One third of Britons racially prejudiced: Survey

Almost one third of Britons admit harbouring some level of racial prejudice, indicating a return to sentiments seen 30 years ago, a survey showed on Wednesday.

New data from NatCen's British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey found 30 percent of more than 2,000 individuals polled describe themselves as either 'very' or 'a little' prejudiced against people of other races.

The social research organisation said the latest figure marks a return to previous levels seen before an all-time low in 2001 of 25 percent.

The survey found wide variations across the country with 16 percent of people in inner London likely to describe themselves as racially prejudiced compared 35 percent in West Midlands.

Levels of racial prejudice also rose with age, at 25 percent for 17-34 year olds, in comparison to 36 percent of over-55s.

Education too had an impact with 19 percent of degree holders but 38 percent of people with no qualifications revealing racist views.

Just over nine in 10 of those who admit to some level of racial prejudice would also like to see a reduction in immigration, while 70 percent of those who say they are unbaised nevertheless want immigration to come down.

Penny Young, Chief Executive of NatCen Social Research described the findings as troubling.

"Levels of racial prejudice declined steadily throughout the nineties, but have been on the rise again during the first decade of this century. This bucks the trend of a more socially liberal and tolerant Britain."

"Our local and national leaders need to understand and respond to increased levels of racial prejudice if we are to build strong local communities," she added.


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