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Racial prejudice in Britain today

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Published: September 2017

New research reveals one in four people in Britain admit to being prejudiced towards people of other races.

Aim 

We wanted to find out if the long term trend of social liberalisation identified by our British Social Attitudes Survey, that has seen attitudes soften towards same sex couples, sex outside of marriage, and abortion, has extended to race.  

You can read the report 'Racial prejudice in Britain today' here.

Key findings 

  • 26% say they are “very” or “a little” prejudiced towards people of other races in new results from the NatCen Panel survey.

Prejudiced again another race?

  • The proportion saying they are racially prejudiced has never fallen below a quarter when people are asked the same question on NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey which goes back to 1983. It peaked at 39% in 1987 and hit a more recent peak of 37% in 2011.

Prejudiced again another race TREND

  • Newly published data from the European Social Survey carried out in 2014 shows that almost one in five Brits (18%) agree that “some races or ethnic groups are born less intelligent” and 44% say that some are naturally harder working.

Methods  

The data in the report comes from the NatCen Panel, NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey and the European Social Survey.