1. About this page

This is a summary of statistics about Black Caribbean people in England and Wales.

It is the first in a planned series of summaries about different ethnic groups.

This page includes:

  • some population statistics from the most recent Census (2011)
  • data on outcomes for Black Caribbean people compared with White British people, in areas including education, crime and policing, housing and mental health

The White British ethnic group is used for comparison as it is the largest group, making up 80.5% of the population of England and Wales in 2011.

This is an overview based on a selection of data published on Ethnicity facts and figures or being published soon. Some data (for example, on employment and income) is only available for the broad Black ethnic group, and is therefore not included here.

Each section includes details of the time period covered by the data. Population and crime data covers England and Wales. Data on education, mental health and housing covers England only.

2. Population

In 2011, there were 594,825 Black Caribbean people in England and Wales, making up 1.1% of the total population.

2.1 Where Black Caribbean people live

There were 348 local authorities in England and Wales at the time of the 2011 Census. Half of the Black Caribbean population (49.5%) lived in 13 of them.

Birmingham was home to the largest Black Caribbean population, with 8% of all Black Caribbean people living there, followed by Croydon (5.3%) and Lewisham (5.2%), both in London.

Map: Percentage of the Black Caribbean population of England and Wales living in each local authority area (top 13 areas labelled)

Map of England and Wales showing the 13 local authorities where half of the Black Caribbean population of England and Wales lives

Source: Census of England and Wales, 2011

Table: Percentage of the Black Caribbean population of England and Wales living in each local authority area (top 13)

Local authority Number of Black Caribbean residents Percentage of Black Caribbean people living there
Birmingham 47,641 8.0%
Croydon 31,320 5.3%
Lewisham 30,854 5.2%
Lambeth 28,886 4.9%
Brent 23,723 4.0%
Hackney 19,168 3.2%
Waltham Forest 18,841 3.2%
Haringey 18,087 3.0%
Southwark 17,974 3.0%
Enfield 17,334 2.9%
Newham 15,050 2.5%
Ealing 13,192 2.2%
Wandsworth 12,297 2.1%

In 2011, 164 local authorities had fewer than 200 Black Caribbean residents. This is almost half (47%) of all local authorities in England and Wales.

18.1% of Black Caribbean people lived in the most deprived 10% of neighbourhoods in England compared with 8.6% of White British people. (England, 2012/13)

2.2 Age profile

The Black Caribbean ethnic group had a younger age profile than the White British group at the time of the 2011 Census of England and Wales.

The age profile of the Black Caribbean group partly reflects the first large wave of immigrants from the Caribbean in the 1950s and 1960s, and their children. The population who were aged 40 to 55 years at the 2011 Census made up nearly 30% of people in this ethnic group.

In 2011, 26% of White British people were aged 60 and above, compared with 17% of Black Caribbean people.

Chart: Age profile of Black Caribbean and White British people

Charts showing the percentage of the Black Caribbean and White British populations of England and Wales that are in each age band

Source: Census of England and Wales, 2011

2.3 Families and households

16.6% of Black Caribbean households in England and Wales were made up of lone parents with dependent children, compared with 6.7% of White British households.

13.6% of Black Caribbean households were made up of married or cohabiting couples with dependent children, compared with 18.4% of White British households.

13.5% of Black Caribbean households were made up of pensioners (either couples or single pensioners), compared with 23% of White British households.

3. Education

In all subjects and at all key stages, Black Caribbean pupils’ attainment was below the average for England. (2017/18)

Chart: Educational attainment among Black Caribbean and White British pupils

Chart comparing the attainment of Black Caribbean pupils with White British pupils

Source: England, Key Stage 1 Statistics, 2017/18; Key Stage 4 Statistics, 2016/17; and A Level and other 16 to 18 results, 2016/17. Ethnicity facts and figures and Department for Education (DfE). Figures for Key Stage 2 are rounded to whole numbers by DfE.

3.1 Primary education

In year 6, 55% of Black Caribbean pupils met the expected standard in key stage 2 reading, writing and maths, compared with 65% of White British pupils. This was the lowest percentage out of all ethnic groups after White Irish Traveller and Gypsy Roma pupils. (England, 2017/18)

3.2 Secondary education

26.9% of Black Caribbean pupils achieved Grade 5 or above in English and maths GCSE, 15.8 percentage points less than White British pupils at 42.7%. (England, 2017/18)

3.5% of Black Caribbean pupils achieved at least 3 A grades at A level, compared with 10.9% of White British pupils. This was the lowest percentage of all ethnic groups. (England, 2017/18)

3.3 School exclusions

Black Caribbean pupils were twice as likely to be temporarily excluded from school as White British pupils. 10.2% were temporarily excluded, compared with 5.2% of White British pupils. (England, 2016/17)

Black Caribbean pupils are almost three times as likely to be permanently excluded as White British pupils. 0.28% were permanently excluded, compared with 0.10% of White British pupils. (England, 2016/17)

Black Caribbean people were 9.6 times as likely to stopped and searched as White British people. There were 26 stop and searches per 1,000 Black Caribbean people, compared with 3 stop and searches per 1,000 White British people. This was the highest rate out of all ethnic groups except those recorded as ‘Other Black’. (England and Wales, 2017/18)

Rates for stop and search decreased for all ethnic groups between 2009/10 and 2017/18. The rate fell from 153 to 26 per 1,000 Black Caribbean people during this period.

In recent years, stop and search rates have fallen faster for White British people than for Black Caribbean people. As a result, the disparity has widened since 2013/14 when Black Caribbean people were 4.7 times as likely to be stopped and searched as White British people.

Chart: Stop and Search rate (per 1,000 people) over time among Black Caribbean and White British people

Chart showing the stop and search rates for Black Caribbean and White British people between 2009/10 and 2017/18

Source: England and Wales, Police Powers and Procedures, 2017/18

A higher percentage of stop and search incidents among the Black Caribbean group resulted in an arrest (22.8%), compared with all other ethnic groups except the Mixed White/Black Caribbean group (22.9%). The percentage for the White British group was 15.7%. (England and Wales, 2017/18)

Between 2009/10 and 2017/18, the percentage of stop and searches leading to an arrest increased for all ethnic groups. For the Black Caribbean group it increased from 7.4% to 22.8% of all stop and search incidents. This increase was larger than among the White British group, which rose from 8.9% to 15.7%. (England and Wales, 2009/10 to 2017/18)

5. Arrests

Black Caribbean people were 3.8 times as likely to be arrested as White British people. There were 38 arrests for every 1,000 Black Caribbean people (the highest out of all ethnic groups), compared with 10 arrests for every 1,000 White British people. (England and Wales, 2017/18)

The arrest rate for Black Caribbean people decreased from 81 per 1,000 people in 2006/7 to 38 per 1,000 people in 2017/18. This is a larger decrease than that seen for White British people (from 24 per 1,000 people in 2006/7 to 10 in 2017/18). (England and Wales, 2017/18)

6. Fear of crime

28% of Black Caribbean people said they thought they were likely to be a victim of crime in the next year, compared with 18% of White British people. (England and Wales, 2015/16)

7. Home ownership and renting

Chart: Home ownership and renting among Black Caribbean and White British households

Chart showing the percentage of White British and Black Caribbean households that own their own home, rent privately, and rent social housing

Source: England, English Housing Survey, 2015/16 and 2016/17 combined

37% of Black Caribbean people were homeowners, compared with 68% of people from both the White British and Indian ethnic groups. (England, 2015/16 and 2016/17 combined)

45% of Black Caribbean households rented social housing, compared with 16% of White British households. (England, 2015/16 and 2016/17 combined)

8. Mental health

Black Caribbean people had the highest rate of detention under the Mental Health Act out of all ethnic groups, at 254 detentions per 100,000 people. This was 3.7 times as high as the rate for White British people (69 per 100,000 people). (England, 2017/18)

Black Caribbean adults were the most likely to use mental health and learning disability services out of all ethnic groups where the data was reliable. Nearly 4,800 adults per 100,000 of the Black Caribbean population did so, compared with just over 3,600 per 100,000 White British people. (England, 2014/15)

9. Blog post

Read a blog post on How we’re helping people understand ethnicity data, written by Richard Laux, chief analyst at the Race Disparity Unit (RDU).

In the blog post, Richard discusses:

  • why the RDU is planning to publish a series of summary reports in addition to the data on Ethnicity facts and figures
  • the reasoning behind decisions like which data to include