Huge effect of ethnicity on life chances revealed in official United Kingdom figures

Theresa May challenged by black student over stop and search

But despite large disparities between different ethnic groups when it comes to issues like unemployment and education, race appears to have little effect for most people on how British they feel.

■ Ethnic minorities are more likely to live in areas of deprivation, especially black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi people.

"This audit means that for society as a whole - for government, for our public services - there is nowhere to hide".

He said the Government has already agreed to take action "with partners to address the ethnic disparity highlighted by the audit" in 20 targeted hotspots. "But the data we are publishing will provide the definitive evidence of how far we must still go in order to truly build a country that works for everyone".

"That might be through choice in some cases, it might be a cultural issue", said the minister.

A review of pupil exclusion in schools will be announced with a focus on those most likely to be affected. While working age people with an Indian background are almost as likely to have a job as white people, those of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin are the least likely to be in employment.

■ Pakistani and Bangladeshi workers received the lowest average hourly pay of £11.42, while Indian workers received the highest on £15.81.

But there are some areas where whites suffer worse than minorities - with white children more likely to claim free school meals and white patients worse hit by mental health problems.

And white people are significantly more likely to struggle with suicidal thoughts, with 21.6 per cent saying they have considered killing themselves compared to just 13.1 per cent of Asians.

■ White people were among the least likely to become a victim of crime or to fear becoming a victim. Black Caribbean pupils are being excluded from school three times as often as White British pupils.

Nearly 8 in 10 mixed race people (79%) said they felt British.

However, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport - which carried out the survey - warned that the reliability of the data could be affected by small numbers of respondents from black, mixed and other ethnic backgrounds.

Measures in these areas could include mentoring schemes to help those in ethnic minorities in to work, and traineeships for 16-24 year-olds, offering English, maths and vocational training alongside work placements.

■ Around one in 10 Army personnel are from an ethnic minority background but the figure falls to just one in 50 for the RAF.

Shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler called for "solutions and a sustained effort" to stamp out ethnic injustices as she attacked government policies for contributing to an equal society.

A specialist unit, run from the UK Cabinet Office under the First Secretary of State, Damian Green, will consider and coordinate the government's work.

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