British people with Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds are three times as likely to be in poverty

New research by Oxford University suggests a disturbing trend of discrimination by employers


British people from Bangladeshi or Pakistani backgrounds are around three times as likely to be in poverty as their white British counterparts, according to new research. A briefing by the Centre for Social Investigation (CSI) at Nuffield College, Oxford finds that people from these particular backgrounds are also more likely to have a life-limiting illness or to live in overcrowded conditions.

The new research contributes to a growing picture of disillusionment for Britons of South Asian origin – last year the New Policy Institute found that 44 per cent of Bangladeshi and Pakistani workers living in London were being paid below the living wage.

According to the CSI, there has been great generational improvement in terms of education, and difficulties with the English language have ‘almost completely disappeared’ among second-generation migrants from Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black African and Black Caribbean backgrounds.

However this attainment has not been matched by employment prospects, and ‘continued discrimination in the labour market…cannot be ruled out as a significant part of the explanation for their continuing disadvantage’.

People from Indian backgrounds, in contrast, have ‘largely closed the gap’.

Rates of poverty are 57 per cent for people of Pakistani and 46 per cent for people of Bangladeshi background – compared with 16 per cent for white British people. Data provided by the CSI shows that monthly personal earnings by this group average around 68 per cent of white earnings.

The briefing shows that Bangladeshi-origin Britons have the lowest number of rooms per person and the highest percentage of life limiting illness, both indicators of poverty.

The findings should be of extreme concern to the government, at a time when community cohesion has a direct impact on national security. Iqbal Wahhab OBE, chair of the CSI’s Advisory Board, says that the research ‘highlights a terrible social indictment’ and that Muslim communities alienated by economic deprivation are much more at risk of turning to crime – be that gang violence, theft, or, in a small number of cases, radicalisation.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter

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39 Responses to “British people with Bangladeshi and Pakistani backgrounds are three times as likely to be in poverty”

  1. treborc1

    Nuffield College, Oxford finds that people from these particular
    backgrounds are also more likely to have a life-limiting illness or to
    live in overcrowded conditions.

    Do not vote labour then.

  2. littleoddsandpieces

    Indians, HIndus and Sikhs or whichever faith, Chinese, Africans, and many others have attained higher education for themselves, their children and grandchildren and so have better paid jobs.

    So discrimination cannot be a factor.

    Pakistan and the Bengladeshis come from a poorer background to start off with.
    And Moslems are of no greater risk than any other race or white race for abject poverity turning them to crime. Poverty alone is not a factor in crime.

    Or else the 1 million sanctions turning into nearly 1 million referrals to food bank, would have ended all self service food shops in the UK.

    And the statistic of 16 per cent of poor of white British people is far, far too low.

    Half the population are poor, of whatever race, in the UK.

    Amongst these are British citizens of any race, on so low a wage that they fall below the
    Lower Earnings Level
    to get automatic National Insurance Credits, and
    so fall out of the welfare state and
    the state penson system.

    Today you get some state penson from 1 year National Insurance record.

    The flat rate pension from next year, on and From 6 April 2016,
    will not pay out any state pension for life
    for less than 10 years NI history.

    For the poor, this is their sole pension provision in old age.

    See why under my petitition, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section, at:

    You might care to share this petition on your social media Facebook and Twitter etc and blogs.

    The petition will continue after the general election to whoever is the next Pensions Minister in government.

  3. greg

    Having read quite a lot about this (good article in the Economist looking at why those of Bangladeshi origin are doing better than Pakistani origin) to suggest it’s discrimination by employers is the main issue is without a doubt wrong. A factor, sure, but less and less so. if it was so significant why are bangladeshis doing so much better than pakistanis? What about Indians and other groups where clear racism would impact them just as bad. The socioeconomic reasons are clearly more important.

  4. GhostofJimMorisson

    Discrimination, or allowing poorly educated people into the country? I’m confused by this I must say; Mr Bloodworth assured us that all migrants benefit the economy. Was university educated Jihadi John alienated by economic deprivation?

  5. damon

    There could be so many reasons for different aspects of this.
    On the health issue, is diet not a big part of it? If people are only eating one type of food that isn’t too good for you, you are going to get things like diabetes. Exercise? Many women from those communities have no culture of doing sport or any exercise. Being stuck indoors all day isn’t healthy.

    If they have larger than average families then they are going to be overcrowded. Especially if the have people from extended family staying too. Beds in sheds? Where did that start?
    To blame it on white racists is rather unkind imo. As far as jobs are concerned, with London being majority non white, there’s probably less white people with the power to hire people than there are non white.
    If it was mostly about white discrimination you’d expect Indian people to be in the same situation.
    But that just isn’t the case. The Indian origin middle class is booming.
    And it looks Iike 66% of Bangladeshis are earning more than me (white person) so my heart isn’t exactly bleeding. I don’t even qualify for a council flat.

  6. Guest

    And yet you’re trying to lower their income still further. To overcrowd people still further.

    To refuse to accept the blame for your views….as you myth-make about London and employers.

    Meanwhole, the middle class is shrinking rapidly, as you try and say that 66% of Bangladeshis are millionares and not British citizens.

  7. Guest

    And you prove it’s discrimination. Thanks, LB.

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    Erm…Discrimination by employers *is* a socioeconomic factor!

    (Also, that article was about America, no? Not the same here)

  9. damon

    How would I lower anyone’s income further?
    With people I don’t even know and have no say over.
    And that last bit, you just made up (whacko).

  10. Mike Stallard

    “The findings should be of extreme concern to the government”.
    Why? What has it got to do with the government?
    Here are some pointers:
    1. It is nothing to do with race or colour. If it was, how do you account for the enormous success of Chinese, Japanese and Indians.
    2. If you believe that the Prophet (pbuh) rejoiced in many wives and more slave girls than everyone else – this is in the Holy Koran – and if you believe that men are their controllers and protectors, then you will have a different family system. Children will be brought up in an entirely different way. And there will be different goals and lots of them.
    3. In our society educated women do a lot better than men who can only offer their muscle power.
    How can the government – non gender conscious – secular – conscious of racism – be the agent to combat this?

  11. Mike Stallard

    Do not feed the trolls!

  12. nielsc

    There is a bottom everywhere. If you take Denmark as an example, it’s rather clear that the great influx of East European workers has decreased the chances of low skilled immigrants and fugitives from the Middle East and Africa ( primarily Somalia) getting a job. ( the same doesn’t apply for fugitives from Sri Lanka or Vietnam). Of course the danish school system is in a larger degree than the english based on North European middle class values ( responsibility for your own learning, which don’t fit all with a typical muslim background). But another problem is that many muslims isn’t geographically moveable. Young girls and men doesn’t move from their parents house. Whereby East Europeans drop in where the jobs are.

  13. Leon Wolfeson

    1. Because there are other factors at work, your beliefs can’t matter.
    2. That’s your view, of course. You speak for yourself.
    3. And yet you’re against the poor being able to educate themselves.

    How, you ask, can universal education help people.
    Well, gee!

  14. Leon Wolfeson

    Don’t starve yourself over this, it ain’t worth it!

  15. Guest

    Ah yes, Jews are whackos, as I talk about a claim *you* made. If it’s nonsense, it’s because your claim is nonsense.

    You’re a capitalist, as you admit, as you try and claim your views don’t matter.
    You’ve admitted you’re here to grandstand, and you are again, posting mere to show your Jewhate,

    Go back to Monaco.

  16. Guest

    It’s “clear” that you demand a bottom, as you talk about your propaganda about the Other.

    And then you make up nonsense about class values, and how Muslims are inferior.
    And ohnoes, some communities still exist. Can’t be allowed!

  17. nielsc

    I don’t talk about ‘The Other’ and I don’t talk about Muslims as ‘inferior. I don’t give shit for your Post Colonial thinking. The fact is that it’s a problem for some groups of people. It’s worth remembering that as well as there are very successful groups of Turks, Palestinians and Pakistanis in Denmark, there are also groups who doesn’t get it. And why, because there exists great class divisions among the immigrants.

  18. Guest

    So you’re saying your post dosn’t exist, as you engage in your PC bigotry and say “groups” of people are a problem. The ones not your 1%, right.

  19. damon

    I’m driving around central London and I can see loads of African origin traffic wardens and building site workers.
    Cushy jobs like the traffic marshals that oversea the movement of trucks in and out of the site.
    But there aren’t that many people who look like Bangladeshis doing this kind of work? Why not – is it the employers who discriminate against them and prefer Africans?
    Also, using this kind of daft logic, you’d say that the Green party discriminates against Bangladeshi origin people particularly women who wear niqabs, as there are so few of them in the party.
    Oh and what about footballers? Why the preference for African origin people, and even overseas African nationals over British Pakistanis and Bangladeshis?

  20. Guest

    So you “see” the Other, and engage in a nice little rant.
    Trying to claim everyone’s your sort of bigot.

  21. damon

    Didn’t you read the headline of this story even?
    It’s about ”the Other” which you seem to insist calling ethnic minority people.
    Bangladeshis and Pakistanis in particular.

    The inference of the article seems to be that London councils like Westminster and Islington discriminate against them to prevent them becoming traffic wardens.

  22. Guest

    So you demand I be your kind of bigot.
    As you make up what the article says.

    You’re just a bigot excusing your views.

  23. damon

    Again, you’re talking out of your bum.
    This article is about people of certain origins being poorer than average.
    There are lots of factors that could be in play here.
    But you will not allow any that you don’t approve of to be aired.
    To just buy a house these days needs two incomes to be able to afford the mortgage and the deposit etc. I can’t afford one. And a Bangladeshi household that has non working women will be poorer than a double income professional couple too.
    That’s one reason. You will say that even giving that as a reason is ”racist” or something.
    Because you are not a serious person.

  24. Guest

    Ah yes, Jews “not serious” and “talk up their bums”, as you rage against your racist views being discussed.

    You are the one trying to silence discussion of your views here. As you talk about the situation you, as a Capitalist, love – you can’t afford just one house, but many, right.

    And of course it’s evil that some households don’t have everyone in work blah blah. You can’t allow it.

  25. damon

    I’m not the first person on this site to call you an idiot.
    One person suggested I not feed the troll even.
    I really should take heed.
    You ruin this space for adult discussion.

  26. Guest

    I refuse to let you post your hate unopposed.
    You, Lord Blagger, with your ever-changing caste of user names, posting the same attacks. Talking to yourself to confirm your hate.

    You will keep attacking using different account.
    As you call for censorship of other views, as usual.

    You can’t refute what I posted, so you try and get censorship.

  27. damon

    These forums are meant to be for people to argue the toss in a civilised manner.
    Not to start vindictive trolling campaigns against people you disagree with.

    So you don’t like me saying that I think that culture and arriving in Britain poor and unskilled has held Bangladeshis back – as well as racism and our form of free market capitalism.

    For saying such things you start spewing out your ”you racist, you hate black people” nonsense.
    Just like Trevor Phillips was saying on his Channel 4 programme the other night.
    He spoke of idiots like you who had help build the likes of UKIP.

  28. Guest

    You are claiming that your far right views are the only “civilised” ones and everything else should be centered. You are the one here, Lord Blagger, whop is engaging in the vindictive trolling campaign against myself for being left wing and Jewish,

    You then misreprisent what people said, once more.
    As you justify your UKIP views, claiming that it’s because of Jews that you need to hate.

    You’re ranting off again, demanding censorship and silence, that only the right’s views be heard. You’re simply here to fight the article, you are what you supposedly condemn.

  29. Guest

    Let’s re-examine.


    * Blaming the poor for their poor diet.
    * Blaming women for not having jobs, when there are so few out there because of austerity. Exercise takes energy, and that means spending more on food. You have no idea what it’s like to be poor.

    * Blaming the poor for having children, and justifying overcrowding. Saying that having a large extended family is bad.
    * Excusing white racism, with a blatent lie on demographics. (2011 census – 59.79% white). Moreover, ignoring the fact that white people are *on-average* richer, and hence more likely to be hiring
    * Trying to use another community to excuse discrimination. The Indian community get round it largely by being SME business owners, avoiding the discrimination that way.
    * Claiming that your income, LB, is low. Ridiculous! (And, no, rich people don’t qualify for a council flat like poor ones, which is a dead giveaway)

  30. damon

    ”Blaming the poor for their poor diet” I wasn’t talking about poor, I was my referring to the unhealthy diet many south Asians have where they use too much of harmful products in the Indian food. A Punjabi friend of mine was almost proud that the food he ate was the most unhealthy of all in India. Causing well known health problems.
    Just read a bit now and then Leon.

    Bangladeshi women of Tower Hamlets are not unemployed primarily because of white racism.
    You say there are few jobs out there. Do you live in the Outer Hebrides or something?
    Eastern Europeans have found hundreds of thousands, maybe a million jobs in our economy.
    I go and do deliveries at London West End hotels and the majority of the staff are foreign.
    Bangladeshi origin women are not going for those jobs in my opinion, the reason isn’t that the hotel personnel department staff are racists.

    I don’t understand your last point. I am pretty poor actually. Some of it is my own fault for not being serious about following a career. I get £9 an hour for driving class 2 HGV vehicles, and when there isn’t any of that at my agency I will be stuck with driving a van for £7 an hour like I was on Friday. I wasn’t complaining too much because I’ve just come back from spending the winter in Sri Lanka, but can only do things like that because I live very frugally.

  31. damon

    I’m not saying my views are the only civilised ones Leon, I don’t care that people disagree with me. What you do is bring down any debate though.
    I’ve just watched half a hour of that silly programme ”The Big Questions” on BBC 1, where they were talking about the Trevor Phillips programme about race.
    People had different points of view and the guy holding the floor had to chair the discussion and try to get people to let each other speak and wait to be asked to speak themselves. When everyone started shouting over each other the thing would break down, and only when he got some order would it be able for the discussion to progress.
    You’re a shouter Leon. That’s why you’re a tit, not because you have any particular opinion or other. You shout everyone you disagree with down, and ruin another ”forum space” by doing that. Places like this which are public forums, can not stand up to trolling behaviour by selfish idiots who think that their ”right to be right” outweighs everything else.
    And when someone else has a different idea, it means that there is no possibility of free speech.
    Well done Leon for being a wrecker of free speech and an enabler of UKIP ….. because they have grown stronger because of pillocks like you.

  32. Guest

    Ah right, those who disagree with are not people and don’t have a view, you have shown very strongly that you care deeply, as you’ve repeatedly claimed for instance, falsely, that I’ve called you a Nazi.

    You’re trying to ensure that the only people allowed are those who agree with you. You’ve repeatedly called for censorship, at any opposition. You say that debate “ruins” things, as you work furiously against free speech.

    Then you make excuses for your UKIP views, blaming anything other than your choices, your pro-censorship hard right views. You’ll never take responsibility for your own choices and beliefs, you’ll always blame the Other and Jews.

  33. Guest

    The British poor are 100% relevant. Your right’s cuts have made many British people’s diets unhealthy. I dón’t care about your excuses, that’s what’s relevant to *Britain*. You don’t want to discuss that though, because you’re 100% fine with it!

    As you once more demand every family has two working adults. As you make up myths about jobs, which are few and poorly paid. As you whine the the Other is taking jobs at the same time!

    And yes, you deliver your speeches about your ideology to rich right wing people in rich areas. And? Good fees, no doubt, for a politician – which you clearly are.

    And you once more highlight you abuse rights you’d deny others. You “only” have hundreds of millions, right, as you talk about your week on the bottom. Poor people can’t afford to jet across the globe like you, it’s a dead giveaway! (And they can’t afford to work half the year, either)

  34. damon

    Are you skipping your medication?

  35. Guest

    I’m not on your medication. Stop trying to give it to other people.

    You can’t contradict anything I said, of course.

  36. Patrick Nelson

    “If you believe that the Prophet (pbuh) rejoiced in many wives and more
    slave girls than everyone else – this is in the Holy Koran” …no it isn’t.

  37. Patrick Nelson

    Many south Asians are victims of problems in their own communities (such as backgrounds of English illiteracy), but just as many fall foul of widespread anti-Muslim racism, much of which is institutional in nature. There is a lot of negative propaganda against Muslims in circulation and Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Kashmiris find difficulties because of it. I know of many unemployed south Asian Muslims who can’t get a job because they are simply not westernized enough to be seen for their merits rather than through the lens of racial stereotypes.

    I have also known more than a few university educated south Asians who graduated in highly employable subjects but who found getting an appropriate job very difficult for the simple fact that they wore a beard. One south Asian applicant for a job in the police was helped by a relative of mine, but despite having all the qualities required of a policeman his application was eventually turned down, he had been told that the fact that he wore a beard and prayed five times a day was “a cause of concern”.

    The struggle these people face is reminiscent of the bad old days of “no Jews or Irish need apply” but this time the discrimination is far more insidious.

  38. Mike Stallard


  39. jj

    Its clearly not discrimination, as other groups get on perfectly well. What it can be attributed to is a culture in these groups that hinders progress and is unable to adapt fully to western culture.

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