RSS responds to consultation on standards for ethnicity data

The RSS has responded to the UK’s Race Disparity Unit consultation on its draft standards for ethnicity data, calling for a clearer process for involving statisticians for areas which are particularly technical and challenging.

The Society is generally very supportive of the standards, believing they could be a real help for public sector analysts in improving our understanding of disparities between ethnic groups.

However, some parts of the standards are statistically quite complex and users may reasonably find it challenging to apply them to their work. The RSS believes it would be worthwhile for the standards to provide a route for people to seek help from a professional statistician.

The current draft recommends aggregating to five ethnic groups (white, black, Asian, mixed, other) where there is not enough data to use the full harmonised list of ethnicities. The RSS recommends adding a ‘not specified’ category to record those who do not wish to identify themselves as a particular identity. It also suggests separating the white category into two – ‘white British’ and ‘white other’, given the latter now represents around 10 percent of the population and in most cases the former is the most appropriate category to use for comparison.

We also call for stronger guidance about collecting data on religion and the importance of this, given some groups – such as Sikhs and Jews can be missed without collecting this information.

Read the consultation response in full 
Load more