21.12.2016

Deep concern over growing segregation as new research shows Britons are socialising less with people from different ethnic backgrounds.

A study commissioned by The Challenge, has found that, compared to a similar survey in 2014, Britons are socialising less with people from a different ethnicity to their own and as a society we are becoming more segregated along ethnic lines.

The research in the British Integration Survey, published today, shows:

  • White Britons are least likely of all to socialise with other ethnic groups
  • Black Britons and Asian Britons socialise much more within their own ethnic group, relative to the ethnic mix of their local community
  • Higher socio-economic groups are more likely to socialise with different ethnicities to their own compared to those in lower socio-economic groups

The review found growing segregation in cities up and down the country. Overall, Britons of all ethnicities are socialising less with people from other ethnicities than in the past.

The study gives a unique insight into how much we socialise with those different to ourselves, and comes shortly after the Government published its major review into integration by Dame Louise Casey. It also comes amid the ongoing national and international debate about integration and immigration following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the victory of Donald Trump.

Jon Yates, Director of External Affairs at The Challenge said:

“These figures are stark and show millions of Britons are not mixing with people from a different age or ethnicity to themselves.

“The research shows there is an urgent need to improve integration if we are to reap the benefits of an integrated society and avoid the dangers of growing segregation. We know from previous studies that those who mix with people who are different to them have closer ties to their neighbourhoods and higher levels of trust with their neighbours, while those who do not mix are less likely to earn a good salary and more likely to feel isolated and ostracised from their community.

“Both individually and collectively we need to make more opportunities – in schools, in the workplace and in our communities – to have meaningful contact with those from different walks of life to ourselves. That’s why The Challenge is at the forefront of improving social integration through programmes like the National Citizen Service, which enables young people from different backgrounds to mix together.”