The coverage of the local authority (LA) and regional statistics is state-funded schools only in England.

Confidence intervals for progress results are calculated for a school based on a specific cohort of pupils. A school may have been just as effective, but have performed differently with a different set of pupils.

Similarly, some pupils may be more likely to achieve high or low results, independently of which school they attend. To account for this natural uncertainty, 95% confidence intervals around progress scores are provided as a proxy for the range of scores within which each school’s underlying performance can be confidently said to lie.

School scores should be interpreted alongside their associated confidence intervals. If the lower bound of the school’s confidence interval is greater than zero, it can be interpreted as meaning that the school has achieved greater than average progress compared to pupils with similar starting points nationally.

Similarly, if the upper bound is below zero, then the school has made less than average progress. Where a confidence interval overlaps zero, this means that the school’s progress score is not significantly different from the national average.

The system of national curriculum levels is no longer used by the government to report on end of key stage assessment.

For this reason, the previous 'expected progress' measure, based on pupils making at least two levels of progress between key stage 1 and key stage 2, will not appear in the performance tables or Reporting and Analysis for Improvement through school Self-Evaluation (RAISEonline) in 2016.

This measure has been replaced by 'value added' progress measures in reading, writing and mathematics.

There is no 'target' for the amount of progress an individual pupil is expected to make, and any amount of progress a pupil makes contributes towards the school's progress scores.

Because of the changes to the curriculum, figures for 2016 are not comparable to those for earlier years.

Any pupils who do not have a valid result for a subject are excluded from the calculations for that subject and do not appear in the number of eligible pupils or in the outcome percentages for that subject.

Valid results for the national test figures are: achieved the expected standard (AS), not achieved the expected standard (NS), special consideration (CA), absent (A), working below the standard of the test (B), or unable to access the test (T).

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Values of 1 or 2 or a percentage based on 1 or 2 pupils who achieved, or did not achieve, a particular standard are suppressed. Some additional figures may be suppressed to prevent the possibility of a suppressed figure being revealed. This suppression is consistent with DfE’s statistical policy on confidentiality.

Figures for the Isles of Scilly and City of London are suppressed in DfE’s key stage 2 provisional Statistical First Release as these local authorities (LAs) have a single school and DfE do not publish school level information in the performance tables at the time of the provisional release. These figures become unsuppressed in the revised release as school level figures are already published in the performance tables.

Regional eligible pupil figures are rounded to the nearest 10 so that it is not possible to derive figures for these LAs by summing the figures for the other LAs in the region.

In the school level data, any figures relating to a cohort of 5 pupils or fewer will be suppressed. This applies to sub-groups of pupils as well as the whole cohort, for example, if there were five boys and three girls in a school, DfE would not publish attainment for boys or girls separately but would publish attainment for all pupils as this is based on 8 pupils. The Code of Practice for Official Statistics requires the Department for Education (DfE) to take reasonable steps to ensure that their published or disseminated statistics protect confidentiality.

For more information about DfE’s disclosure control procedures for its statistical releases please see DfE’s statistical policy statement on confidentiality (PDF opens in a new window or tab)

Rounding

All charts, tables and downloads are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Related publications

Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2016

Quality and methodology information

6. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Department for Education

Publication frequency

3 times a year

Purpose of data source

The main purpose is to measure schools' and pupils' progress and performance from key stage 1 to key stage 2 to monitor and improve standards and inform parental choice when applying to local schools.

7. Download the data

Expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling - Spreadsheet (csv) 198 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, region, local authority, , gender, value and denominator

Average scaled score in grammar, punctuation and spelling - Spreadsheet (csv) 16 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value and denominator

Higher standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling - Spreadsheet (csv) 17 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, gender, value and denominator