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New Ipsos Mori report demonstrates public perceptions of racism in the UK

Report by: Kate Moseley


Ipsos MORI published a new report which investigates public perceptions of systemic racism within the UK.


In the report, it states that within the UK, Black African people and Gypsies, Roma and Travellers are the groups that are seen as the most treated unfairly by society (27% and 25% respectively). They are followed by:

  • Black Caribbean people (19%)

  • Pakistani people (18%)


UK public are recognising terms such as 'systemic racism'

One in eight (13%) say that white people are treated the most unfairly by society

When speaking to Ipsos MORI, it was not surprising to them that these groups were the most targeted, especially Black people, as they believe that: "Black people in particular are seen to be treated unfairly by a number of institutions and organisations".

In the report, it acknowledges that members of the UK public are recognising terms such as 'systemic racism' and 'institutional racism'.


In the report it states that seven in ten British adults (70%) have heard of ‘systemic racism’ or ‘institutional racism’, while just under a quarter (23%) have not. However, these terms are known the most amongst Black ethnic groups (82%).



The report also highlights whether or not the public believes that Black people are more likely to be treated unfairly by institutions, such as the police and courts, compared to White people. Ipsos have said that:


"I think our report highlights that Black people are treated worse than White people by a range of public and private institutions and it’s not just Black people who say this – a significant proportion of the general population thinks this is the case too". - Ipsos MORI


Ipsos believes that one of the reasons why Black people are harmed more by the police is due to a lack of representation within the system, they said: "Many of these organisations are not representative of the communities they serve – for example, the police has very few senior ethnic minority police officers".

However, in the report it also indicates that many believe the younger generation will have a brighter future. Almost half of the public (47%) believe that young Black people will have a better life compared to their parents and this is the same among Black people themselves. Despite this, one in six (15%) feel that they will have had a worse life than their parents. This increases to one in five amongst black people (23%).

This may be because changing attitudes and prejudices can take a long time, but Ipsos believe there is a number of ways that we as a society can do to catapult this. Ipsos have said:


"One is looking at the way our institutions and organisations represent and treat people from different backgrounds. Another is through legislation – which sends a strong signal that certain practices are not acceptable (e.g. racial abuse online) and another key element is through education". -Ipsos MORI


You can read the full report here


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