15. What is your ethnic group?

Why we ask this question

Your answer helps your community by giving your local authority a better understanding of the people living in your area.

This information can help public bodies, such as local and central government to:

  • treat everyone fairly, in line with their legal duties about equality
  • work out which resources to set aside for your community
  • develop and monitor policies to improve the lives of disadvantaged groups, including many ethnic minority groups
  • measure and understand differences in the lives and opportunities of people from different ethnic groups
  • identify and help people that need extra support in services such as housing, education and healthcare

Your answer helps support government departments to make changes where there are inequalities by gathering information about the experiences of people from different ethnic backgrounds.

Your answer helps people in your community in many other ways. For example, the Ministry of Defence uses the information to measure whether recruitment and employment in the armed forces matches the ethnic make-up of the population.

The census first asked this question in 1991.

It's up to you how you answer this question. Your ethnic group could be your cultural or family background.

First, choose one option that reflects your identity from sections A to E.

Once you've chosen the section you most closely identify with, select an option within that section. If your ethnic group is not listed, you can select the "Any other" option within that section and write in your identity.

If you feel you belong to more than one ethnic background from the sections, select "Mixed or Multiple ethnic group".

If your ethnic group isn't listed

If your ethnic background doesn't fall within one of the first four listed sections, then select "Other ethnic group" and select an option and enter your ethnic group if appropriate.

Important information:

Not enough space

If you run out of space, enter as much as you can. Only enter one character per box.

Important information:

Answering for someone else

If you're answering on behalf of someone else, where possible you should ask them how they want to answer. If they're away, select the answer you think they would choose.