A map of the United Kingdom

British Integration Survey (2016)

Drawing on a survey of over 4,000 individuals, this report examined the extent of social interaction across ethnicity, age and socio-economic groupings in modern Britain, and compared results across different regions, including between London and the rest of the UK.

The UK is becoming increasingly diverse by social grade, age, and ethnicity. However, we cannot assume we are therefore becoming increasingly integrated.

British Integration Survey (2016)

Key findings

  • The British population take up only 48% of the opportunities open to them to mix socially with people of different ethnicity, given the demographics of where they live, even in our most diverse regions, such as London and the Midlands.
  • While Londoners are the least likely group to mix with people from a different ethnic background (relative to the opportunities available to them), while Londoners, in general, are less likely than those in other regions of the UK to socialise with those from a different age group or ethnicity.
  • White Britons are the least likely ethnic group to mix socially with those from a different ethnic background, taking up just 38% of expected opportunities to do so.
  • Asian Britons socialise with other Asian Britons more than five times as much as expected, while Black Britons socialise with other Black Britons nearly eight times as much as expected. For both ethnic groups, this is the case even when they live in regions with high proportions of other ethnic minorities and Whites.
  • The older we get, the less likely we are to mix with others from a different ethnic background. Those aged 65 and older take up just 17% of the expected opportunities open to them to mix socially with those from a different ethnic group. On the other hand, those under 18 took up 45% of expected opportunities.
  • Those aged under 18 are taking up very few expected opportunities to mix with those from a different generation to themselves, at just 24%. By comparison, those aged 65 and older take up 59% of opportunities for intergenerational interaction.
  • Overall, we integrate best with people doing a different level of job to us, with close to 97% of potential interactions taken up on average. However, those in the highest professional occupations are poorly integrated with those from different levels of job: they report twice as many contacts from their own social group as expected.

Interested in learning about our Policy Impact?

We believe that, through reforming and growing institutions and practices in small but intelligent ways, policymakers and social entrepreneurs could substantially increase integration between different people.

Visit our Policy Impact page.