67% of Black and Asian people face discrimination in their daily lives in Britain, new report finds

A British Future think tank survey found 80% of respondents feel much more needs to be done to combat racism.

Ahead of the 75th anniversary this month of the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush to Britain, the British Future think tank sought to gather a state of the nation’s attitudes on race, identity and prejudice. According to their polling, two-thirds (67%) of ethnic minority respondents said Black and Asian people face discrimination on a daily basis in Britain.

But when asked to say whether the UK is a better or worse place for people from an ethnic minority background to live compared with other major Western democracies like the USA, Germany and France, 80% of ethnic minority respondents said it is better.

The research came from Focal Data polling in March and April this year of almost 2,500 people – 1,000 from an ethnic minority background, 944 white people and a boosted sample of 300 black Caribbean respondents.

Among white British respondents, the split for the question on whether Britain is a better or worse place for people from an ethnic minority background to live was 73% to 27%. Almost half (48%) of white British respondents and 60% of ethnic minorities said they believe it is easier to “get on” in Britain if you are white.

More than half (56%) of people said the political and media debate has become more divisive and polarised, with two-thirds of people saying they would welcome a less heated debate about race in the country’s politics and society.

A majority of all groups agreed that it needs to make “much more progress on race in the next 25 years” – eight out of 10 ethnic minority respondents and almost two-thirds (64%) of the white British majority agreed on that.

The report also focused on awareness of Windrush, finding that only 55% were able to pick the ship’s name, which “has become symbolic of Commonwealth migration to Britain” from a list of four.

Almost three-quarters of people (74%) said they think children should be taught about Windrush in school. Among Black Caribbean respondents, 89% said they want children to learn about the Windrush story at school, with more than half (53%) saying this is very important.

Sunder Katwala, director of British Future and co-author of the report, said in a statement committing to an “ambitious agenda for change in the quarter-century to come would be a fitting legacy” of the Windrush, with a focus on the progress still required on race in Britain.

WriterChris Saunders
Banner Image CreditBritish Future