Wales mixed ethnic groups more likely to claim national identity than Scots
Research on the 2011 Census, carried out by the Centre on Dynamics and Ethnicity at Manchester, found that 47% of mixed ethnicity groups in Wales claimed a Welsh only identity, compared to 37% of Scots counterparts.
New research on the 2011 Census reveals that people from ‘mixed’ ethnic groups in Wales are more likely to claim their national identity than counterparts in Scotland.
The latest briefing from The University of Manchester’s Centre on Dynamics and Ethnicity (CoDE), reveals that 47% of mixed ethnicity individuals living in Wales identify themselves as Welsh only, according to responses to the 2011 Census, compared to 37% of mixed groups in Scotland who identify only as Scottish.
In England, 46% of mixed groups identified as English only when responding to the 2011 national population survey.
Analyists at CoDE also found that Wales’ mixed ethnic groups were more likely to select Welsh as their only national identity than those from all other ethnic minority groups living in Wales.
A question on national identity was included in the 2011 Census for the first time. In Wales, other options were Welsh, English, Scottish, Northern Irish and British.
Dr. Bethan Harries, a research associate in Sociology and the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity at The University of Manchester, explained: “National identity is more complex and nuanced than is often suggested in political debates over nationhood, citizenship and belonging.
“The Census data shows how a broad range of factors may influence how people identify but it is not possible to reduce these explanations to just one. Place of birth, age, history and geography of migration settlement patterns all appear to shape how people identify.
“What is more, in comparing groups it is crucial to reflect on how some ethnic minority groups have a much longer history in and relationship to Wales than others. They include multiple generations of citizens of Wales and this is likely to affect how people identify.”
The mixed ethnic groups reflect some of Wales’ longest standing populations. Experts at CoDE found that the highest proportion of mixed ethnicity respondents who identify as Welsh only came from people belonging to the White and Black Caribbean (59%) group, reflecting historic patterns of settlement in industrial areas, especially the South-East.
The Census reveals that other ethnic minority groups in Wales also commonly identify with a UK identity. More than four-fifths of Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Black Caribbean groups identify with a UK national identity compared to one fifth of the White Other group and one third of the White Irish group in Wales. The ethnic groups in Wales most likely to identify as British only are Bangladeshi (64%), Pakistani (56%) and Black Caribbean (41%), which reflects the historical connections of these regions to Britain, and may also be shaped by ties to larger co-ethnic populations in other parts of the UK.
Today’s findings on national identity in Wales are the latest in a series of analysis of 2011 Census data by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (co-hosted by the Universities of Manchester and Glasgow).
The latest briefing explores how national identity relates to other characteristics such as ethnicity, Welsh language speaking, age and place of birth and draws comparisons with the data from other parts of the UK.
Other key findings include:
- 58% of the population in Wales identify as Welsh and 7% identify as Welsh and British.
- Welsh only national identity is reported more for younger people aged 0 to 17 than those aged 18 or older.
- People who can speak Welsh are more likely to report only a Welsh national identity (77%) than those who do not speak Welsh (53%). Yet, in some areas where a high number of residents identify as Welsh only, the proportion of Welsh speakers is relatively low.
- People born in Wales are more likely to report only a Welsh national identity (76%). People born in the Pacific and North America and the Caribbean are more likely to report only a Welsh national identity (14% and 10% respectively) than people born in England (8%).
This briefing is part of a series prepared by the University of Manchester with support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and as part of the work of the Economic and Social Research Council-funded research Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE).
Notes for editors
Authors, Dr Bethan Harries and Dr Bridget Byrne, will be available for interview on Wednesday, 12 October.
The briefing is available to journalists, under embargo and in advance of publication, on request. From 12 October 2014 it can be viewed here. This site also has a range of other briefings, including comparable ones for England and Scotland.
The analysis is set out in a briefing document produced by Bethan Harries, Bridget Byrne and Kitty Lymperopoulou, as part of a series prepared at the University of Manchester with support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and the research Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity, co-hosted by the Universities of Manchester and Glasgow.
The Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
Media enquiries to:
Media Relations Officer
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
Tel: 0161 275 8257