A study commissioned by the UK’s leading social integration charity, 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 that as a society we are becoming more segregated by ethnicity.
The research in the British Integration Survey, published recently, shows that white Britons are least likely of all to socialise with other ethnic groups, adding that black Britons socialise with other black Britons nearly eight times as much as the researchers expected, given the ethnic mix of where they live.
The study also found that Asian Britons socialise with other Asian Britons more than 5 times as much as the researchers expected.
Those in higher professional occupations are more likely to socialise with different ethnic groups to their own than those in lower socio-economic groups, says the research.
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.
The review found growing segregation in cities up and down the country. 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.
A key finding of the survey of 4,265 people of aged 13 years to 80 years living in Britain is that white Britons are the least likely ethnic group to take the opportunity to mix socially with those from a different ethnic background to themselves.
The researchers found white Britons take up just 38 per cent of the opportunities to socialise with those from a different ethnicity to their own given the demographics of where they live, and that this percentage has dropped from 40 per cent in 2014.
The survey also shows that black Britons take up just 42 per cent of the opportunities open to them to mix socially with a different ethnicity to themselves given the demographics of where they live. This has fallen considerably from 2014 when the figure was 52 per cent.
Asian Britons only take up 41 per cent of the opportunities open to them to mix socially with a different ethnicity.
Overall, Britons of all ethnicities are socialising less with people from other ethnicities than in the past.
Jon Yates, director of The Challenge, the country’s leading social integration charity, said: “These figures are stark and show millions of Britons are not mixing with people from a different age or ethnicity to themselves.”