What the census tells us

There were two new tick boxes in the 2011 Census: Gypsy or Irish Traveller, and Arab. Gypsy or Irish Travellers accounted for 58,000 usual residents (0.1 per cent of the population), making it the smallest ethnic category (with a tick box) in 2011. The highest proportion of people who identified as Gypsy or Irish Traveller were found in the South East and East of England with Basildon, Maidstone, Swale, Fenland and Ashford all at 0.5 per cent.

This is the first census to have included the tick box and there was a campaign before the census to make the communities aware of the change but the figure is significantly lower than previous estimates suggesting that many families were either excluded from the census or chose the more neutral British or Irish identifications. It is unlikely that Roma families would have ticked this box, regarding the term Gypsy as racist and not considering themselves to be Travellers. It also only covers England and Wales.

An interactive map is available for users to explore all ethnic groups further at the local authority level. https://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/interactive/census-map-2-1—ethnicity/index.html

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