ONS guidelines for collecting data on ethnic diversity

The
Office for National Statistics has published a new set of guidelines to help
develop more consistency when collecting data on ethnic diversity across the
UK.

The
guidelines suggest National Statistics’ standards for the collection and
classification of information on ethnicity to achieve more comparability
between various sources of data.

The
report, entitled A guide for the collection and classification of ethnicity
data, recommends a two-question method for most circumstances, which includes
ethnic and national group dimensions. It also recommends that, wherever
possible, a question on religion should be included.

National
statistician Len Cook said: "Defining and measuring ethnicity and national
identity has never been easy, especially as what the term embraces is
constantly evolving. However, it is vitally important that we do measure
ethnicity and national identity and that we do so in a way that is sound,
sensitive, relevant and useful."

The
advice can be obtained free from the Office for National Statistics at www.statistics.gov.uk/ethnicityguide

By Ross Wigham

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