Ethnicity harmonised standard

Policy details

Metadata item Details
Publication date:17 April 2019
Author:Claire Pini
Approver:Claire Pini
Who this is for:Users and producers of statistics
Type:Harmonisation standards and guidance
Contact:

gsshelp@statistics.gov.uk

The following guidance sets out the harmonised country specific ethnic group question(s) and dissemination of output(s) for use in social surveys and administrative data in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is important to note that when collecting data about national identities, a national identity question should be asked along with but separately to an ethnic group question.

When collecting Great Britain (GB) or United Kingdom (UK) data, the format of the question will vary slightly depending on whether data is being collected in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Each of the constituent countries has different requirements which have led to the use of different terminology and different questions. Therefore, if producing outputs for surveys with GB or UK coverage and using the Scotland harmonised country specific questions, response categories can only be aggregated and presented at the main level category (due to these differences).

Questions

This section provides guidance on the survey questions to use when collecting information about ethnicity.

Below is the recommended ethnic group question for use in England. This question is recommended when a show card is used in a face to face interview or self-completion survey (both paper and electronic).

What is your ethnic group?

(Choose one option that best describes your ethnic group or background)

White
  1. English / Welsh / Scottish / Northern Irish / British
  2. Irish
  3. Gypsy or Irish Traveller
  4. Any other White background, please describe
Mixed / Multiple ethnic groups
  1. White and Black Caribbean
  2. White and Black African
  3. White and Asian
  4. Any other Mixed / Multiple ethnic background, please describe
 Asian / Asian British
  1. Indian
  2. Pakistani
  3. Bangladeshi
  4. Chinese
  5. Any other Asian background, please describe
 Black / African / Caribbean / Black British
  1. African
  2. Caribbean
  3. Any other Black / African / Caribbean background, please describe
 Other ethnic group
  1. Arab
  2. Any other ethnic group, please describe

Below is the recommended ethnic group question for use in Northern Ireland. This question is recommended when a show card is used in a face to face interview or self-completion survey (both paper and electronic).

What is your ethnic group?

(Choose one option that best describes your ethnic group or background)

  1. White
  2. Irish Traveller
 Mixed / Multiple ethnic groups
  1. White and Black Caribbean
  2. White and Black African
  3. White and Asian
  4. Any other Mixed / Multiple ethnic background, please describe
 Asian / Asian British
  1. Indian
  2. Pakistani
  3. Bangladeshi
  4. Chinese
  5. Any other Asian background, please describe
 Black / African / Caribbean / Black British
  1. African
  2. Caribbean
  3. Any other Black / African / Caribbean background, please describe
 Other ethnic group
  1. Arab
  2. Any other ethnic group, please describe

Below is the recommended ethnic group question for use in Scotland. This question is recommended when a show card is used in a face to face interview or self-completion survey (both paper and electronic). This question has been developed to enable direct comparison with the Scottish Census and other sources in Scotland.

It is important to note when producing outputs for surveys with GB or UK coverage, some of the response categories can only be harmonised at the main level category. Footnotes should also be included to explain the differences in the data collection process.

What is your ethnic group?

(Choose one option that best describes your ethnic group or background)

White
  1. Scottish
  2. Other British
  3. Irish
  4. Gypsy/Traveller
  5. Polish
  6. Any other White ethnic group, please describe
 Mixed or Multiple ethnic groups
  1. Any Mixed or Multiple ethnic groups, please describe
 Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British
  1. Pakistani, Pakistani Scottish or Pakistani British
  2. Indian, Indian Scottish or Indian British
  3. Bangladeshi, Bangladeshi Scottish or Bangladeshi British
  4. Chinese, Chinese Scottish or Chinese British
  5. Any other Asian, please describe
 African
  1. African, African Scottish or African British
  2. Any other African, please describe
 Caribbean or Black
  1. Caribbean, Caribbean Scottish or Caribbean British
  2. Black, Black Scottish or Black British
  3. Any other Caribbean or Black, please describe
 Other ethnic group
  1. Arab, Arab Scottish or Arab British
  2. Any other ethnic group, please describe

When it is not feasible to ask the recommended country specific Scotland ethnic group question, the the recommended question for England and Wales should be used (putting the Scottish option first in the response categories):

What is your ethnic group?

(Choose one option that best describes your ethnic group or background)

White
  1. Scottish / English / Welsh / Northern Irish / British
  2. Irish
  3. Gypsy / Traveller
  4. Any other White background, please describe
 Mixed / Multiple ethnic groups
  1. White and Black Caribbean
  2. White and Black African
  3. White and Asian
  4. Any other Mixed / Multiple ethnic background, please describe
 Asian / Asian British
  1. Indian
  2. Pakistani
  3. Bangladeshi
  4. Chinese
  5. Any other Asian background, please describe
 Black / African / Caribbean / Black British
  1. African
  2. Caribbean
  3. Any other Black / African / Caribbean background, please describe
 Other ethnic group
  1. Arab
  2. Any other ethnic group, please describe

Below is the recommended ethnic group question for use in Wales. This question is recommended when a show card is used in a face to face interview or self-completion survey (both paper and electronic).

What is your ethnic group?

(Choose one option that best describes your ethnic group or background)

White
  1. Welsh / English / Scottish / Northern Irish / British
  2. Irish
  3. Gypsy or Irish Traveller
  4. Any other White background, please describe
 Mixed / Multiple ethnic groups
  1. White and Black Caribbean
  2. White and Black African
  3. White and Asian
  4. Any other Mixed / Multiple ethnic background, please describe
 Asian / Asian British
  1. Indian
  2. Pakistani
  3. Bangladeshi
  4. Chinese
  5. Any other Asian background, please describe
 Black / African / Caribbean / Black British
  1. African
  2. Caribbean
  3. Any other Black / African / Caribbean background, please describe
 Other ethnic group
  1. Arab
  2. Any other ethnic group, please describe

Where use of a show card is not possible (e.g. telephone surveys), the question should be asked in stages due to the length of the question. The recommended stages are presented below (Part 1 and Part 2).

The interviewer should use the word ‘or’ after each response option in parts 1 and 2 of the two-stage question. A pause in speech should be used to indicate a forward slash (/). For Scotland ‘or’ is used instead of a forward slash.

Ethnic group question for telephone interview (as applied on the Labour Force Survey)

Part 1

ETH11

Applies to all

Interviewer to read:

What is your ethnic group?

I will read out the options, choose one option that best describes your ethnic group or background

 

In England and Wales 

Interviewer to read options:                       

  1. White, or
  2. Mixed/ Multiple ethnic groups, or
  3. Asian/ Asian British, or
  4. Black/ African/ Caribbean/ Black British, or
  5. Chinese, or
  6. Arab, or
  7. Other ethnic group
In Scotland

Interviewer to read options:

  1. White or
  2. Mixed or Multiple Ethnic group, or
  3. Asian or Asian Scottish or Asian British, or
  4. African or
  5. Caribbean or Black or
  6. Arab or
  7. Other ethnic group
In Northern Ireland

Interviewer to read options:

  1. White, or
  2. Irish Traveller, or
  3. Mixed/ Multiple ethnic groups, or
  4. Asian/ Asian British, or
  5. Black/ African/ Caribbean/ Black British, or
  6. Chinese, or
  7. Arab, or
  8. Other ethnic group
Part 2

Interviewer to read:

And which one of these best describes your ethnic group or background?

ETHNIC-WHITE (ETHWH)

Applies if ETH11=1 in England

Interviewer to read options:

  1. English / Welsh / Scottish / Northern Irish / British, or
  2. Irish, or
  3. Gypsy or Irish Traveller, or
  4. Any other White background?

Applies if ETH11=1 in Wales

Interviewer to read options:

  1. Welsh / English / Scottish / Northern Irish / British, or
  2. Irish, or
  3. Gypsy or Irish Traveller, or
  4. Any other White background?

Applies if ETH11=1 in Scotland

Interviewer to read options:

  1. Scottish or
  2. Other British or
  3. Irish or
  4. Gypsy traveller or
  5. Polish or
  6. Any other white ethnic group?
ETHNIC- MIXED (ETHMX)

Applies if ETH11=2  in England, Wales or 3  in Northern Ireland

Interviewer to read options:

  1. White and Black Caribbean, or
  2. White and Black African, or
  3. White and Asian, or
  4. Any other mixed / multiple ethnic background?
ETHNIC- ASIAN (ETHAS)

Applies if ETH11=3 in England or Wales or 4 in Northern Ireland

Interviewer to read options:

  1. Indian, or
  2. Pakistani, or
  3. Bangladeshi, or
  4. Any other Asian background?

Applies if ETH11=3 in Scotland

Interviewer to read options:

  1. Pakistani, Pakistani Scottish or Pakistani British or
  2. Indian, Indian Scottish or Indian British or
  3. Bangladeshi, Bangladeshi Scottish or Bangladeshi British or
  4. Chinese, Chinese Scottish or Chinese British or
  5. Any other Asian group
ETHNIC-BLACK (ETHBL)

Applies if ETH11=4 in England or Wales or 5 in Northern Ireland

Interviewer to read options:

  1. African, or
  2. Caribbean, or
  3. Any other Black / African / Caribbean background?
ETHNIC- AFRICAN (ETHAF) SCOTLAND ONLY

Applies if ETH11=4 in Scotland

Interviewer to read options:

  1. African, African Scottish or African British or
  2. Any other African group?
ETHNIC-CARIBBEAN (ETHCB) SCOTLAND ONLY

Applies if ETH11=5 in Scotland

Interviewer to read options:

  1. Caribbean, Caribbean Scottish or Caribbean British or
  2. Black, Black Scottish or Black British or
  3. Any other Caribbean or Black group?
ETHNIC-OTHER (ETHOTH)

Applies if ETH11=7 in England, Wales or Scotland, or ETH11=8 in Northern Ireland

Or for England, Wales and Northern Ireland

ETHWH=4

Or ETHMX=4

Or ETHAS=5

Or ETHBL=3

Or for Scotland where

ETHWH=6

Or ETHAS=5

Or ETHAF=2

Or ETHCB=3

Interviewer to read:

Please can you describe your ethnic group or background?

Record respondent’s answer

 

 

Presentation of outputs

This section provides guidance for outputting the survey questions to use when collecting information about ethnicity.

Recommended data presentation for the harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for England and Wales

Presentation should follow order of categories as described previously.
Note: XXX indicates where data will be in the presentation table.

Ethnic group Data
White
English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British XXX
Irish XXX
Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller XXX
Any other White background XXX
Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
White and Black Caribbean XXX
White and Black African XXX
White and Asian XXX
Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background XXX
Asian/Asian British
Indian XXX
Pakistani XXX
Bangladeshi XXX
Chinese XXX
Any other Asian background XXX
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
African XXX
Caribbean XXX
Any other Black/African/Caribbean background XXX
Other ethnic group
Arab XXX
Any other ethnic group XXX

Issues to note when presenting data based on using the country specific harmonised country specific ethnic group question for England and Wales

There are differences in data collection across GB (Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller is collected in England and Wales and ‘Gypsy/Traveller’ is collected in Scotland). Where numbers are too small or disclosive the category should be merged with ‘Other White. It is recommended that ‘Roma’ responses are included under ‘Other ethnic group’ and a footnote should be presented to clarify this.

Recommended data presentation for the harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for Northern Ireland.

Presentation should follow order of categories as described previously.
Note: XXX indicates where data will be in the presentation table.

Ethnic group Data
White XXX
Irish Traveller XXX
Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
White and Black Caribbean XXX
White and Black African XXX
White and Asian XXX
Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background XXX
Asian/Asian British
Indian XXX
Pakistani XXX
Bangladeshi XXX
Chinese XXX
Any other Asian background XXX
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
African XXX
Caribbean XXX
Any other Black/African/Caribbean background XXX
Other ethnic group
Arab XXX
Any other ethnic group XXX

Issues to note when presenting data based on using the harmonised country specific ethnic group question for Northern Ireland

For Northern Ireland ‘Irish Traveller’ is collected under its own ethnic group and should be presented as Irish Traveller’. Where ‘Irish Traveller’ ‘numbers are small or disclosive it is recommended to output to ‘Any other ethnic group’. Note that ‘Roma’ responses should be recorded under ‘Other ethnic group’. Northern Ireland’s framework for monitoring minority ethnic and migrant people’ published by the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister in July 2011 recommends that Roma is categorised under ‘Other’ ethnic group. This is because there is a distinct category for Irish Travellers, who by law (Race Relations Order) are categorised as an ethnic group in their own right. Roma is not a subset of the Irish Traveller group and the need is to have accurate data on both Roma and on Irish Travellers.

Recommended data presentation for the harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for Scotland

Presentation should follow order of categories as described previously.
Note: XXX indicates where data will be in the presentation table.

Ethnic group Data
White
Scottish XXX
Other British XXX
Irish XXX
Gypsy/Traveller XXX
Polish XXX
Any other white ethnic group XXX
Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
Any mixed or multiple ethnic groups XXX
Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British
Pakistani, Pakistani Scottish or Pakistani British XXX
Indian, Indian Scottish or Indian British XXX
Bangladeshi, Bangladeshi Scottish or Bangladeshi British XXX
Chinese, Chinese Scottish or Chinese British XXX
Any other Asian XXX
African
African, African Scottish or African British XXX
Any other African XXX
Caribbean or Black
Caribbean, Caribbean Scottish or Caribbean British XXX
Black, Black Scottish or Black British XXX
Any other Caribbean or Black XXX
Other ethnic group
Arab, Arab Scottish or Arab British XXX
Any other ethnic group XXX

When the England and Wales question is used in Scotland the order of presentation of responses should follow order of categories in the recommended data presentation for the harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for England and Wales (putting Scotland first).

If the harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for England, Wales and Scotland are used to produce a GB output then the presentation of data should follow order of responses in this section.

It is important to note that due to some of the differences in the format and wording of Scotland’s harmonised country specific ethnic group question some responses are not directly comparable. Response categories should be aggregated and presented at the main level category with footnotes to explain the differences in the data collection process.

Presentation for ethnic group data in GB when using the harmonised country specific questions for England, Wales and Scotland

Ethnic group Data
White
English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British XXX
Irish XXX
Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller XXX
Any other White background XXX
Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups XXX
Asian/Asian British
Indian XXX
Pakistani XXX
Bangladeshi XXX
Chinese XXX
Any other Asian background XXX
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British XXX
Other ethnic group
Arab XXX
Any other ethnic group XXX

Issues to note when presenting GB data based on using the harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for England, Wales and Scotland

1. If data too small or potentially disclosive it should be combined with ‘Other White’. There are differences in data collection across GB – Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller is collected in England and Wales and ‘Gypsy/Traveller’ is collected in Scotland. It is also recommended that ‘Roma’ responses are included under ‘Other ethnic group’ and a footnote should be presented to clarify this, however for Scotland it is likely that some ‘Roma’ might be included under Gypsy/Traveller.

2. The Polish category from the country specific question for Scotland should be combined with the ‘Other White’ category. Also be aware of the possibility that ‘White Africans’ could have been recorded under ‘African’ and ‘Other White’ in Scotland.

3. Mixed/multiple ethnic groups isn’t broken down for the country specific question for Scotland and a footnote should be included to explain differences in data collection.

4. Differences in the terminology and data collection of the country specific Scotland question make these categories difficult to compare. The ‘African’ category in the Scottish question is presented in a separate section to the Caribbean or Black category, however under the harmonised output these two categories are output as part of ‘Black/African/Caribbean/Black British’. The African categories used in Scotland could potentially capture ‘White/Asian/Other African’ in addition to Black identities.

If the harmonised country specific ethnic group questions are followed for both England and Wales and the same question is used for Scotland then the presentation format for ethnic group data should be as follows:

Presentation for GB output when using the harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for England and Wales and the same question for Scotland

Ethnic group Data
White
English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British XXX
Irish XXX
Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller XXX
Any other White background XXX
Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
White and Black Caribbean XXX
White and Black African XXX
White and Asian XXX
Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background XXX
Asian/Asian British
Indian XXX
Pakistani XXX
Bangladeshi XXX
Chinese XXX
Any other Asian background XXX
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
African XXX
Caribbean XXX
Any other Black/African/Caribbean background XXX
Other ethnic group
Arab XXX
Any other ethnic group XXX

Issues to note when presenting GB data based on using the harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for England and Wales and using the same question for Scotland

Where numbers are small or disclosive for England, Wales and Scotland it is recommended to output to ‘Other White’. There are differences in data collection across GB – Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller is collected in England and Wales and ‘Gypsy/Traveller’ is collected in Scotland. It is recommended that ‘Roma’ responses are included under ‘Other ethnic group’ and a footnote should be presented to clarify this, however for Scotland it is likely that some ‘Roma’ might be included under Gypsy/Traveller.

If the harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are used to produce a UK output then the presentation of data should follow the box below. It is important to note that due to some of the differences in the format and wording of the Scotland harmonised country specific ethnic group question some responses are not directly comparable. Response categories should be aggregated and presented at the main level category with footnotes to explain the differences in the data collection process.

Presentation for ethnic group data in the UK when using harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland

Ethnic group Data
White XXX
Irish Traveller XXX
Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups XXX
Asian/Asian British XXX
Indian XXX
Pakistani XXX
Bangladeshi XXX
Chinese XXX
Any other Asian background XXX
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British XXX
Other ethnic group XXX
Arab XXX
Any other ethnic group XXX

Issues to note when presenting UK data based on using the harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland

1. The ‘White’ category could include Polish responses from the country specific question for Scotland which would have been outputted to ‘Other White’ and then included under ‘White’ for UK (also see point 2 for issue with Gypsy, Traveller and Irish Traveller). Also be aware of the possibility that ‘White Africans’ could have been recorded under ‘Other White’ and then included under ‘White’ for UK.

2. For Northern Ireland, ‘Irish Traveller is collected under its own ethnic group. Where numbers for ‘Irish Traveller’ are small or disclosive in Northern Ireland it is recommended to output to ‘Other ethnic group’. Where numbers are small or disclosive for England, Wales and Scotland it is recommended to output to ‘Other White’.

There are differences in data collection across the UK for ‘Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller’, which make it difficult to produce a UK estimate. Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller is collected in England and Wales and ‘Gypsy/Traveller’ is collected in Scotland and they are both output under ‘White’. However, if there is a need to show a UK output for, ‘Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller'(and the numbers are not small or disclosive,) the responses from the GB questions can be combined with the responses from the ‘Irish Traveller’ category from Northern Ireland. It is recommended that ‘Roma’ responses are included under ‘Other ethnic group’ and a footnote should be presented to clarify this. However for Scotland it is likely that some ‘Roma’ might be included under Gypsy/Traveller . Northern Ireland’s framework for monitoring minority ethnic and migrant people’ published by the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister in July 2011 recommends that Roma is categorised under ‘Other’ ethnic group. This is because there is a distinct category for Irish Travellers, who by law (Race Relations Order) are categorised as an ethnic group in their own right. Roma is not a subset of the Irish Traveller group and the need is to have accurate data on both Roma and on Irish Travellers).

3. The Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups classification isn’t broken down for the country specific question for Scotland and a footnote should be included to explain differences in data collection.

4. Black/African/Caribbean/Black British: differences in the terminology and data collection of the country specific Scotland question make these categories difficult to compare. The ‘African’ category in the Scottish question is presented in a separate section to the ‘Caribbean’ or ‘Black’ category, however, under the harmonised output these two categories are output as part of Black/African/Caribbean/Black British’. The African categories used in Scotland could potentially capture ‘White/Asian/Other African’ in addition to ‘Black’ identities.

5. For ‘Any other ethnic group’ see Irish Travellers advice in point 2

If the harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for England, Wales and Northern Ireland are used along with the England and Wales question for Scotland then the presentation of data should follow the box below with footnotes to explain differences in data collection.

Data presentation for a UK output when using harmonised country specific ethnic group questions for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the England and Wales ethnic group question for Scotland

Ethnic group Data
White XXX
Irish Traveller XXX
Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
White and Black Caribbean XXX
White and Black African XXX
White and Asian XXX
Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background XXX
Asian/Asian British
Indian XXX
Pakistani XXX
Bangladeshi XXX
Chinese XXX
Any other Asian background XXX
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
African XXX
Caribbean XXX
Any other Black/African/Caribbean background XXX
Other ethnic group
Arab XXX
Any other ethnic group XXX


1. For the ‘White’ category there are differences in data collection across the UK for ‘Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller which make it difficult to produce a UK estimate see point 2.

2. For Northern Ireland, ‘Irish Traveller is collected under its own ethnic group and should be presented as Irish Traveller’. Where numbers for ‘Irish Traveller’ are small or disclosive in Northern Ireland it is recommended to output to ‘Other ethnic group’. Where numbers are small or disclosive for England, Wales and Scotland it is recommended to output to ‘Other White’.

There are differences in data collection across the UK for ‘Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller’, which make it difficult to produce a UK estimate. Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller is collected in England and Wales and ‘Gypsy/Traveller’ is collected in Scotland and they are both output under ‘White’. However, if there is a need to show a UK output for, ‘Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller'(and the numbers are not small or disclosive,) the responses from the GB questions can be combined with the responses from the ‘Irish Traveller’ category from Northern Ireland.

It is recommended that ‘Roma’ responses are included under ‘Other ethnic group’ and a footnote should be presented to clarify this, however for Scotland it is likely that some ‘Roma’ might be included under Gypsy/Traveller. Northern Ireland’s framework for monitoring minority ethnic and migrant people’ published by the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister in July 2011 recommends that Roma is categorised under ‘Other’ ethnic group. This is because there is a distinct category for Irish Travellers, who by law (Race Relations Order) are categorised as an ethnic group in their own right. Roma is not a subset of the Irish Traveller group and the need is to have accurate data on both Roma and on Irish Travellers).

 

Extra information and annexes

National identity harmonised standard

Religion harmonised standard

More detailed guidance is available called ‘Measuring equality: a guide for the collection and classification of ethnic group, national identity and religion data in the UK’. This offers further assistance for anyone involved in collecting and presenting ethnicity data in the UK.

It is important to note that when collecting data about national identities, a national identity question should be asked along with but separately to an ethnic group question

Some ethnicity classifications vary between countries due to the specific legal requirements.

For Scotland specific requirements came out of a review of the way Scottish surveys classified ethnicity following recommendations made by the Race Equality Advisory Forum in 2001 and community concerns about the classification used in Scotland’s 2001 Census. The review was conducted by SG and NRS and identified the benefits for developing a separate national identity and new ethnicity classification for use on the Scottish Census and relevant Scottish official statistics. Both questions used together would allow people to self-express their ‘Scottish-ness’, ‘British-ness’ or any other national identity before expressing their ethnic origin.

The new ethnicity classification was published in July 2008 and details of the classification (including research, consultation and question testing). The classification was discussed by Members of the Scottish Parliament during considerations of the 2011 Census in Scotland and was subsequently amended for use in the Census. Details of the committee discussions can be seen in the Official Reports of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee (9th and 12th meetings).

For Northern Ireland (NI) specific requirements comply with the Good Friday Agreement (where it isn’t acceptable to ask respondents to choose between ‘Northern Irish/British’ and ‘Irish identities’) and legislation under the Race Relations (NI) Order 1997 which outlaws discrimination on grounds of colour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origin. The Irish Traveller community is specifically identified in the Order as a racial group against which racial discrimination is unlawful.

Inputs:

It is recommended that the ethnic group question will be asked in a way that allows the respondent to see all possible response options before making their decision. Therefore, in face-to-face interviewer-led surveys, a single show card should be used which presents all response options. Similarly, a self-completion survey (e.g. paper-based) should use a single question.

The show card presentation and paper-based surveys should include the instruction ‘please describe’ in brackets and non-bold font following the ‘any other’ response options.

When collecting GB or UK data, the format of the question will vary slightly depending on whether data is being collected in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Each of the constituent countries has different requirements which have led to the use of different terminology and different questions (as discussed previously). Therefore, if producing outputs for surveys with GB or UK coverage and using the Scotland harmonised country specific questions, response categories can only be aggregated and presented at the main level category (due to these differences).

It is recommended that the harmonised country specific questions should be used.  It is recognised that in rare cases not all GB or UK wide surveys will have the resources required to ask different questions in different countries.  In these rare situations the ‘England and Wales’ question can be used in Scotland.

2001 Harmonised ethnic group question/single presentation

What is your ethnic group?
Choose one section from A to E, then select the appropriate option to indicate your ethnic group

[GB]

A. White

British
Any other White background, please write in

B. Mixed

White and Black Caribbean
White and Black African
White and Asian
Any other Mixed background, please write in

C. Asian or Asian British

Indian
Pakistani
Bangladeshi
Any other Asian background, please write in

D. Black or Black British

Caribbean
African
Any other Black background, please write in

E. Chinese or other ethnic group

Chinese
Any other, please write in

Eth01 GB

To which of these ethnic groups do you consider you belong. Is it…
Running prompt – code first that apply

White
Mixed
Asian or Asian British
Black or Black British
Chinese, or
Other ethnic group?

Applies to all

Eth01NI NI

To which of these ethnic groups do you consider you belong. Is it…
Running prompt – code first that apply

White
Mixed
Asian
Black
Chinese, or
Other ethnic group?

Applies to all

EthWh GB

And to which of these groups do you consider you belong

British
Another White background?

Asked if: Eth01 = White

EthWhNI NI

And to which of these groups do you consider you belong

Irish Traveller
Another White background?

Asked if: Eth01 = White

EthMx UK

And to which of these groups do you consider you belong

White and Black Caribbean
White and Black African
White and Asian, or
Another Mixed background?

Asked if: Eth01 = Mixed

EthAs UK

And to which of these groups do you consider you belong

Indian
Pakistani
Bangladeshi, or
Another Asian background?

Asked if: Eth01 = AsianAB

EthBl UK

And to which of these groups do you consider you belong

Caribbean
African, or
Another Black background?

Asked if: Eth01 = BlackBB

Eth0th UK

Please can you describe your ethnic group
Enter description of ethnic group

Asked if: (Eth01 = Other) OR (Ethwh = WhitAO) OR (EthMx = MXOth) OR (EthBl = BlackO) OR (EthAs = AsiOth) OR (Eth01NI = Other) OR (EthWhNI = WhitAO)

Eth02 UK

Press space bar to enter coding frame
Asked if: (Eth01 = Other) OR (Ethwh = WhitAO) OR (EthMx = MXOth) OR (EthBl = BlackO) OR (EthAs = AsiOth) OR (Eth01NI = Other) OR (EthWhNI = WhitAO)

 

Contact

Email: gsshelp@statistics.gov.uk

 

Review frequency:

This page will be reviewed annually.

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