Helping governments and businesses understand the ethnic transition and use information on future ethnic populations

Between 2007 and 2010 Rees, Wohland and Norman successfully implemented new population projections for Local Authorities (LAs) in England by ethnicity (ESRC Grant RES-163-25-0032). In 2010-11 we established a web database of results used by local governments, the NHS, the Home Office, various charities (e.g. JRF), business consultancies and other academics and disseminated knowledge of the work to national and local organisations (ESRC Grant RES-189-25-0162). Full details are on the project website ( Papers have been published in high impact journals Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Population Research, Population Studies, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A (submitted to REF2014) and the Geographical Journal (REF2014). This work was highly innovative, producing the first set of ethnic population projections for a whole country at the local scale. Our projections revealed how populations transition from youthful to ageing structures and from highly concentrated to more dispersed geographies, through differences in birth, death and migration rates. The transitions are distinct by ethnicity. We have recently been funded under the ESRC SDAI programme (ESRC Grant ES/L013878/1) to Evaluate, Revise and Extend Ethnic Population Projections (NewETHPOP) from 1 January 2015 to 31 May 2016.

Population transitions by ethnic group are still not well or widely understood. We aim to inform national statistical offices, local governments, health organizations, charities, think tanks and businesses about the ongoing changes in the ethnic composition of local areas, which affect their service planning (e.g. housing, education, health, employment). We will discuss our NewETHPOP plans with these stakeholders, seeking advice on methods as well as potential user requirements, making this new project an exercise in co-production. We will meet the needs of these organisations for future information on ethnic populations, building on consultations with GLA, London Boroughs and others during the ETHPOP project.

Consultation visits have been made to local authorities (LAs), public health teams, businesses and think tanks. These build on consultations made by the PI in late 2014 with the Office for National Statistics, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, the National Records Office Scotland and the Welsh Government. The LAs were selected as those authorities with large ethnic minority populations. We have also consulted Greater London Authority, Public Health England, the Institute of Public Policy Research and Policy Exchange. We intend to consult with the consultancy Edge Analytics and the ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre (Leeds). Visits were undertaken by the PDRA with the PI or a CI. We have produced reports on each visit, describing outcomes. We will prepare a full report in summer 2015, which synthesises the results of the consultations, which will be submitted to an academic journal.


Higher Education Innovation Fund of the Faculty of Environment, University of Leeds