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Race and ethnicity

Definition

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination against a person on the basis of their race. The protected characteristic of race refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origins.

Southwark Council is committed to promoting equality amongst people of all races and ethnicities and values the contribution made by all citizens.

Race and ethnicity in Southwark, London and England

The following data from the 2011 Census show the ethnic breakdown of the population of Southwark’s population and compares it to that of London and England

2011 Census

Southwark

London

England

All Usual Residents

288,283

8,173,941

53,012,456

White British

114,534

3,669,284

42,279,236

39.7%

44.9%

79.8%

Irish

6,222

175,974

517,001

2.2%

2.2%

1.0%

Gypsy or Irish Traveller

263

8,196

54,895

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

Other White

35,330

1,033,981

2,430,010

12.3%

12.6%

4.6%

White and Black Caribbean

5,677

119,425

415,616

2.0%

1.5%

0.8%

White and Black African

3,687

65,479

161,550

1.3%

0.8%

0.3%

White and Asian

3,003

101,500

332,708

1.0%

1.2%

0.6%

Other Mixed

5,411

118,875

283,005

1.9%

1.5%

0.5%

Indian

5,819

542,857

1,395,702

2.0%

6.6%

2.6%

Pakistani

1,623

223,797

1,112,282

0.6%

2.7%

2.1%

Bangladeshi

3,912

222,127

436,514

1.4%

2.7%

0.8%

Chinese

8,074

124,250

379,503

2.8%

1.5%

0.7%

Other Asian

7,764

398,515

819,402

2.7%

4.9%

1.5%

Black African

47,413

573,931

977,741

16.4%

7.0%

1.8%

Black Caribbean

17,974

344,597

591,016

6.2%

4.2%

1.1%

Other Black

12,124

170,112

277,857

4.2%

2.1%

0.5%

Arab

2,440

106,020

220,985

0.8%

1.3%

0.4%

Any Other Ethnic Group

7,013

175,021

327,433

2.4%

2.1%

0.6%

  • As well as the ethnic groups defined by the Census, we know Southwark has a significant Central and Southern American population through research that we have commissioned and from our community engagement work. Although the figures cannot be regarded as definitive, we estimate that there are around 6,600 people who identify as Central or Southern American in the borough.
  • Southwark has a larger percentage of its population made up of Black African, Black Caribbean and Other Black than England or London, as well as a higher percentage of Other White than England
  • The percentage of White British residents has decreased in Southwark since 2001, while there have been big increases in the percentage of Other White and Other Black
  • In Southwark the White British population in Southwark has decreased by 13,218 (-10.3%), while the Black Caribbean (-1,581) and Irish (-1,452) populations have also decreased since 2001.
  • At the same time there has also been significant real terms growth in the Other White (16,703), Other Asian (6,228), Black African (8,064), Other Black (7,612) and Other Ethnic Group (5,908) populations.

Some examples of how we are working to promote equality

Using data available from a range of sources has enabled us to identify and address some of the issues faced by specific racial and ethnic groups.

  • The risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) is higher in Black Caribbean and Black African ethnic groups. This is particularly relevant for Southwark as our biggest ethnic minority group is people of Black African and Caribbean origin. As a response, the Men’s Health team, who offer community based blood pressure testing focus on specific groups including Black men from deprived communities.
  • People from black and minority ethnic groups including South Asian, African, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern are up to six times more likely to develop diabetes. Southwark GP surgeries are promoting a programme to identify those at high risk and offering prevention programmes such as smoking cessation, exercise referral and through the Southwark obesity strategy.
  • The council awards grants to a range of local community groups working to support specific ethnic minorities
  • We support a variety of ethnic and culturally specific events throughout the year
  • The Cuming Museum and local history library based at the old Walworth Town Hall celebrate the history of all peoples of Southwark through the ages. These are currently closed due to a fire in 2013.
  • To recognise a significant population in the borough, we have included ‘Latin American’ in our ethnic monitoring

Further information and support

  • Community Action Southwark (CAS) ) equips community and voluntary groups in Southwark, many of which work with specific ethnic groups, with the tools and information they need to make a difference in the communities they serve.
  • We provide a range of adult education classes in speaking and writing English as a second language (ESOL) which are free to those on active benefits. See our current course brochure for details

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Southwark Council
PO BOX 64529
London SE1P 5LX

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