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What does the 2011 Census tell us about the characteristics of Gypsy or Irish travellers in England and Wales?

Publication type: News, Report

Author: Other

Themes: Accommodation, Discrimination, Education, Health and Social Care

For the first time the 2011 Census included a tick box for Gypsy or Irish Travellers (not Roma). It was added in response to feedback from the 2011 Census consultation which identified the need to collect characteristics on a group widely consider to suffer from poor outcomes. Characteristics have been explored for areas such as qualifications, economic activity, family relationships, health and accommodation. The findings are compared to other ethnic groups and with the England and Wales population. The results show there are differences in the characteristics of Gypsy or Irish Travellers compared to England and Wales and highlights some of the poor outcomes faced by this ethnic group. Until 2012, there were no Gypsies and Travellers according to the UK National Census because they were not recognised by the Census, despite being part of British society for over 500 years. Now, for the first time, Gypsies and Travellers can volunteer their ethnicity, and we welcome that 57,680 have chosen to do so. Sadly, we know from experience that for many Gypsies and Travellers, revealing their ethnicity at work or school can result in hostility, racist abuse and worse. We look forward to a time when more Gypsies and Travellers feel confident to “tick the box” without fear and the 300,000* Gypsies and Travellers will appear in Census records. *300,000 is the number of Gypsies and Travellers estimated by Government by combining direct counts of caravans, school records and other recording.

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