Socioeconomic status

Published

Last updated 15 September 2020 - see all updates

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1. Main facts and figures

  • according to the 2011 Census, people from the White ethnic group made up a lower share of those classed as ‘never worked and long-term unemployed’ (at 71.1%) than their share of the general population (86.0%)
  • people from the Asian and Black groups made up a higher share of the ‘never worked and long-term unemployed’ group (at 17.5% and 6.2% respectively) than their share of the general population (7.5% and 3.3% respectively)
  • 15.4% of people from the Indian ethnic group were in higher managerial and professional occupations (the highest socio-economic group), the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups

Data from the Annual Population Survey also shows that:

  • in every ethnic group, a higher percentage of men than women were in higher managerial and professional occupations
  • in nearly every ethnic group, a higher percentage of women than men were classed as ‘never worked or long-term unemployed’

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

This data shows the population of England and Wales broken down by ethnicity and socio-economic status.

A person’s socio-economic status is based on the type of work they do, or what they used to do if they are retired.

Census data covers people in around 25 million private households. It also includes communal establishments, such as care homes and university halls of residence.

All percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Read more about the 2011 Census.

Not included in the data

The data does not include households that did not answer the question about ethnicity.

94% of households completed the 2011 Census. Of those, 97% answered the question about ethnicity.

The data has been adjusted to take into account people and households who were not counted or counted incorrectly.

The ethnic groups used in the data

This data uses the standardised list of 18 ethnic groups developed for the 2011 Census.

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document for this data.

You can find confidence intervals for the data in the ONS archive.

3. Socio-economic groups by ethnicity

Socio-economic groups by ethnicity
Socio-economic groups Asian Black Mixed White Other
% % % % %
Higher managerial/administrative/professional 7.5 2.1 1.3 88.2 1.0
Lower managerial/administrative/professional 4.9 2.7 1.3 90.5 0.6
Intermediate occupations 4.8 2.4 1.2 91.0 0.5
Small employers and own account workers 6.7 1.7 1.0 89.8 0.9
Lower supervisory and technical 4.7 2.1 1.1 91.5 0.7
Semi-routine occupations 5.7 3.0 1.3 89.4 0.6
Routine occupations 4.8 2.4 1.1 90.9 0.7
Never worked/long-term unemployed 17.5 6.2 2.5 71.1 2.7
Full-time students 15.1 6.5 3.7 72.3 2.3

Download table data for ‘Socio-economic groups by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Socio-economic groups by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Socioeconomic status Socio-economic groups by ethnicity Summary

Population data shows that:

  • as at the 2011 Census, the largest ethnic group was the White group (making up 86.0% of the population), followed by Asian (7.5%), Black (3.3%), Mixed ethnicity (2.2%) and the Other ethnic group (1.0%)

Data on socio-economic groups shows that:

  • out of all socio-economic groups, the largest percentage of White people were found in ‘lower supervisory and technical’ (91.5%), ‘intermediate occupations’ (91.0%) and ‘routine occupations’ (90.9%)

  • people from the Asian ethnic group made up 17.5% of the ‘never worked and long-term unemployed’ group and 15.1% of full-time students, around twice their share of the overall population; out of all socio-economic groups, the smallest percentages of people from the Asian ethnic group were found in ‘lower supervisory and technical’ (4.7%), and ‘routine and intermediate occupations’ (both at 4.8%)

  • people from the Black ethnic group made up 6.5% of full-time students and 6.2% of the ‘never worked and long-term unemployed’ group; out of all socio-economic groups, the smallest percentages of Black people were found in ‘small employers and own account workers’ (1.7%), and ‘managerial and professional occupations’ and ‘lower supervisory and technical’ groups (both at 2.1%)

4. Ethnic groups by socio-economic status

Percentage of people within each ethnic group in the different socio-economic groups
Ethnicity Higher managerial, administrative, professional Lower managerial, administrative, professional Intermediate occupations Small employers and own account workers Lower supervisory and technical Semi-routine occupations Routine occupations Never worked or long-term unemployed Full-time students
% % % % % % % % %
All 9.9 20.5 13.0 9.3 7.2 14.3 11.6 5.9 8.2
Asian 10.7 14.4 9.0 8.9 4.8 11.8 8.0 14.7 17.7
Bangladeshi 4.2 9.6 7.8 7.3 7.7 11.5 7.9 25.3 18.7
Chinese 12.8 13.4 6.4 9.8 6.2 7.4 4.1 6.7 33.3
Indian 15.4 17.7 11.1 8.2 4.2 12.2 8.7 9.3 13.2
Pakistani 6.6 9.9 7.9 11.4 3.7 11.3 8.5 24.4 16.3
Asian other 8.8 16.5 8.7 7.5 5.2 14.1 8.3 12.4 18.6
Black 6.9 18.3 10.7 5.3 5.0 14.5 9.5 12.2 17.8
Black African 7.5 17.0 8.2 4.7 3.9 13.9 7.9 13.5 23.4
Black Caribbean 6.2 20.5 14.0 6.0 6.4 15.7 11.8 9.4 10.0
Black other 5.9 17.3 11.1 5.7 5.0 13.5 9.2 15.0 17.2
Mixed 8.4 17.8 10.5 6.4 5.3 12.2 9.0 10.0 20.6
Mixed White/Asian 11.5 19.7 10.4 6.6 4.5 9.8 6.4 8.0 23.0
Mixed White/Black African 7.9 17.4 9.6 6.1 5.5 12.1 9.3 10.4 21.8
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 4.9 15.1 10.9 5.8 5.8 14.7 10.9 12.5 19.4
Mixed other 10.3 19.7 10.6 7.1 5.2 11.1 8.8 8.3 18.9
White 10.0 21.2 13.5 9.6 7.5 14.6 12.1 4.8 6.7
White British 9.8 21.3 13.9 9.5 7.6 14.8 11.9 4.7 6.6
White Irish 12.0 25.0 11.1 9.8 6.3 12.8 13.2 4.9 4.7
White Gypsy/Traveller 2.5 8.2 4.4 15.1 4.5 11.6 14.6 31.2 7.8
White other 12.4 19.2 8.6 11.3 6.8 12.3 14.5 5.3 9.6
Other 10.1 14.0 7.0 8.5 5.2 9.7 8.7 16.5 20.3
Arab 11.5 11.6 5.3 6.5 4.4 7.1 5.7 19.7 28.1
Any other 9.2 15.5 8.1 9.7 5.7 11.3 10.5 14.5 15.4

Download table data for ‘Ethnic groups by socio-economic status’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Ethnic groups by socio-economic status’ (CSV)

Summary of Socioeconomic status Ethnic groups by socio-economic status Summary

This data shows that:

  • 15.4% of people from the Indian ethnic group were in ‘higher managerial and professional occupations’, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups – altogether, just under one-third (33.1%) of people from the Indian ethnic group were in the 2 ‘managerial and professional’ groups

  • out of all ethnic groups, people from the White Irish group were most likely to be in ‘lower managerial and professional occupations’ (at 25.0%), followed by White British (21.3%) and Black Caribbean (20.5%)

  • 31.2% of people from the White Gypsy/Roma or Traveller ethnic group were ‘long term unemployed or never worked’ – this was the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups, followed by the Bangladeshi (25.3%), Pakistani (24.4%) and Arab (19.7%) ethnic groups

  • the White Gypsy/Roma ethnic group also had the highest percentage of ‘small employers and own account workers’ out of all ethnic groups, at 15.1%

  • 33% of people from the Chinese ethnic group were full-time students, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups, followed by the Arab (28.1%) and Black African (23.4%) ethnic groups

5. Ethnic groups by socio-economic status of men

Percentage of men within each ethnic group in the different socio-economic groups
Ethnicity Higher managerial, administrative, professional Lower managerial, administrative, professional Intermediate occupations Small employers and own account workers Lower supervisory and technical Semi-routine occupations Routine occupations Never worked or long-term unemployed
% % % % % % % %
Asian
Bangladeshi 8 13 6 12 10 14 8 28
Chinese 19 12 4 7 5 5 2 47
Indian 27 18 7 8 5 9 6 20
Pakistani 11 13 8 19 5 10 7 27
Asian other 12 14 6 12 7 14 8 27
Black
Black African 10 15 7 7 6 13 10 33
Black Caribbean 8 15 4 8 8 12 11 33
Black other 18 20 withheld to protect confidentiality 8 withheld to protect confidentiality 13 5 29
Mixed
Mixed White/Asian 19 22 12 6 7 5 1 29
Mixed White/Black African 16 11 4 9 2 13 14 31
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 8 21 10 5 7 13 7 29
Mixed other 17 24 7 6 6 8 7 26
White
White British 15 20 6 9 8 8 9 25
White Irish 20 19 6 10 6 4 7 27
White other 15 16 4 13 9 10 18 16
Other
Arab 12 11 4 11 6 11 6 40
Any other 12 13 6 12 6 12 11 27

Download table data for ‘Ethnic groups by socio-economic status of men’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Ethnic groups by socio-economic status of men’ (CSV)

Summary of Socioeconomic status Ethnic groups by socio-economic status of men Summary

This data for men (in the table above) and women (in the table below) shows that:

  • in every ethnic group, a higher percentage of men than women were in ‘higher managerial and professional occupations’ (the highest socio-economic group); the biggest difference was in the Indian group, where 27% of men and 13% of women were in such occupations
  • in nearly every ethnic group where data was available, men were more likely than women to be in the ‘small employers and own account workers’, ‘lower supervisory and technical’ and ‘routine occupations’ groups

The data for men shows that:

  • men from the Indian ethnic group were most likely to be in ‘higher managerial and professional occupations’ compared with men from all other ethnic groups (at 27% of Indian men); and men from the Bangladeshi, Black Caribbean, and Mixed White and Black Caribbean groups were least likely to be (all at 8%)
  • 47% of men from the Bangladeshi ethnic group, and 40% from the Arab group, were classed as ‘never worked or long term unemployed’, the highest percentages for men out of all ethnic groups; men from the Other White group had the lowest percentage, at 16%
  • men from the Pakistani ethnic group were most likely to be ‘small employers and own account workers’ (at 19%), and Mixed White and Black Caribbean men were least likely to be (at 5%)

6. Ethnic groups by socio-economic status of women

Percentage of women within each ethnic group in the different socio-economic groups
Ethnicity Higher managerial, administrative, professional Lower managerial, administrative, professional Intermediate occupations Small employers and own account workers Lower supervisory and technical Semi-routine occupations Routine occupations Never worked or long-term unemployed
% % % % % % % %
Asian
Bangladeshi 4 11 15 3 2 11 3 51
Chinese 11 16 9 3 3 8 3 47
Indian 13 22 14 3 3 10 4 31
Pakistani 5 13 12 3 2 11 4 50
Asian other 7 19 11 5 3 14 7 35
Black
Black African 6 19 9 3 2 16 8 36
Black Caribbean 6 21 17 3 3 15 6 30
Black other 8 26 14 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 14 4 33
Mixed
Mixed White/Asian 12 21 12 4 withheld to protect confidentiality 12 withheld to protect confidentiality 34
Mixed White/Black African 3 25 10 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 12 8 33
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 5 20 19 3 1 16 6 30
Mixed other 11 23 13 6 2 8 8 28
White
White British 7 20 15 5 3 13 6 32
White Irish 9 27 10 3 2 7 4 38
White other 10 20 11 8 5 13 13 21
Other
Arab 8 10 9 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 7 4 60
Any other 8 19 10 6 2 12 8 37

Download table data for ‘Ethnic groups by socio-economic status of women’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Ethnic groups by socio-economic status of women’ (CSV)

Summary of Socioeconomic status Ethnic groups by socio-economic status of women Summary

This data for men and women shows that:

  • in nearly every ethnic group, a higher percentage of women than men were in the ‘never worked or long-term unemployed’ socio-economic group; the biggest difference was in the Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups, where women were nearly twice as likely as men to be in that socio-economic group
  • in nearly every ethnic group where data was available, women were more likely than men to be in ‘intermediate occupations’

The data for women shows that:

  • women from the Indian ethnic group were most likely to be in ‘higher managerial and professional occupations’ compared with women from all other ethnic groups (at 13% of Indian women); and women from the Mixed White and Black African group were least likely to be (at 3%)
  • 60% of women from the Arab ethnic group, and 51% from the Bangladeshi group, were classed as ‘never worked or long term unemployed’, the highest percentages for women out of all ethnic groups; women from the Other White group had the lowest percentage, at 21%
  • women from the White Irish ethnic group were most likely to be in ‘lower managerial and professional occupations’ (at 27%), and women from the Arab ethnic group were least likely to be (at 10%)

7. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Every 10 years

Purpose of data source

The Census is carried out every 10 years. The last one took place in March 2011.

Census data gives the government the information it needs to plan and run public services. It is also used as a benchmark for other statistical estimates, and it can help illustrate differences between various groups in the population.

Secondary source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The Annual Population Survey (APS) is the largest ongoing household survey in the UK and covers a range of topics, including:

  • personal characteristics
  • labour market status
  • work characteristics
  • education
  • health

The purpose of the APS is to provide information on important social and socio-economic variables at local levels, such as labour market estimates.

The published statistics also allow government to monitor estimates on a range of issues between Censuses.

8. Download the data

Population of England and Wales by ethnicity and socio-economic group - Spreadsheet (csv) 59 KB

This file contains: Measure, Ethnicity, NS-SEC, Geography, Sex, Value, Value_type, Source, Time period, Sample size