The Classification of Ethnic Groups
Archived content: initially published in 2000
The recommended output classification of ethnic groups for National Statistics data sources will change in 2001 to be broadly in line with the 2001 Census. Developing such a standard classification is a difficult exercise, reflecting the different - and sometimes contradictory - objectives of the classification. For example, there are strong arguments in favour of retaining the 1991 Census-based classification at least until the end of 2001-02; equally there are arguments for promulgating a classification now which fits closely with the 2001 Census immediately. Comparability with the 2001 Census is the most important factor. However, classifications are never set in stone, and we recognise that further research is needed to improve our understanding of a range of related issues, such as language and religion. For this reason we are promulgating this only as an interim standard until we have undertaken this further research in consultation with a range of experts.
Details of this new interim National Statistics classification for presenting data, and the rationale for choosing it are available in this section.
How ethnic and national groups are presented
How ethnicity group data is collected and future research
Contact details and interviewer questions for the Ethnic group interim classification 2001