The impact of the recession on the UK´s ethnic minority groups

Poverty and ethnicity are strongly related, with poverty higher among all ethnic minority groups than among white British people in the UK. Economic conditions vary widely across these ethnic groups according to many factors, including age, gender, disability and geography.

The study by Dr Paul Fisher and Dr Alita Nandi, commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, examined the impact of the recession which started in 2008 and subsequent austerity measures on different UK ethnic groups’ economic well-being. The researchers analysed large datasets to document changes between the period before and during the recession and austerity, and to explore patterns in the duration of spells in poverty across the groups.

It showed that:

• Average incomes fell across all of the groups, with the exception of Pakistanis

• Employment rates fell in the Black Caribbean, Black African and Other White Groups

• For the rest, employment rates fell for men but rose for women, notably among Bangladeshis

• Unemployment rates increased, mostly for younger people

• Housing costs increased most for the Chinese and Other White groups

• The Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups were most likely to be in persistent poverty, followed by Black African and Black Caribbean groups

• There was an association between poor English skills and persistent poverty across all the ethnic minority groups

The study is part of a broader programme of research on the impact of poverty on ethnicity commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.


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