Survey Variable: Ethnicity

Figure 1. See also Table A1.

The respondents to the survey are not especially representative of the population of Great Britain in terms of their ethnicity, except in the sense that a large majority of them are White British. As Figure 1 (above, using weighted data) shows, nine in ten of them (90.5%) consider themselves to be in that category, and this overstates the size of that group at the time of the survey by roughly nine percentage points. Concomitant with this over-representation of White British people is the under-representation of other ethnic groups. For example, in the 2011 Census, 1.66% of people classified themselves as African but, even with weighting, the survey suggests that just 0.56% of the population fall into that group (0.57% when unweighted). Similarly, whereas 1.91% reported being Pakistani in the 2011 Census, only 0.60% (0.28% when unweighted) did in the survey. The picture is much the same across other ethnic groups and, as we can see in Figure 2 (below, also using weighted data), just one in ten people (9.5%) indicate being in ethnic groups other than White British. This understates the percentage in the population at the time of the survey (18.6%) by nine percentage points, meaning that there are around half as many people who are not White British in the sample as in the population. It is, in part, because of this dramatic under-representation of ethnic minority groups in the British context that the analysis of the Privilege and Participation survey does not focus on ethnicity as a key factor in political participation.

Figure 2. See also Table A2.
Variable nameback_eth_mv
Number of cases1,389
Number of categories14
Categories to code as missingNone
Cases to code as missingNone
Recoded variable nameback_wb_bmv
Number of cases1,389
Number of categories2
New and old categoriesThe original fourteen-category variable
was recoded such that all categories
except 1 (‘White British’) became 0
(‘Other ethnicity’) in the new variable,
whilst category 1 remained as such.
Details of the original and recoded ethnicity variables.

Published by joegreenwoodhau

Joe Greenwood-Hau is a Lecturer in Politics in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, where his teaching focuses on Introduction to Political Data Analaysis and he is wrapping up the Capital, Privilege and Political Participation in Britain and Beyond project.

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