Do the ‘Asian’ Categories in the British Censuses Adequately Capture the Indian Sub-continent Diaspora Population?

Published By: South Asian Diaspora | Published Date: January, 01 , 2013

Categories that capture the Indian sub-continent-origin population – ‘Indian’, ‘Pakistani’, ‘Bangladeshi’ – have been included on all the British census forms (1991, 2001, 2011) that have asked about ethnicity. Additionally, a free-text ‘Any other Asian background’ option was added in 2001 and repeated in 2011. These ethnicities are regarded as amongst the more stable in the British censuses, with greater reliability than those for the black groups. However, analysis of longitudinal data sets raises concerns about the quality of the data for the UK-born Indian origin population. Moreover, some of the groups concealed in residual census categories – such as Sri Lankans – have grown significantly. Other communities, such as ‘Kashmiris’, have unsuccessfully sought inclusion in the 2011 Census. While such concerns should not inhibit the use of the Indian sub-continent census data, monitoring of the utility and validity of these categories is required to ensure that they continue to meet data users’ needs.

Author(s): Peter J. Aspinall | Posted on: Sep 17, 2015 | Views()

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