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Ethnic group

Summary

This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify usual residents in England and Wales by ethnic group. The estimates are as at Census Day, 21 March 2021.

Variable and dataset information

Area type

Census 2021 statistics are published for a number of different geographies. These can be large, for example the whole of England, or small, for example an output area (OA), the lowest level of geography for which statistics are produced.

For higher levels of geography, more detailed statistics can be produced. When a lower level of geography is used, such as output areas (which have a minimum of 100 persons), the statistics produced have less detail. This is to protect the confidentiality of people and ensure that individuals or their characteristics cannot be identified.

Countries

For ONS Census 2021 outputs, statistics for the countries of England and Wales are shown separately. Some Census outputs may additionally cover both Scotland (from their Census 2022) and Northern Ireland (from their Census 2021).

Coverage

Census 2021 statistics are published for the whole of England and Wales. However, you can choose to filter areas by:

  • country - for example, Wales
  • region - for example, London
  • local authority - for example, Cornwall
  • health area – for example, Clinical Commissioning Group
  • statistical area - for example, MSOA or LSOA

Ethnic group

The ethnic group that the person completing the census feels they belong to. This could be based on their culture, family background, identity or physical appearance.

Respondents could choose one out of 19 tick-box response categories, including write-in response options.

Variables

Population type
All usual residents
Area type
Countries
Coverage
England and Wales
Ethnic group
20 Categories
  • Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh: Bangladeshi
  • Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh: Chinese
  • Asian, Asian British or Asian Welsh: Indian
  • Mixed or Multiple ethnic groups: White and Asian
  • Mixed or Multiple ethnic groups: White and Black African
  • Mixed or Multiple ethnic groups: White and Black Caribbean
  • Other ethnic group: Arab
  • Other ethnic group: Any other ethnic group
  • Does not apply
Show all 20 categories

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Protecting personal data

Sometimes we need to make changes to data if it is possible to identify individuals. This is known as statistical disclosure control.

In Census 2021, we:

  • swapped records (targeted record swapping), for example, if a household was likely to be identified in datasets because it has unusual characteristics, we swapped the record with a similar one from a nearby small area (very unusual households could be swapped with one in a nearby local authority)
  • added small changes to some counts (cell key perturbation), for example, we might change a count of four to a three or a five – this might make small differences between tables depending on how the data are broken down when we applied perturbation

Read more in Section 5 of our article Design for Census 2021.

Version history

Release date Reason for update
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