By: Eastern Eye Staff
These are some of the key points in Dame Louise Casey’s report about immigration in Britain, which focused on south Asians in the UK:
* People of Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnicity tend to live in more residentially segregated communities than other ethnic minority groups. South Asian communities (people of Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi ethnicity) live in higher concentrations at ward level than any other ethnic minority group. These concentrations at ward level are growing in many areas.
* Compared to other minority faith groups, Muslims tend to live in higher residential concentrations at ward level. In 2011, Blackburn, Birmingham, Burnley and Bradford included wards with between 70 per cent and 85 per cent Muslim populations.
* The school age population is even more segregated when compared to residential patterns of living. A Demos study found that, in 2013, more than 50 per cent of ethnic minority students were in schools where ethnic minorities were the majority, and school segregation was highest among students from Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic backgrounds relative to other ethnic groups. In January 2015, there were 511 schools across 43 local authority areas with 50 per cent or more pupils from Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic backgrounds.
* There are 13.2 million people across the UK living on a relative low income. People living in households headed by someone from an ethnic minority background are more likely than their white counterparts to live on a ‘relative low income’, with 41 per cent to 51 per cent of households of black, Pakistani, Chinese and Bangladeshi ethnicity on relative low income compared with 19 per cent of white households. Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic populations live disproportionately in the most deprived areas in England compared with other groups – with the most deprived 10 per cent of areas of England home to 31 per cent of Pakistani ethnic groups and 28 per cent of Bangladeshi ethnic groups.
*High ethnic minority concentration in residential areas and in schools increases the likelihood of children growing up without meeting or better understanding people from different backgrounds. One striking illustration came from a non-faith state secondary school the authors of the report visited where, in a survey they had conducted, pupils believed the population of Britain to be between 50 per cent and 90 per cent Asian, such had been their experience up to that point.
* The concentration of ethnic communities can have both positive and negative effects. Ethnic concentration can improve bonding between people from similar backgrounds, particularly when they are new to an area, but it can also limit labour market opportunities, notably for Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups – although it appears to improve employment opportunities for Indian ethnic groups; reduce opportunities for social ties between minority and white British communities; and lead to lower identification with Britain and lower levels of trust between ethnic groups, compared to minorities living in more diverse areas.
* People from black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups are three times more likely than white British people to be unemployed and those that are in employment are likely to be in low status employment. One in four Pakistani men are employed as taxi drivers and two in five Bangladeshi men work in restaurants, although a number of these are family-owned businesses. Unemployment among women from ethnic minorities remains unusually high, according to the report. Among Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups, 57.2 per cent of women are inactive in the labour market compared with 25.2 per cent of white women; and 38.5 per cent of all ethnic minority women are inactive in the labour market compared with 25.2 per cent of white women.
* Knowing the local language is key to integration but Pakistanis and Bangladeshis have the lowest levels of English language proficiency of any black or minority ethnic group – and women in those communities are twice as likely as men to have poor English. In relation to social and economic integration in particular, there is a strong correlation of increased segregation among Pakistani and Bangladeshi households in more deprived areas, with poorer English language and poorer labour market outcomes, suggesting a negative cycle that will not improve without a more concerted and targeted effort.
* Incidents of hate crime are also on the rise. In 2015-16, there were 62,518 hate crimes, based on race, sexual orientation, religion, disability and transgender, recorded by the police. This was up 19 per cent on the previous year. The Crime Survey for England and Wales suggests that the actual level of hate crime – including Islamophobic attacks – is more than four times the number of recorded incidents. And there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that incidents increase following ‘trigger’ events, such as the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby or conflict in Israel and Gaza. Following the EU referendum, reported incidents of hate crime rose again, possibly reflecting another such spike, with perpetrators feeling emboldened by the result.[TheChamp-Sharing]