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- 1. Navigate to Main facts and figures section
- 2. Navigate toEconomic inactivity by ethnicity section
- 3. Navigate toEconomic inactivity by ethnicity (White and Other) section
- 4. Navigate toEconomic inactivity by ethnicity over time section
- 5. Navigate toEconomic inactivity by ethnicity and gender section
- 6. Navigate toEconomic inactivity by ethnicity and age section
- 7. Navigate toEconomic inactivity for 16 to 24 year olds over time section
- 8. Navigate toEconomic inactivity by ethnicity and area section
- 9. Navigate to Methodology section
- 10. Navigate to Data sources section
- 11. Navigate to Download the data section
1. Main facts and figures
in 2016, the total working age population in England, Wales and Scotland was just under 40 million, of which a little over 34 million people were White and nearly 6 million people were from other ethnic groups
in 2016, the economic inactivity rate – the number of people who are economically inactive as a percentage of the total working age population – was 21% for White British people and 30% for people from all other ethnic groups combined, a difference of 9 percentage points
in 2016, there were around 1.74 million economically inactive people from ethnic minorities (other than White ethnic minorities), which accounted for close to 20% of all people who were economically inactive
in 2016, the economic inactivity rate for Pakistani/Bangladeshi women was 59%, which is 33 percentage points higher than the rate for White British women
The ethnic categories used in this data
Where possible, data is broken down into 9 groups:
- White British
- White Other
- Other Asian
- Other ethnic groups
However, in cases where the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific ethnic categories, the data is broken down into:
- White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
- Other – all other ethnic minorities
People whose ethnicity is 'Unknown' (because their ethnicity was not recorded or they chose not to state their ethnicity) are counted in measurements for ‘All’ groups, such as all people in employment. However they are not counted where data is broken down by White and Other.
2. Economic inactivity by ethnicity
Summary of Economic inactivity Economic inactivity by ethnicity Summary
3. Economic inactivity by ethnicity (White and Other)
Summary of Economic inactivity Economic inactivity by ethnicity (White and Other) Summary
4. Economic inactivity by ethnicity over time
Summary of Economic inactivity Economic inactivity by ethnicity over time Summary
5. Economic inactivity by ethnicity and gender
|Ethnicity||Women %||Women Number||Men %||Men Number|
Summary of Economic inactivity Economic inactivity by ethnicity and gender Summary
6. Economic inactivity by ethnicity and age
|Ethnicity||16-24 %||16-24 Number||25-49 %||25-49 Number||50-64 %||50-64 Number|
|Mixed||47||82,000||16||44,000||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable||withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable|
Summary of Economic inactivity Economic inactivity by ethnicity and age Summary
7. Economic inactivity for 16 to 24 year olds over time
Summary of Economic inactivity Economic inactivity for 16 to 24 year olds over time Summary
8. Economic inactivity by ethnicity and area
|White||All other ethnic groups|
|Region||White %||White Number||All other ethnic groups %||All other ethnic groups Number|
|East of England||19||646,000||27||103,000|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||22||656,000||36||135,000|
Summary of Economic inactivity Economic inactivity by ethnicity and area Summary
The Annual Population Survey is a continuous household survey. Most people are interviewed in person first, and later by telephone. The sample is formed partly from waves 1 and 5 of the Labour Force Survey (in which selected addresses are contacted every 3 months) and partly from boost cases that are in the sample for 4 waves, spread one year apart.
Participants are randomly selected from the Royal Mail Postcode address File (PAF). The NHS communal accommodation list is also used and (in the case of remote parts of Scotland) telephone directories. All eligible individuals found at the selected address may be interviewed. Individuals are included in the dataset for this analysis if they respond themselves or if a family member responds on their behalf. The complex survey design has been taken into account when calculating confidence intervals.
The achieved sample of approximately 275,000 undergoes weighting which is structured at local authority level and uses age and sex dimensions.
Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy.
For example, a survey which contains 25% females and 75% males will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know is around 50% male and 50% female.
Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population. This helps to make them more reliable.
Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population.
The Office for National Statistics population estimates and projections are used as the basis for this weighting process.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
In data covering all ethnic groups together, estimates based on sample sizes of less than 30 have been suppressed. For data broken down by ethnic groups, estimates based on sample sizes under 100 have been suppressed.
‘Suppression’ means these figures have not been included in the data, to protect confidentiality and because the numbers involved are too small to draw any reliable conclusions.
10. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Office for National Statistics
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
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.
11. Download the data
This file contains economic inactivity rates by ethnicity, time, gender, region, age, numerator, denominator, sample size and confidence intervals
This file contains economic inactivity rates by ethnicity, time, gender, local authority area, age, with numerator, denominator, sample size and confidence intervals