Commission on race and ethnic disparities report: do ethnic minority Britons see it as accurate?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
May 28, 2021, 2:27 PM UTC

The controversial report concluded Britain isn’t institutionally racist, but many think it is not an accurate portrayal

Published at the end of March, the government’s investigation into race, entitled “The report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities” was met with a fierce backlash from opposition MPs, academics, and campaign groups alike.

Now, new YouGov research among ethnic minority Britons, as well as the general population, examines how aware people are of the report, as well as how accurately they think the report paints a picture of the issue of race in the UK.

Overall, just over half of ethnic minority Britons (53%) in the UK are aware of the report, including 23% “very” aware of it and three in ten who are “somewhat” aware. A quarter of ethnic minority Britons (25%) are completely unaware of the report, however.

Breaking this down, 62% of those with Pakistani heritage are aware of the commission’s report, as are 57% of Black Britons and 56% of Indians. While over half of ethnic minority Britons of all ages are aware, those aged between 18 and 24 are the most likely to be aware of the report (63%).

This all compares to just over a third of the general population (36%) very or somewhat aware of the report – with nearly two in five Britons (39%) completely unaware of the report.

Among the age groups, while nearly two thirds of young ethnic minority Britons are aware of the report, among all 18-24 year olds this drops to less than half (42%). Among the oldest Britons (65+) awareness drops to just 26%, compared to double that number among ethnic minority Britons (53%) of the same age.

Is the race commission’s report accurate?

Through its findings the Commission concluded that “significant progress” has been made in tackling race-based discrimination but that challenges remain. However, since its release many have decried the report - so do people think the report is truly an accurate reflection of the complex issues surrounding race? 

Among ethnic minority Britons very or somewhat aware of the report, just over three in ten (32%) say it’s an accurate representation of the issue of race in the UK – compared to nearly half (49%) who think it is not, including some 29% who say it’s a “very” inaccurate portrayal of the issues. One in five (20%) aren’t sure either way.

Since its release the report has been accused of “denying the true experiences and existences of black people”. Over half of Black Britons (59%) say the report is an inaccurate reflection of the issues at play, including a third (36%) who think its “very” inaccurate. Around a third of Black Britons (34%) think the report is accurate.

However Pakistanis are split 43% to 39% on whether the report is accurate or inaccurate, and Indians tend to think it is inaccurate (52%) rather than accurate (34%).

The general public is split between 39% who think the report is accurate in its assessment and 41% who think the opposite. However, there is a significant difference among the major political groups. Two thirds of Conservative voters (68%) think the Commission’s report is an accurate representation, compared to less than one in five Labour voters (18%) who say the same. 

See full results here