Ethnic diversity in the UK: new opportunities and changing constraints

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2020


The study of ethnicity and migration is a fast evolving field. Much remains to be understood about economic, social, demographic and health outcomes across ethnic groups and generations, and the extent of integration and exclusion of different immigrant-origin groups in countries of destination. While cross-national studies are increasingly shedding light on issues of differential migrant selection and institutional influences, detailed single-country studies, based on high quality nationally representative data have much to offer in enhancing our understanding of diversity within and between groups. The introduction to this special issue on 'Ethnic diversity in the UK: new opportunities and changing constraints' provides a background to the contributions in the issue by outlining key research agendas relating to immigrant and ethnic minority groups in Western Europe. It then elaborates why the UK represents a good case for exploring ethnic diversity and change; and outlines the contributions made by the papers in the issue. We highlight the distinctive features of the data source used in the papers, Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study. We also consider limitations in the data and in the applications in the issue. We conclude by briefly outlining the policy-relevant contributions of the papers in the issue.

Published in

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 46 , p.839 -856






Special Issue: Ethnic Diversity in the UK: new opportunities and changing constraints

Open Access

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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