Census 2011 - the ethnicity question
Ten years ago, respondents in Scotland and Northern Ireland were able to tick a box describing themselves as Scottish or Irish. With the absence of an English tick-box, the only other tick option was 'White-British' or 'Other'. It was never clarified whether or not if 'English' was written in under the 'Other' option it would be counted as an ethnic group in same the way as the Welsh.
Following the 2001 census, Plaid Cymru backed a petition calling for the inclusion of a Welsh tickbox, which they now have. No major political party supported equality for the English, yet the voice of the English has clearly been heard.
According to the 2001 Census, the ethnic composition of the United Kingdom was:
White British 50,366,497 85.67%
White (other) 3,096,169 5.27%
Indian 1,053,411 1.8%
Pakistani 977,285 1.6%
White Irish 691,232 1.2%
Mixed race 677,117 1.2%
Black Caribbean 565,876 1.0%
Black African 485,277 0.8%
Bangladeshi 283,063 0.5%
Other Asian (non-Chinese) 247,644 0.4%
Chinese 247,403 0.4%
Other 230,615 0.4%
Black (others) 97,585 0.2%
Significantly, 'Arab' appears on the 2011 form for the first time as an ethnic tick-box option. This is as a result of lobbying by The National Association of British Arabs and other Arab organisations, in order to include under-reported groups from the Arab world.
We now await the inclusion of a 'Cornish' ethnic category in 2021.