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.

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