Regional ethnic diversity
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1. Main facts and figures
- as at the 2011 Census, the most ethnically diverse region in England and Wales was London, where 40.2% of residents identified with either the Asian, Black, Mixed or Other ethnic group
- out of all regions, London had the smallest percentage of White British people, at 44.9%, and the North East had the highest percentage, at 93.6%
- people from the White ethnic group were more likely to live in the South East than any other region, with 16.2% doing so; people from the Black, Asian, Mixed and Other ethnic groups were more likely to live in London than any other region, with 58.4%, 35.9%, 33.1% and 49.9% doing so respectively
- 81.5% of the general population lived in an urban location, and 18.5% lived in a rural location – the ethnic groups most likely to live in an urban location were Pakistani (99.1%), Bangladeshi (98.7%), and Black African (98.2%)
- Newham in London was the local authority where people from the White ethnic group made up the lowest percentage of the population (at 29.0%); 8 out of the 10 most ethnically diverse local authorities were in London
The ethnic categories used in this data
The Census uses a standard set of ethnic groups to collect and classify ethnicity data.
The 2011 Census used 18 standardised ethnic categories:
Asian / Asian British:
- Any other Asian background
Black / African / Caribbean / Black British:
- Any other Black / African / Caribbean background
Mixed / Multiple ethnic groups:
- Mixed White and Black Caribbean
- Mixed White and Black African
- Mixed White and Asian
- Any other Mixed / Multiple ethnic background, please describe
- English / Welsh / Scottish / Northern Irish / British
- Gypsy or Irish Traveller
- Any other White background, please describe
Other ethnic group:
- Any other ethnic group
2. Areas of England and Wales by ethnicity
|Region||Asian||Black||Mixed||White British||White other||Other|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||7.3||1.5||1.6||85.8||3.0||0.8|
3. Ethnic groups by area
|Ethnicity||All||East||East Midlands||London||North East||North West||South East||South West||Wales||West Midlands||Yorkshire and The Humber|
|Mixed White/Black African||100.0||9.3||5.3||39.5||2.1||11.1||13.8||5.2||2.7||5.6||5.6|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||100.0||8.7||9.5||28.0||1.4||9.2||10.8||6.0||2.6||16.1||7.8|
4. Ethnic groups by type of location (urban or rural)
|Ethnicity||North East||North West||Yorkshire and The Humber||East Midlands||West Midlands||East||London||South East||South West||Wales|
|% urban||% urban||% urban||% urban||% urban||% urban||% urban||% urban||% urban||% urban|
|Mixed White/Black African||91.4||96.9||91.8||88.1||94.0||84.4||99.9||89.8||82.7||83.9|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||85.2||96.2||93.3||90.1||95.9||84.9||99.9||88.4||85.3||81.8|
5. Ethnic diversity by area
|Local authority||% White||Position|
|Herefordshire, County of||98.2||166|
|Redcar and Cleveland||98.5||173|
|Isles of Scilly||98.8||174|
All households in England and Wales received a Census questionnaire through the post from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), along with an information leaflet and a pre-paid envelope for return by post.
Households in Wales received both English language and Welsh language questionnaires and information leaflets.
Householders could complete their questionnaire either:
- on paper, and return it by post
- online – each paper questionnaire had a unique internet access code
Responses were uploaded every day onto the questionnaire tracking system throughout the duration of the Census. This meant that households could be contacted if their questionnaire had not been submitted.
Communal establishments like care homes, and special groups (such as travellers), had their questionnaires hand delivered, collected and uploaded by Census employees. Individuals within communal establishments could also complete their questionnaire online.
There were 56 questions in the 2011 Census questionnaire:
- 14 questions were about the household and its accommodation
- 42 questions were for each member of the household
Topics included work, health, national identity, passports, ethnicity, education, second homes, language, religion and marital status.
There was an extra question about the Welsh language for households in Wales.
A census is designed to cover the whole population, but some people or households are inevitably left out by accident. A good census design will recognise this and take account of the error with quality controls.
ONS developed a ‘coverage assessment and adjustment methodology’ which estimates and adjusts Census data for the number of people and households not counted or counted incorrectly.
All the 2011 Census population estimates have been subject to quality assurance using demographic analysis, survey data, qualitative information and administrative data. This ensures that the figures are plausible and that users of Census data can have confidence in the quality and accuracy of the information.
Relative confidence intervals for the population by ethnicity down to local authority level can be found in the ONS archive.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
The ONS uses a number of ways to protect the confidentiality of individuals and households, including:
- record swapping, where small numbers of records are swapped between geographical areas
- restricting the amount of detail shown in published data, particularly at low level geographies like local authorities
Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.
Further technical information
7. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Office for National Statistics
Every 10 years
Purpose of data source
The Census is carried out every 10 years. It provides information that government needs to plan and run public services and is used as a benchmark for other statistical estimates. It also helps illustrate differences between various groups in the population.