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Statistics on children from minority ethnic backgrounds

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November 2012


Statistics on children from minority ethnic backgrounds collated from government, official and research publications.


Population data on ethnicity 


According to the 2001 census, the ethnic breakdown of the under 18 population of England and Wales is as follows:

  • White: British: 10,012,862 (85%)
  • White: Irish: 43,758 (<1%)
  • White Other: White: 207,760 (2%)
  • Mixed: White and Black Caribbean: 148,505 (1%)
  • Mixed: White and Black African: 38,814 (<1%)
  • Mixed: White and Asian: 98,088 (<1%)
  • Mixed: Other Mixed: 75,126 (<1%)
  • Asian or Asian British: Indian: 273,090 (2%)
  • Asian or Asian British: Pakistani: 280,993 (2%)
  • Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi: 120,947 (1%)
  • Asian or Asian British: Other Asian: 63,913 (<1%)
  • Black or Black British: Black Caribbean: 130,410 (1%)
  • Black or Black British: Black African: 161,038 (1%)
  • Black or Black British: Other Black: 40,481 ( <1%)
  • Chinese or Other Ethic Group: 50,853 (<1%)
  • Chinese or Other Ethnic Group: Other Ethnic Group: 48,598 (<1%)

    From: Great Britain. Office for National Statistics.  Census 2001: Table S101: sex and age by ethnic group (Excel) .

Child welfare data on ethnicity


A study compared the ethnic breakdown of children in England from the 2001 census with three sets of child welfare data: the Children in need census (2003, 2005); the number of children on the protection register or subject to a child protection plan (2004, 2005 and 2006); and the number of children looked after (2004, 2005 and 2006).

They found that given proportions in the national population:

Serious case review data on ethnicity


A report on 172 serious case reviews relating to incidents that occurred in England between April 2009 and March 2011 compared the ethnicity of the children in these reviews with population estimates by ethnic group of children aged 0-15 years in 2007.

They found that given proportions in the national population:

  • children of mixed or black/black British ethnicity were overrepresented in serious case reviews
  • children of Asian or Asian British ethnicity were likely to be under-represented in serious case reviews
  • a slightly higher percentage of serious case reviews concerned white children in 2009-11 than earlier biennial studies of serious case reviews.

From: Brandon, Marian, Sidebotham, Peter, Bailey, Sue and Belderson, Pippa, Hawley, Carol, Ellis, Catherine and Megson, Matthew (2012) New learning from serious case reviews: a two year report for 2009-2011 (PDF). London: Department for Education.



Contact the NSPCC Information Service for further information on children from minority ethnic backgrounds or any other child protection topic