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Racism has fallen by a third in Britain in six years

Racial prejudice in Britain has fallen by nearly a third in six years, according to a report published yesterday.

However, one in four still admit they are either very or a little prejudiced against people of other races.

The overall findings indicate that levels of racial prejudice have been declining over the years.

The number of people admitting racist views has fallen by a third over the last six years and has been steadily declining for decades, barring a sharp rise in 2011 (file image)

The report, by the Government-subsidised NatCen social research group and the Runnymede Trust race policy think tank, said admission of racial prejudice fell over the decades but momentarily peaked again in 2011, when 37 per cent said they had racist views. It has fallen off sharply again since then.

It comes after an international survey found Britain has become a more tolerant country in the wake of Brexit, with fewer worries over immigration.

The latest report was based on NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey, which last spring questioned 2,220 people about their views on race.

Its findings show that the numbers of people who admit to prejudice now are far below those of past decades. The same survey carried out in 1987 found that 39 per cent of people admitted prejudice.

The survey said men were more likely than women to admit prejudice – 29 per cent against 23 per cent.

It said nearly twice as many Tories as Labour supporters admitted prejudice, 33 per cent against 18 per cent. But the finding on politics and prejudice was published in a week when Labour’s conference has been marred by a series of rows about the party’s tolerant attitude towards anti-Semitism.

It added that 34 per cent of Leave voters said they were prejudiced, against 18 per cent of Remain voters.

The news came after a study which showed Britain has become a more tolerant place after Brexit as fear over migration eased (file image)

The news came after a study which showed Britain has become a more tolerant place after Brexit as fear over migration eased (file image)

The report said another research project, the European Social Survey, had found that 18 per cent think some ethnic groups are born less intelligent and 44 per cent think some are naturally harder working.

Nancy Kelley of NatCen said the level of prejudice was worrying. She added: ‘Prejudice on this scale is something we as a society should be concerned about, not least as there is significant evidence that even subtle racial prejudices contribute to racial inequality.’

Dr Omar Khan of the Runnymede Trust said: ‘It is deeply concerning that one in four people in Britain self-describe as racially prejudiced.

‘This is despite the trend towards socially liberal attitudes on other subjects and the widespread view that overt racism has declined.

‘We have been far too complacent about a rising wave of tolerance leading to a less prejudiced society.

‘We need new ways of talking about race to tackle the stereotypes and fears of difference that give rise to unfairness.’

Earlier this month the Ipsos Social Research Institute published a survey suggesting that growing numbers of Britons think immigration is a good thing, with fewer concerns over pressures it can put on public services. 

Around 40 per cent say immigration has a positive impact – more than double the 19 per cent recorded in 2011.



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