One third of Britons racially prejudiced – Survey

A third of British people describe themselves as either "very" or "a little" prejudiced against people of other races, a survey of social attitudes finds.

This figure marks a return to previous levels seen before an all-time low in 2001 of 25%, suggesting little headway in tackling racial prejudice over the last 10 years.

The NatCen Social Research’s British Social Attitudes survey shows that the area least likely to self-describe as racially prejudiced are Inner London (16%) and the area most likely, the West Midlands (35%).

It also shows that levels of racial prejudice rise with age: 25% of 17-34 year olds, in comparison to 36% of over-55s.

The survey also reveals the impact of education on racial prejudice. While 38% of those with no qualifications reported racial prejudice, only 19% of those with a degree reported racial prejudice.

Racism also appears to fuel the immigration row. According to the survey, just over 9 in 10 of those who admit to some level of racial prejudice would also like to see a reduction in the current level of immigration, in comparison to around 7 in 10 who say that they’re not prejudiced at all.

“The findings are troubling. Levels of racial prejudice declined steadily throughout the nineties, but have been on the rise again during the first decade of this century,” Penny Young, Chief Executive of NatCen Social Research said. “This bucks the trend of a more socially liberal and tolerant Britain. Our local and national leaders need to understand and respond to increased levels of racial prejudice if we are to build strong local communities.”

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