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WEST MIDLANDS: THE IRISH DIMENSION An exploration of 2001 Census Data

A report prepared for the


This report, one of a suite of twenty four, is an outcome of a research project on the Irish data in the 2001 Census. The research project was funded by the DĂ­on Committee. Publication of this report is funded by the DĂ­on Committee. First published by the Federation of Irish Societies in 2007. ISBN

978-1-906325-03-9

Copyright

Source data - 2001 Census: Crown copyright. This report: FIS copyright.

Printed by New Image Design and Print, Block D, Unit 1, Bounds Green Industrial Estate, Ring Way, London N11 2UD.

The Federation of Irish Societies is a national umbrella body representing and providing services to its affiliated organisations throughout Britain. These organisations include welfare advice agencies, day centres, community care services, clubs, social and cultural organisations and housing providers; as well as projects to meet specific needs of particular sections of the community, such as women, elders, Irish travellers and prisoners.


West Midlands: The Irish dimension An exploration of 2001 Census data

A report prepared for the Federation of Irish Societies, London


Contents: FIS Foreword

2

Introduction

3

Using the data

7

Key data

8

1. The nature of the population

9

2. Economic activity and inactivity

14

3. Types of work

20

4. Unpaid carers

27

5. Qualifications

36

6. Home tenure and accommodation type

39

7. Amenities

46

8. Health

49

1


FIS foreword We are very pleased to be able to publish the suite of reports which FIS has commissioned from Word-Works and which focus on the Irish data in the 2001 Census. This data and commentaries are presented in a comparative context at national, regional and selected local levels, and on the basis of the full sixteen categories from the 2001 Census Ethnic Group Question. These reports indicate the diversity in the performance of ethnic minority groups in Britain. They show that the statistical profile of the identified white Irish places them closer to white British and Indian in many respects than, for example, more radically marginalised groups like Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, refugees and asylum seekers. Nevertheless, Irish deficits exist, most visibly in the area of health. They extend to related areas like levels of economic activity, where limiting long-term injury and disability contribute. The specific age profile of the white Irish population, with its bias towards older people, has implications in terms of care needs, as have the high proportions of white Irish single- and two-pensioner households. At the same time, the proportions of those white Irish without qualifications and working in the building industry point to the need for training/retraining towards integration/retention in the labour market. Indeed, government initiatives around health aspects of local regeneration, extension of working life, and reengagement of those with disabilities in the labour market, increase the importance of Irish community inclusion in order to achieve targets. It is important that the duality of the performance of the Irish in Britain – that combination of high achievement and disadvantage/social exclusion, which is by no means unique to the Irish community among British ethnic minority communities – should not distract attention from issues that need to be addressed. That there are sections of the Irish population who have multiple needs, are marginalised, and have information, support and service needs which need to be addressed was clearly indicated by the data provided by the FIS/AGIY Standardised Information System, collected from our front line agencies and published between 1994 and 2003. This and other documentation with a strong local thrust (for example, the valuable L Simpson et al, Ethnic minority populations and the Labour Market: an analysis of the 1991 and 2001 Censuses (DWP 2006)), emphasise the need for good local intelligence and greater and easier access to small-area statistics. We have been disappointed by the structuring of much of the analysis of ethnicity data from the 2001 Census published to date, particularly the use of various “combined ethnic group categories” and the failure to disaggregate the White “combined group” data. These procedures ignore one of the most significant findings of T Madood et al. Ethnic Minorities in Britain: Diversity and Disadvantage (PSI 1997) with relevance to policy formation, as well as such examples of good practice as Collecting ethnic category data: Guidance and training material for implementation of the new ethnic categories (DH 2001). Increasingly, micro-decisions about delivery of services take place at a local level. Those with local responsibility under the Race Relations Acts for addressing inequalities must have the best possible local data on all significant communities (including minority ethnic communities) at their disposal, and must use it in an inclusive way to inform their policies. We thank Word-Works for providing us with this suite of reports, which we commend to our affiliates, our partners in the British voluntary sector, and to those with a responsibility for policy formation and the delivery of services. We hope they will prove useful in raising the profile of the needs of ethnic minority populations, including our own.

Mary Tilki, Chair Federation of Irish Societies May 2007

2


Author’s Introduction The Census has long been the most extensive, if not the most comprehensive, source of information about the population of England and Wales. This has not been the case for the Irish population however. Although previously asked whether they were members of other minority ethnic groups, it was not until the 2001 Census that they were asked whether they were Irish. In the 1991 Census, the Irish population was identified from a combination of country of birth data and those instances where people had taken the initiative to write in their Irish identity. The Census is based largely on a series of tick box type questions which are quick to fill in and easy to understand. This approach means that highly complex topics have to be condensed into just a few words. Ethnic origin is one area which can suffer greatly from this treatment as it is so very complex. Potential problems arising in relation to Irish identity are discussed in the reports, most comprehensively in Section 1 of England: the Irish dimension. It is important to examine the information derived from the Census to learn about the Irish population, in order to identify any specific provisions appropriate to meeting their needs. It is to assist this process that the Federation is publishing this series of commissioned reports on the Irish dimension of Census 2001. The Census has provided us with an enormous quantity of data. These reports examine key elements of that data and make comparison, where appropriate, with data relating to the white British population and other minority ethnic populations. Summary findings of the analysis of the Irish dimension of the 2001 Census are set out below and in the series of key data to be found at the beginning of each report. 1. The age of the white Irish population The white Irish population of England and Wales, indicated by the 2001 Census data, is a comparatively older population. In England, the proportion of children identified – those aged under 16 – is very low: 6% in comparison with 20% when looking at the population of England as a whole. In London and the South East, the proportion of white Irish children is slightly higher (7% and 6% respectively), whereas it is slightly smaller in the South West and the North West (both slightly under 5%). The issue of the proportion of children recorded is complicated by the fact that children born to Irish parents may not be classified in the Census as white Irish. If they have one Irish parent and one British parent, for example, they may be classified as white British or white other. At the other end of the age scale, the white Irish population has a large proportion of people who are of pensionable age. Between 20% (London) and 32% (the West Midlands) are aged 65 or older. With between a fifth and a third of the population of this age, there are consequences for the population in terms of economic activity, health and welfare. For example, when looking at the white Irish population as a whole, the level of economic activity is low – this is due at least in part to the proportion of people who are retired. The white Irish population also exhibits the highest level of people who describe themselves as being in ‘not good health’ of all the ethnic groups listed. When data is broken down by age, it can be seen that this is largely (although not solely) because the population has such a high proportion of older people, who are far more likely to describe themselves as being in ‘not good health’.

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One of the consequences of an older population is a higher proportion of women – simply due to the greater longevity of women. In London for example, 58% of the white Irish population is female. In the South East 62% of the white Irish 65 and older population is female. In England as a whole, 53% of the white Irish population (of all ages) is female. Another related consequence of an older population is the proportion of people who are living alone – typically women who have outlived their male spouses. A fifth of white Irish households comprise a pensioner living alone. Given the older age profile of the white Irish population identified in the Census, as well as the proportion of white Irish households which are single or two pensioner households, provision of statutory and unpaid/informal care is a significant issue. The Census indicated that, in England, 4% of pensionable age white Irish men were themselves providing 50 or more hours a week of unpaid care, that 1.7% of working age white Irish men were providing the same amount of weekly care, and that 8.6% of working age white Irish women were providing 1 to 19 hours a week of unpaid care. In addition to the informal and formal care being provided in the community, 0.44% of the white Irish population are being cared for in psychiatric hospitals and homes, nursing homes and residential homes, as opposed to 0.28% of the whole population. 2. Education and qualifications The findings of the 2001 Census in this area present a mixed picture. At one level, the white Irish population performs very well, in terms of the proportion attaining the highest qualifications (levels 4/5 – degrees, PhDs, professional qualifications). Among white Irish aged 25 to 34, the proportion so qualified reached 46% - with regional variations ranging from 36% (West Midlands) to 54% (North East England), proportions, in each case, more than double that found in the equivalent white British population. Even 22% of 16 to 24 year old white Irish people in England have qualifications at this level, although some of the qualifications would be outside their age range. This pattern of relatively high attainment continues up to the age group 35 to 49. After this age, the attainment levels reduce to the levels of the white British population. One of the main reasons for the comparatively low levels of economic activity amongst white Irish 16 to 24 year olds, is the large proportion of white Irish individuals who are in full-time education. The proportion here is much greater than in the equivalent white British population, rising to 69% in the North East of England. Levels of economic activity in this group range between 4% and 10% below the level of economic activity in the white British population. The Census data suggests that, while a proportion of white Irish people in England have high level qualifications, there is also a significant proportion who have no qualifications at all. 12% of white Irish 16 to 24 year olds have no qualifications (from 9% in the North East to 17% in the West Midlands). This proportion rises with age. Amongst white Irish 65 to 74 year olds 70% in England have no qualifications. This ranges from 60% in the South East to 77% in the West Midlands. In each group over the age of 49, there is a greater proportion of white Irish people with no qualifications at all than in the population as a whole. For example 62% of white Irish people in England aged between 60 and 64 have no qualifications, in comparison with 54% of the general population.

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3. Work The 1991 and 2001 Censuses provide evidence that Irish men are commonly to be found working ‘on the buildings’. The 2001 Census found that this was true for around a fifth of white Irish men of working age. Between 13% in North East England and 22% in the West Midlands are working in construction – 20% in England as a whole. These are far higher proportions than those found in any other ethnic population. Working in construction has possible implications for other areas of life. It can have a seasonal or temporary element leaving numbers of men out of work for periods of time. It can also be dangerous and exhausting work. It is an industry which reflects the peaks and troughs of the economy. With so many white Irish people working ‘on the buildings’, there is inevitably a glut of people needing to retrain at times when there is an economic downturn or when individuals need to move on for other reasons such as age and illness. Between a quarter and a third of white Irish women are working in health and social services. This is a far greater proportion than in the white British population and on a par with the Black African and Black Caribbean populations. Much care work and nursing work, while not seasonal or temporary, can be low-paid or may involve antisocial hours. A significant proportion of white Irish men work in professional occupations. 15% of white Irish men in England are in professional occupations (compared to 12% of white British men). In some English regions, the picture is much more exaggerated. For example, in the North East, 27% of white Irish men are in professional occupations in comparison with 10% of white British men. Women show a similar, although less pronounced, pattern. 13% of white Irish women in England are in professional occupations in comparison with 11% of white British women. So again, in this area, the 2001 Census presents a mixed picture. Further, the Census data relates to a period of time in which there was relative economic prosperity for the country and its regions. Certain indicators, such as levels of longterm unemployment were thus very low. It is important to recognise that during a less prosperous time, such indicators will be higher and there may be greater disparities between some of the ethnic groups. 4. Health The Census provides data about limiting long-term illness and disability. In every region in England the proportion of white Irish men aged between 25 and 74 who are not working because of permanent illness or disability is higher than the proportion of white British men not working for the same reason. In England, 11% of white Irish men are not working because of illness or disability. There is one age group of white Irish men for whom findings in this area are exceptionally strong and consistent, men aged between 50 and 64. In this age group, between 25% (the South East) and 41% (the North West) of men have limiting long-term illness. In England as a whole, 29% of white Irish men of this age have limiting long-term illness, 4% more than amongst white British men of the same age. The Census also asked about people’s view of whether they were in good health or not. 22% of men in England aged between 50 and 64 described their health as ‘not good’. In fact, for each age group, for both men and women, the trend is for more white Irish people than white British people to indicate ‘not good health’. 5. Housing and amenities Census data relating to housing and amenities provides a complex picture in terms of the white Irish population. For example, a relatively high proportion of the population owns their own home outright (26%) but, similarly, a relatively high proportion of the white Irish population lives in social housing (21%). These proportions are relatively

5


high in comparison with both other minority ethnic populations listed in the Census and in comparison with the majority of the white British population. Significantly, in England, the white Irish population has the highest proportion (1.2%) of people in medical and care communal establishments (including psychiatric units, prison, and those we might associate with an older population, residential and nursing homes). The population also has the highest proportion of people in households comprising a lone pensioner (18%). This is true of England as a whole and each of the country’s regions. In terms of amenities, the white Irish population of England shows two interesting characteristics in comparison with the other ethnic populations listed in the Census. The first is in terms of central heating – 8% of the white Irish population has no central heating – and secondly, 40% of the white Irish population does not have a car. Both of these proportions are higher than those found in the white British population. The report The Census data is wholly descriptive and, as such, does not seek to explain particular phenomena, merely to tell us what it is. Thus, we cannot find out from Census data why a specific proportion of people live in social housing, for example. The following report attempts to describe the findings of the 2001 Census and, where appropriate, to suggest possible causes and effects. Gudrun Limbrick Word-Works May 2007

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Using the data All the data in this report is derived from the results of the 2001 Census which attempted to include all people living in England and Wales. As such, the report and its findings are entirely dependent on the coverage achieved by the Census, the terminology used and the questions asked. The delineations used are those provided by the Census. For example, the age bands quoted are those designed by the Census. The data is represented as graphs in this report to provide an immediate visual to represent the bare figures. However, greater detail can be found in the accompanying tables of data. This report has a number of companion volumes which may provide useful comparative analysis to aid understanding. National reports:

Local reports:

England

Birmingham

Wales

Bristol Coventry Leeds

Regional reports: East England

Leicester

East Midlands

Liverpool

London

Luton

North East England

Manchester

North West England

Northampton

South East England

Nottingham

South West England

Portsmouth

West Midlands

Sheffield

Yorkshire and the Humber

Swindon

Data Source: 2001 Census, [Key Statistics for Local Authorities]. Crown copyright 2004. Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO.

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The West Midlands: Key data

The nature of the population - 67% of the white Irish population was born in the Republic of Ireland - 32% of the white Irish population is aged 65 or older Economic activity and inactivity - 67% of white Irish people aged 25 to 74 are economically active - 12% of white Irish men are not working because of permanent sickness or disability - 42% of white Irish 16 to 24 year olds are in full-time education Types of work - 22% of white Irish men are working in construction - 16% of white Irish men are managers or senior officials - 15% of white Irish men and 17% of white Irish women are in elementary-type occupations - 27% of white Irish women are working in health and social work Qualifications - 17% of white Irish 16 to 24 year olds have no qualifications - 16% of white Irish 16 to 24 year olds have qualifications at the highest levels Home tenure and accommodation type - 67% of white Irish people own their own home - 22% of white Irish people are in social housing - 6% of white Irish people are in privately rented accommodation - 21% of white Irish households are pensioners living alone Amenities - 42% of white Irish people do not own a car - 15% of the white Irish population does not have central heating - 9% of the white Irish population are living in households regarded as overcrowded Health - 14% of white Irish men aged 16 to 49 have long-term limiting illness - 32% of white Irish men aged 16 to 64 are in not good health - 23% of white Irish women aged 16 to 64 are in not good health

8


Section 1. The nature of the population of The West Midlands

_____________________________________________________________________ This section looks at the number of Irish people in the West Midlands in comparison with other ethnic groups. The place of birth of Irish people is examined, differentiating between those Irish people born in Ireland and those born elsewhere. It also examines basic demographic information such as ethnic origin, gender and age. It is this data which is of fundamental importance when understanding other data in this report such as economic activity and health.

In the West Midlands, 86.2% of the population classify themselves as white British. This is very similar to the 87.0% of the population of England as a whole who classify themselves as white British. The make-up of the remainder of the population is illustrated in the figure below. Figure 1. The proportion of the population in minority ethnic groups in the West Midlands 4.00% 3.50% 3.00% 2.50% West Midlands

2.00%

England

1.50% 1.00% 0.50%

M ix ed

W hi W -W te hi te -I hi ris -O te M h a th ix nd er ed B W -W la hi ck te hi C te a rib an be d M Bl an ix a e c d As k -W Af ia n ric hi or an te As A a ia si nd n a n or As As Br As ia ia iti n n i s a h Bl or n ac B As I r n iti k di ia sh or an n Bl Br -P ac iti a sh k ki Bl st Br ac -B an i t k i C an s i o h hi r g ne Bl la Bl de ac se a ck k sh or Br i C O i a t is th rib h er b -B ea Et la n hn ck ic Af G ric ro up an -C hi ne se

0.00%

1.4% of the population of the West Midlands defined as being white Irish 1 – as did 1.3% of the population of England. The white Irish population is the fourth largest minority ethnic group of those listed after the Indian population (3.4%), the Pakistani population (2.9%) and the Black Caribbean population (1.6%). The West Midlands, as a region, differs from England as a whole largely, although not exclusively, in terms of the Indian and Pakistani communities (3.4% and 2.9% of the population respectively). It is interesting to note that, in both the ‘other white’, Black African and Chinese minority ethnic groups, the proportion living in the West Midlands is significantly smaller than the proportion in England as a whole. It is probable that the proportion of Irish people recorded in the Census is an underrepresentation of the actual Irish community in the West Midlands and this issue is discussed more fully in England: the Irish dimension – an exploration of 2001 Census

1

In the Census questionnaire, respondents were given five options: white, mixed, Asian, Black or Chinese. Within the ‘white’ option, respondents were asked to select either British, Irish or other white. For the purposes of this report, these options have been abbreviated to ‘white British’, ‘white Irish’ and ‘white other’.

9


data. Estimates 2 suggest that the actual Irish population of the West Midlands could be between 3.6% (190,768 individuals) and 4.4% (228,921 individuals) which is higher than the estimated proportional size of the Irish population of England (4.1%). These corrected figures would make the Irish population the largest minority ethnic population in the region.

Figure 2. Proportion of population of the West Midlands born on the island of Ireland 3 1.20% 1.00% 0.80% Born in Northern Ireland 0.60%

Born in the Republic of Ireland

0.40% 0.20% 0.00% West Midlands

England

0.9% of the population of England was born in the Republic of Ireland in comparison with 1.0% of the West Midlands. Of those people in the West Midlands who described themselves in the Census as Irish, 67.4% were born in the Republic of Ireland. 8.7% were born in Northern Ireland. In total, 32.0% of those who described themselves as Irish were born in the United Kingdom. Figure 3. Proportion of the population of the West Midlands that is female 55% 54% 53% 52% 51%

West Midlands

50%

England

49% 48% 47%

Fe m al es :t W ot hi al te M -B ix r it ed is W W h -W hi hi t e hi te te M -O Iri ix an sh th ed d er Bl -W W ac hi hi k te te C ar an i b M d be ix Bl ed an a As - W ck A ia n f h As r ic or ite an ia As an n ia As or d n ia As As Br n Bl ia iti ia or sh n ac n A B k s r In or iti ia sh di n Bl an Br ac -P iti Bl k a s ac h Br ki st -B C k iti an hi or sh an ne i B g la se B l a ck la d or es ck Br O hi C iti th ar sh er ib Et be Bl hn an ac ic k G A fri ro ca up n -C hi ne se

46%

Taking the population as a whole, in both the West Midlands and England, the proportion of women is just over 51% (51.1% and 51.3% respectively). Interestingly, looking at the proportion of Irish women, the percentage is 52.9% when looking at

2

Using the 2.5 and 3 correctional factors of the born-in-Ireland population suggested by Hickman MJ and Walter B Discrimination and the Irish Community in Britain CRE 1997. 3 The term island of Ireland used here includes both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

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England as a whole, but reduces to 51.3% when looking at the West Midlands in isolation. In terms of all the minority ethnic groups, the proportion of women varies much less than it does when looking at England as a whole – the range in the West Midlands being from 49.0% (Black African women) to 52.4% (Black Caribbean women). For England, the range is from 49.3% (Pakistani women) but rises to 53.7% (Black Caribbean women). Figure 4. The age distribution of the white Irish population in the West Midlands 40% 35% 30% 25% all

20%

white Irish

15% 10% 5% 0% 0-15

16-24

25-49

50-59

60-64

65-74

75 and older

Age is arguably one of the most important factors to bear in mind when looking at the white Irish population as defined by the 2001 Census. The figure above clearly demonstrates the relative age of the white Irish population in the West Midlands in comparison with the population as a whole. 31.9% of the West Midlands’ white Irish population is aged 65 or older, in comparison with just 16.0% of the population in total. This means that at least a third of the white Irish population is of retirement age – a statistic which has significant connotations for the nature of the community. One factor to bear in mind is whether people in different age groups behaved differently in terms of completing and retuning the Census forms. Hickman and Walter (1997) 4 suggest that there is likely to be an under-representation of younger Irish people completing the Census and there is also an issue of second and third generation Irish people who did not define as Irish 5 in the Census. This would have an impact on the proportion of younger white Irish people counted in the Census. However, the issue of under-enumeration would not apply to those aged under 16 6 who are very poorly represented in the age distribution illustrated above. From the data the Census provides, it is not possible to say to what extent the skewed age profile above is the result of the under-count and to what extent there actually is a skewed age profile in the white Irish population. 4

Hickman MJ and Walter B Discrimination and the Irish Community in Britain CRE 1997. This is discussed in England: the Irish Dimension - an exploration of 2001 Census data. 6 A significant feature of the age distribution of white Irish people is the small proportion who are aged 0 to 15 – far smaller than in any other of the region’s white British or minority ethnic populations. One can assume that, in most cases, parents or guardians will have completed Census forms on behalf of children of this age. It is thus the parents, in the main, who are making decisions about their children’s declared ethnicity. Most of the parents of the children of this age, will themselves be in the 24 to 49 age group in figure 4 – an age group of similar proportion in the white Irish population to the population of the region as a whole. This begs the question of why parents who reporting themselves to be white Irish did not record their children as white Irish. 5

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Figure 5. Proportion of the population aged 75 and older 14% 12% 10% 8%

West Midlands England

6% 4% 2%

75

an d

ol de r: W to ta hi l te -B M rit ix is ed W h W hi -W te hi te -I hi te -O ris M h an th ix ed er d Bl W -W ac hi k hi te C te a an rib d be M Bl ix an ac ed As k -W ia Af n ric hi or As te an As ia a nd n ia or n As A Br si As ia an iti n ia sh Bl or n ac Br A In k si iti di an or sh an Bl Br -P ac iti ak Bl k sh i B ac st -B rit an k is C an or i h hi gl ne -B Bl a ac se de la k ck sh or Br C i O iti ar th s i h bb er ea Et Bl hn ac n k ic A G f ric ro up an -C hi ne se

0%

In England: the Irish dimension – an exploration of 2001 Census data there is discussion of the proportion of the population that is aged 65 or older. In the white Irish population, there is a significantly higher proportion of white Irish people aged older than 65 (24.9%) than in the rest of the country’s population (15.9%). On a regional level, a higher proportion of the white Irish population is aged 65 or older (31.9%) while the proportion of the region’s population as a whole at that age remains almost the same (16.0%). This is illustrated in figure 4. On a regional level, we are able to examine the older proportion of this age group – those aged 75 and older, as illustrated in the figure above. The large proportion of the white Irish population aged 75 or over is clear and in the West Midlands the difference, relative to other minority ethnic groups, is pronounced. In this region, 12.0% of the white Irish population is aged 75 or older. For the white British population, the proportion is 8.1%, for the Black African population, the proportion is just 1.5%. Figure 6. Age distribution of selected minority ethnic groups

50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 0 - 15

16 - 24 White Irish

25- 49 White British

50 - 59 Indian

Pakistani

60 - 64 Black Caribbean

65 - 74

75 and older

Chinese

There is no other (majority or minority) ethnic group in the West Midlands which is structured in the same way as the white Irish population in terms of the age of its members. A relatively low proportion of under-25s (10.2%) is contrasted with a

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relatively high proportion in each age group over 50. In the white British population, 29.9% of the population are aged under 25, as is 31.2% of the Black Caribbean population and 57.2% of the Pakistani population. 47.0% of the white Irish population is in the potentially economically active 25 to 59 age group, but this is not significantly different from other ethnic groups as it is in the lower and higher age groups. For example, 49.7% of the Black Caribbean population is aged between 25 and 59, as is 47.8% of the White British population. Just 36.2% of the Pakistani population is aged between 25 and 59. As the above series of graphs illustrates, in comparison with the other minority ethnic groups listed, the white Irish population is an ageing population – a larger proportion of the population is older (over 64) than is younger (under 24). A population of this structure will shrink as the numbers who die are not matched by those born, unless migration patterns change the general trend or unless there are changes in how sections of the population perceive their ethnicity 7 . Additionally, an aging population will have very different characteristics and needs in comparison to those with a younger population – more people will be retired and no longer economically active; care needs may be different and levels of ill-health and disability tend to be higher in populations which are older, for example. As suggested above (in discussion of figure 4), it is important to remember that a skewed age profile may be affected by different age groups having differing Census form return rates. This may or may not affect different ethnic groups in different ways.

_____________________________________________________________________ In summary This section found that 1.4% of West Midlands’ population reported as white Irish. However this is likely to be an under-representation of actual figures. Self-declared ethnicity is a complicated issue – the white Irish population could be as high as 4.4% of the population of the West Midlands. The reported white Irish population in the West Midlands has a relatively small number of people who are aged under 25 and a relatively large number of people who are aged 50 and older, and 75 and older.

7

Commentators have suggested that for a variety of reasons (such as the complexities of ethnicity and identity, a confusion between ethnicity and nationality, and the construction of the ethnic group question in the Census form), a number of people born on the island of Ireland and second and third generation Irish people may not have taken the option of identifying as white Irish in the 2001 Census.

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Section 2. Economic activity and inactivity

_____________________________________________________________________ Any population has a bearing on the economy of the place in which it lives. This section examines the levels of economic activity of the white Irish population of the West Midlands in comparison with the rest of the region’s population. Economic activity, as an indicator, is a count of the number of individuals who are either working or are available to work. To aid our understanding, this section also looks at what the Census has to say about economic inactivity. The first figures in this section look at those people aged between 16 and 24. The later figures look at the older age group – those aged between 25 and 74.

Figure 7. Proportion of the population of the West Midlands aged 16 to 24 years old which is economically active 8 80% 70% 60% 50% West Midlands

40%

England

30% 20% 10%

Ec on o

m ic

al ly

ac tiv e

16 -2 4

ye ar ol M d W ix hi s: t ed t o e -W - tal M hi Wh W Brit t ix ed e a ite - hite ish O -I - W nd t r hi Bla her ish te ck W M As ix and Ca hite e r As ian d - Bla ibb W ck ea As ian or hi A n Bl ia o A ac n o r A sian te a fric a s n k or r As ian Bri d A n tis B i s B a B i C lac lack n B ritis h - an hi ne k o Br ritis h - Indi Pa an se r B itis h or lac h - - Ba kis B O k n ta th Br lac gla ni er iti k d Et sh Ca es hn - B ri hi bb ic l G ack ea ro n up Afr - C ica hi n ne se

0%

In the West Midlands, 59.1% of the white Irish population is economically active. This compares with 64.2% of the region’s population as a whole – a very similar picture to that found in England as a whole. In terms of economic activity in this age group, the white Irish population, along with the white and Black Caribbean population (59.6%), are second to the white British population – in which 68.6% of the population is economically active.

8

Economically active is defined as the state of being available for work or working. Thus, someone who is unemployed is still defined as economically active. Someone who is retired, for example, is not defined as economically active.

14


Figure 8. Proportion of the population of the West Midlands aged 25 to 74 years old which is economically active 80% 70% 60% 50% West Midlands

40%

England

30% 20% 10%

Ec on o

m ic

al ly

ac tiv e

25 -7 4

ye ar ol M d W ix hi s: t ed t o e -W - tal M hi Wh W Brit t ix ed e a ite - hite ish O -I - W nd t r hi Bla her ish te ck W M As ix and Ca hite e r As ian d - Bla ibb W ck ea As ian or hi A n Bl ia o A ac n o r A sian te a fric a s n k or r As ian Bri d A n tis B i s B a B i C lac lack n B ritis h - an hi ne k o Br ritis h - Indi Pa an se r B itis h or lac h - - Ba kis B O k n ta th Br lac gla ni er iti k d Et sh Ca es hn - B ri hi bb ic l G ack ea ro n up Afr - C ica hi n ne se

0%

In contrast to the 16 to 24 age group examined above, the white Irish population has significantly low levels of economic activity in the 25 to 74 age group. This is more marked in the West Midlands than in the country as a whole. 52.9% of the white Irish population in this age group are economically active in comparison with 67.2% of the white British population. In fact, only the Pakistani and Bangladeshi populations have lower levels (43.4% and 40.9% respectively). When looking at this data, it is important to remember the relative age of the white Irish population – 31.9%of the population are of retirement age and may no longer be economically active (see figure 4). Figure 9. Economic activity and inactivity amongst 16 to 24 year old men 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25%

white Irish white British

20% 15% 10%

Lo ok i

ng

R et ir e af d te rh Pe om rm e/ fa an m en ily tly si ck /d is ab le d

l-t i

m e

st ud en

t

oy ed Fu l

U ne m pl

ye d

Se l

f-e

m pl o

ye e em pl o

m e l-t i Fu l

Pa rtt

im

e

em

pl o

ye e

5% 0%

68.6% of white British 16 to 24 year olds in the West Midlands were found to be economically active, in comparison with 59.1% of the white Irish population (see figure 7). The chart above suggests that much of this difference comes from the proportion of students – 42.0% of young white Irish men are full-time students in comparison with 35.6% of white British men.

15


A number of factors can influence the size of a student population. These include: - the achievement of appropriate qualifications earlier in life (see section 5: Qualifications) - a community ethos which values and encourages education - migration specifically to attend further or higher education establishments (the Census data does not indicate what proportion of full-time students have come to England specifically for their education and, importantly, what proportion are planning to return to their home country once that education is complete). The large proportion of people who are students may account for the fact that 33.2% of white Irish men in this age group are in full-time employment in comparison with 45.9% of white British men. Additionally, levels of unemployment are higher amongst white Irish men – 9.6% in comparison with 7.8% of white British men. Figure 10. Economic activity and inactivity amongst 16 to 24 year old women 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%

white Irish

Lo ok i

ng

R et ir e af d te rh Pe om rm e/ an fa m en ily tly si ck /d is ab le d

t st ud en m e

ye d

oy ed l-t i Fu l

U ne m pl

f-e

m pl o

ye e Se l

em pl o

m e l-t i Fu l

Pa rtt

im

e

em

pl o

ye e

white British

When looking at young women, the proportion of students is again higher – 45.6% of white Irish women in comparison with 38.8% of white British women. A smaller proportion of white Irish women than white British women are in both full-time employment and part-time employment. 29.1% of white Irish women of this age group are in full-time employment as are 34.5% of white British women. For part-time employment, the proportion of white Irish women is 5.2% and it is 9.2% amongst white British women.

16


Figure 11. Economic activity and inactivity amongst 25 to 74 year old men 60% 50% 40% white Irish

30%

white British

20% 10%

Lo ok i

ng

R et ir e af d te rh Pe om rm e/ fa an m en ily tly si ck /d is ab le d

l-t i

m e

st ud en

t

oy ed U ne m pl

f-e

Fu l

Fu l

l-t i

Se l

m e

m pl o

ye e em pl o

ye e pl o em e im Pa rtt

ye d

0%

As suggested by the higher proportion of older people, 23.7% of the West Midlands’ white Irish men are retired – in comparison with 14.4% of white British men. As this would suggest, levels of full-time employment are 17% lower. 12.3% of white Irish men are not working because they are permanently sick or disabled in comparison with 7.0% of white British men. 11.6% of white Irish men of this age group are self-employed – this compares with 12.8% of the comparable white British population. Figure 12. Economic activity and inactivity amongst 25 to 74 year old women 35% 30% 25% 20%

white Irish

15%

white British

10% 5%

R et ir e af te d r Pe ho m rm e/ an fa en m ily tly si ck /d is ab le d

Lo ok i

ng

l-t i

m e

st ud en

t

oy ed Fu l

U ne m pl

ye d

Se l

f-e

m pl o

ye e em pl o

m e l-t i Fu l

Pa rtt

im

e

em

pl o

ye e

0%

Taking women aged between 25 and 74, it is again the proportion of those who are retired which presents the most marked difference between the white Irish and white British populations. 29.8% of white women are retired in comparison with just 19.5% of white British women. Additionally, there is again a higher proportion of people permanently sick or disabled amongst white Irish women (8.8%) than amongst white British women (5.7%). In the white Irish population, there is a smaller proportion of women not working because they are looking after their home or family full-time (8.4%) than in the white British population (11.6%).

17


Figure 13. Proportion of men who are long-term unemployed or who have never worked 14% 12% 10% 8%

West Midlands

6%

England

4% 2%

hi te

M

ix ed

W

N

ev er

w

or ke d

an d

lo

ng

te rm

un em

pl o

ye d: t

ot a -B l rit W is -W W h hi hi te hi te te M -O Iri ix a sh nd ed th er -W Bl W ac hi hi k te te C ar an M ib d b ix Bl ea ed As a n ia - W ck n A As or fri hi t c ia e As an n an As ia or d n ia As As Br n Bl ia it i or ia ac n sh n As k Br -I or ia i t nd is n Bl h Br ac - P ian Bl it i k ac sh ak Br C k is i t hi ta Ba ne or B ish ni n se la g B la ck la or d c e B k O sh rit C th is i ar er h ib -B Et be hn la a n ck ic G Af ro ric up an -C hi ne se

0%

With the exception of Chinese men, long-term unemployment (including those who have never worked) amongst men is higher in the West Midlands than it is in England as a whole. And white Irish men are no exception with 4.4% of West Midlands white Irish men being long-term unemployed (including those who have never worked) in comparison with 3.6% of England’s white Irish men. The white Irish men in the West Midlands have the third lowest level of long-term unemployment (including those who have never worked) - behind white British men (2.8%) and Chinese men (2.9%). The highest level of long-term unemployment (including those who have never worked) is in the white and Black Caribbean population – 12.5%

18


Figure 14. Proportion of women who are long-term unemployed or who have never worked 55% 50% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%

West Midlands

ix ed

M

N

ev er w

or ke d

an d

lo

ng

te rm

un e

m

pl o W yed hi te : to -W - B tal W M h W ix ite hit hi ritis ed e t a - W nd - O e - h hi Bla the Irish te rW c As Mix an k C hi a d t e i r a A B ib e n d As sian or - W lac be a Bl ia A h k ac n or A sia ite Afr n ic a n k or s or A ian B nd an r si A a B iti B B C la lac n B rit sh sia hi ck k i sh - I n r ne B i n t se or B riti ish - P dia or lac sh - B aki n O k - B an sta th Br la er iti ck glad ni Et sh C es a hn h ic Bla ribb i G ck ea ro up Afr n - C ica hi n ne se

England

7.9% of white Irish women are long-term unemployed (including those who have never worked) – this compares with 8.7% of the region’s women as a whole and 4.6% of white British women. Again, together with Chinese women (5.0%), these form the three lowest proportions found. The highest level of long-term unemployment (including those who have never worked) is in the Bangladeshi population at 43.2%.

_____________________________________________________________________ In summary This section looked at economic activity and found a relatively low level of economic activity amongst the largest age group – 25 to 74 year olds. In the same age group, there were relatively high levels of white Irish people who were retired and people who were not working because of permanent sickness or disability. In the 16 to 24 age group, the most notable feature is the relatively high proportion of white Irish people who were in full-time education. In terms of unemployment (including those who have never worked), figures for the white Irish population are higher than those for the white British population.

19


Section 3. Types of work

_____________________________________________________________________ Having examined overall levels of economic activity in the previous section, this section concentrates on what the Census reveals about the nature of work undertaken by the population. Do different ethnic minority groups tend to do different types of work?

Figure 15. The proportion of men who are managers or senior officials 25% 20% 15%

West Midlands England

10% 5%

M ix ed

M an ag er s

an d

Se ni or

O ffi ci W a ls hi : to te -W - tal W W Bri M hi h ti h t i ix e d e a te - ite s h O -I - W nd r t hi Bla her ish te ck W a M As ix nd Car hite e As ian d - Bla ibbe W ck an A ian or h Bl sian or Asi ite Afri an c ac a A an k or A sia B nd or si n B ritis As B a i h a r B l n C lac ack Br itish - In n hi - P dia ne k o Bri itis n se r B tis h a Ba kis or lac h t a O k B Bla ng ni th l er ritis ck ade C Et h s hn - B arib hi ic be la c G ro k A an up fr - C ican hi ne se

0%

In the West Midlands, 16.2% of white Irish men are managers or senior officials. In the population as a whole, the proportion is 17.4%. Only four of the listed minority ethnic groups have a higher proportion of men in this top level of occupation than white Irish men – ‘other white’ (21.5%), Chinese (18.7%), white British (17.7%) and Indian (17.1%). The lowest proportion is the 8.8% found in the Black Caribbean population. Figure 16. The proportion of women working as managers or senior officials 16% 14% 12% 10% West Midlands

8%

England

6% 4% 2%

M an ag er

s

an d

Se ni

or O ffi ci M W als: ix hi ed te tota -W l W W Bri h M ix ite hite hit tish ed a -O e- W nd th Iris e h hi Bla ck r W te hi an C M te As ix ar e d i As ian d - Bla bbe c A ian or A Wh k A an ite fr s Bl sian or a ic a ac A ian n k or A sia B r nd or si n B itis Asi rit h - an Bl Bla an is c B a C hi ck k B riti h - Ind ne or rit sh Pa ian se B is k or lac h - Ba ista O k B Bla ng ni l th er ritis ck ade C s Et h hn - B arib hi b ic la G ck ean ro A u p fri - C can hi ne se

0%

20


While the proportion of women working as managers or senior officials is lower than that of men across the board, the overall pattern is very similar amongst the minority ethnic groups. 10.5% of white Irish women are managers/senior officials. This is the fourth highest proportion after Chinese women (12.9%), White and Asian women (11.1%), and ‘other White’ women (10.8%). 10.1% of white British women are working as managers or senior officials. Figure 17. Occupations amongst the men aged 16 to 74 25% 20% white Irish

15%

white British 10%

all

5%

ss i

As so ci a

Pr of e

M an ag er s

an d

se ni

or of fic on ia te al ls oc pr o c Ad f& up m at te in io ch ns & oc se cu cr pa et ar tio ia Sk ns l oc ille cu d pa tra Pe t io de rs Sa ns s o o le n c al s c up & se cu at rv io st ic ns o e Pr m oc oc er c es up se s, at rv io ic pl ns e an o t& cc up m at ac io hi ns ne El o em pe en ra tiv ta ry es oc cu pa tio ns

0%

The proportion of white Irish men in professional occupations (11.8%), process, plant and machinery (18.2%) and in elementary occupations (14.7%) exceeds the proportion of white British men in the same occupations (10.5%, 15.8% and 12.1% respectively). Any differences in the other occupations listed are not nearly so significant. The most common occupations for white Irish men are the skilled trades; process, plant and machine operatives; and managers and senior officials – the same three as for white British men in the West Midlands. However, there are differences within that. For the skilled trades, for example, the proportion of white Irish men is 20.0% and the proportion of white British men is 22.7%.

21


Figure 18. Occupations amongst women aged 16 to 74 25%

20%

15%

white Irish white British all

10%

5%

M an ag e

rs

an d se Pr ni of As or e so ss of ci i fic on at ia al e ls pr oc of cu Ad & p m at te in io ch & ns o se c cu cr et pa ar tio ia Sk ns l ille oc c d u tra pa Pe de tio Sa rs s ns on le o s al cc & u s er pa cu vi tio st ce om Pr ns oc oc er cu es se p s, rv at pl ic io an e ns o t& cc u m pa ac tio hi ns n El e em op e en ra ta tiv ry es oc cu pa tio ns

0%

The pattern of occupations amongst women differs markedly from the men. The most common occupations for white Irish women are the associate professional roles; administrative and secretarial and the elementary occupations. There is, however, not only a gender difference but also a significant difference in roles between white Irish women and white British women. For example, while there is a relatively small difference between the proportion of the white Irish population and the proportion of the white British population in terms of managers and senior officials (see figure 16), there is a greater difference when looking at professional occupations. 11.1% of white Irish women are in professional occupations in comparison with 8.8% of white British women. In the managerial, professional and associate professional occupations taken together, there is 39.2% of white Irish women in comparison with 31.4% of white British women. 23.0% of white British women are in administrative and secretarial roles along with 17.0% of white Irish women. While 3% more Irish women than British women are in elementary occupations – 16.7% in comparison with 13.7%. The following figures look at employment in terms of what has become known as NSSEC. NS-SEC (National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification) is an attempt to look at social classification by occupation but, instead of being solely an examination of jobs, the NS-SEC is constructed using three pieces of information: occupation, employment status and the size of the establishment in which the person works. To this end, the 2001 Census form asked for a significant amount of information about each respondent’s job, place of work, role and level 9 . The picture created by the following figure will thus differ in some respects from the previous figures, which were looking solely at occupation.

9

A full description of the NS-SEC definitions is to be found in England: the Irish dimension – an exploration of 2001 Census data.

22


Figure 19. Men in the West Midlands aged between 16 and 74 – by NS-SEC (excluding those who are unemployed or in full-time education) 18% 16% 14% 12% white Irish

10%

white British 8%

all

6% 4% 2% 0% Intermediate Lower Higher managerial & managerial & occupations professional professional occupations occupations

Small employers and own account workers

Semi-routine Lower supervisory occupations and technical occupations

Routine occupations

When looking at occupations in the West Midlands in terms of the NS-Sec analysis, white Irish men are proportionately under-represented in the managerial and intermediate occupations when compared with the white British men and the male population as a whole. 8.1% of white Irish men are in higher managerial occupations in comparison with 10.8% of white British men. Similarly, 12.6% of white Irish men are in lower managerial occupations in comparison with 17.0% of white British men. The only area in which there are proportions higher in the white Irish population, than in the white British population is in terms of small account workers which accounts for 10.2% of the white Irish population in comparison with 9.7% of the white British population. Routine occupations include 12.2% of white Irish men, 12.8% of white British men and 12.5% of the region’s population as a whole. The reasons behind the lower levels of white Irish men in the majority of categories include the high proportion of full-time students (see figure 9).

23


Figure 20. Women in the West Midlands aged between 16 and 74 – by NS-SEC (excluding those who are unemployed or in full-time education) 18% 16% 14% 12% white Irish

10%

white British 8%

all

6% 4% 2% 0% Higher Lower Intermediate managerial & managerial & occupations professional professional occupations occupations

Small employers and own account workers

Lower Semi-routine supervisory occupations and technical occupations

Routine occupations

The pattern amongst women, in terms of NS-Sec is very different to that of men. What is interesting in the West Midlands in terms of white Irish women is that there is much greater similarity between white British and white Irish women in the higher managerial occupations. 3.6% of white Irish women are in higher managerial occupations along with 3.6% of white British women. In terms of semi-routine jobs, this includes 13.5% of white Irish women and 15.5% of white British women. In routine occupations, the difference is less than 2% - 10.1% of white Irish women and 11.9% of white British women. Figure 21. Industry areas of the male working population 35% 30% 25% 20%

white Irish

15%

white British

10% 5%

Ag ric

ul tu re M ,m an uf in ac in g tu an rin d g fis ( in hi cl ng ud in g ut ilit ie W s) C ho o le ns sa tru le ct an io n d H r et ot ai e lt Tr ls ra an an de sp d Fi r o e rt na s ta Pu an nc ur d bl ia an ic co la ts se m nd m ct pr un or of ic se es at rv si io ic on n es a ls ( in er cl vi ud ce H in s ea g ed lth uc an at d io so n) ci al se rv ic es

0%

23.5% of white Irish men in the West Midlands work in manufacturing in comparison with 29.9% of white British men. 21.5% of white Irish men work in construction – 10% more than the proportion of white British men (11.3%). While there is some similarity between the proportions of white Irish men and white British men in hotels and restaurants, transport and communication, financial and professional services, and public sector services, there is some difference between the proportions of the populations working in retail and wholesale and in health and social services.11.0%

24


of white Irish men work in wholesale or retail, in comparison with 16.5% of white British men. 5.2% of white Irish men work in health and social services along with 3.1% of white British men. In all, 45.0% of white Irish men are working in manufacturing or construction in the West Midlands – along with 41.2% of white British men although they are underrepresented in the former and over-represented in the latter. There are consequences to working in the construction industry as a Mind report of 2003 10 has found: “A major disadvantage of a lifetime of work in the construction industry is that many Irish men are in poor physical health and unable to work. They have not paid insurance contributions and end up without pensions in their old age or when ill.� In the light of this, it is interesting to return to figure 11 which illustrates that 12.3% of men aged between 25 and 74 are not working because of permanent sickness or disability. This is a high proportion of men, particularly when looked at in comparison with the male white British population in which 7.0% are not working because of permanent sickness or disability. We will return to this topic in Section 8: Health.

10

Mind: Mental health of Irish-born people in Britain, 2003

25


Figure 22. Industry areas of the female working population 30% 25% 20% white Irish

15%

white British

10% 5%

Ag ric

ul tu re M ,m an in uf in ac g tu an rin d g fis ( in hi cl ng ud in g ut ilit ie s) W C ho on le s tru sa le ct io an n d re H ta ot il el tra s Tr an de an d sp r e o Fi st rt na au an Pu nc ra d ia nt bl c om la s ic nd se m un ct p or ro ic fe at se ss io rv n i on ic es al ( in se rv cl ud ic es i ng H ea ed lth uc an at io d n) so ci al se rv ic es

0%

As with white Irish men, there is a lower representation in the wholesale and retail trades amongst white Irish women than amongst white British women (12.0% and 18.6% respectively). 9.3% of white Irish women work in manufacturing as do 12.1% of white British women (much lower proportions than the equivalent male populations – see figure 21 above). 27.3% of white Irish women work in health and social services – in comparison with 18.7% of white British women. In all, 46.7% of white Irish women (very nearly half) in the West Midlands work in either public sector services or health and social services (along with 36.3% of white British women). Health and social work (also referred to as health and social care within the Census outputs) will include medicine, nursing, auxiliary nursing, care work, social work etc. Some of these jobs will be highly qualified and well paid roles such as doctors, others will require no qualifications and may well be low paid.

_____________________________________________________________________ In summary This section suggests that there is an Irish population which presents two pictures. The first presents a picture of a population which has a relatively high proportion in managerial positions and professional positions. The second presents a picture of a population in which a very high proportion of men are working in construction and a very high proportion of women are working in health and social care. Relatively high proportions of both white Irish men and white Irish women are working in elementary occupations. These types of work can have significant effects on a population’s health, well-being and (current and future) financial wellbeing.

26


Section 4. Unpaid carers

_____________________________________________________________________ Previous sections have examined work as well as retirement and full-time education. However, a significant form of unpaid work has so far been omitted from our discussion – caring for other people. Section 1 outlined the older nature of the white Irish population. Section 8 will look at the relatively high levels of ill health associated with this. This section examines whether these factors impact on the level of unpaid caring carried out by the white Irish population.

The Census divides unpaid care into three different levels depending on the hours an individual devotes to it: a. between 1 and 19 hours a week b. between 20 and 49 hours a week c. 50 or more hours a week People providing the very highest level of care are unlikely to be able to work at the same time which impacts on their own life as well as on the lives of their dependents. However, even the lowest level of care-giving may restrict full-time and even parttime employment opportunities. Those providing only a low level of care may not be able to work if they have, in addition, their own children to care for. Employment opportunities may also be reduced if the care has to take place at particular hours of the day. Even care which has to be given at anti-social hours (such as through the night) may impede a carer’s ability to work if they don’t have an opportunity to sleep. The Census form defines care as being ‘any help or support [given] to family members, friends, neighbours or others because of long-term physical or mental illhealth or disability; or problems related to old-age’. To get a greater understanding of levels of unpaid care, it is important to look at different elements of the population – men, women, younger people, people of pensionable age – as each has a very different picture of care.

a. Between 1 and 19 hours a week of unpaid care To weave our way through this complex picture, we will take each level of care in turn, starting with those providing between 1 and 19 hours a week below. Figures 23 and 24 look at the working age carers and Figures 25 and 26 look at pensionable age carers.

27


Figure 23. Proportion of men aged between 16 and pensionable age providing 1 to 19 hours a week of unpaid care 9% 8% 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% 0%

West Midlands

M

ix ed

W hi te

To t

al -B r it is W W h -W hi hi te te hi t e M Iri -O an ix sh th ed d e Bl rW -W ac hi hi k te te C ar an i bb M d ix Bl ea ed a As n - W ck A ia n fri hi As or ca te ia As n an n ia As or d n As ia A B si n rit ia Bl an or is n ac h As Br k -I iti or ia nd s n h Bl ia Br -P n ac iti Bl k a s ac k h Br i s -B k C iti ta or hi sh ni an ne Bl g se B la ac l de ac k or Br k sh O C iti i th a s r ib er h -B be Et hn an la ck ic G Af ro ric up an -C hi ne se

England

7.1% of white West Midlands Irish men in this age group provided between 1 and 19 hours of unpaid care each week – a larger proportion than white Irish men in England (6.3%). The highest level of care is to be found in the Indian population (8.5%) with the white British population coming a close second (8.4%). The white Irish population provides the fifth highest level. The lowest level is in the Chinese population (4.0%). There is generally less than 1% difference between the West Midlands figures and the England figures. However, one exception is in the white other population - in the West Midlands the proportion is 5.8% and in England it is 4.6%. Figure 24. Proportion of women aged between 16 and pensionable age providing 1 to 19 hours a week of unpaid care 12.00% 10.00% 8.00% West Midlands

6.00%

England

4.00% 2.00%

M

ix ed

W hi te

To t

al -B r it is W h W -W hi hi t e te hi t Iri -O e M sh an ix th ed d er B -W W la ck hi hi te te C ar an ib d M b Bl ix ea ed a As n - W ck A ia n f r ic hi or As te an As ia an n i a As or d n As ia Br As n ia iti ia Bl or n sh n ac As Br -I k i ia or nd t i s n h ia Bl Br n -P ac iti Bl k a s ac ki h Br st -B k iti C an or sh hi an i ne Bl g se Bl la ac de ac k or sh Br k O C iti i th ar sh er i bb -B Et e hn an la ck ic G Af ro ric up an -C hi ne se

0.00%

On average, when looking at women in comparison with men in the same age group, the proportion providing between 1 and 19 hours of care rises by 3%. The white Irish

28


community had one of the highest proportions of women in this category – 10.5% second only to the white British population (11.0%). The lowest level is to be found in the Chinese population (4.8%). Between the West Midlands and the England data there is less than 1% difference. The exception is the white Irish population in which the West Midlands figure (10.5%) is higher than the England figure (8.6%). The following figures look at the same level of care – 1 to 19 hours a week – but this time in the pensionable age group. Figure 25. Proportion of men of pensionable age providing between 1 and 19 hours a week of unpaid care 9% 8% 7% 6% 5%

West Midlands

4%

England

3% 2% 1%

-I r is h th e r Bl -W W ac hi hi k te te C a an rib d M be Bl ix an ed ac As k -W ia Af n ric hi or As te an As ia an n i a d or As n As Br As ia ia n iti ia n Bl s o n h rA ac B k r it s I n i or an is di h an Bl Br -P ac i t ak is Bl k h Br ac is -B ta iti k C ni sh or an hi ne gl Bl -B a se ac de la k ck or sh Br O C i iti a th s r h er ib be -B Et an la hn ck ic Af G ro r ic up an -C hi ne se

sh M

-O

an d

ix ed

M

ix ed

-W hi

te

W hi te

W

W

hi te

rit i -B

hi te

To ta

l

0%

4.5% of white Irish men of pensionable age are providing this level of care. This compares with 7.0% of white British men. In fact, only one of the ethnic populations listed has a lower proportion of pensionable age men providing this level of care Bangladeshi men (4.4%). The highest proportion is found in the white and Black African population (7.9%) but the whole range – from the highest to the lowest – is only 3.4%.

29


Figure 26. Proportion of women of pensionable age providing between 1 and 19 hours a week of unpaid care 12% 10% 8% West Midlands

6%

England

4% 2%

M

ix ed

W hi te

To t

al -B r it is W h W hi -W hi t e te hi te Iri -O M sh an ix th ed d e r B -W W la ck hi hi te te C ar an i b d M be Bl ix an ed ac As k -W ia Af n r ic hi or As te an As ia an n i a d or As n As Br As ia ia n iti ia Bl n or sh n ac B A k r s I i nd ia tis or n ia h Bl Br n -P ac i t Bl is a k ki h ac Br st -B iti k C an sh or hi an i ne Bl -B g l se ac a l d a k es or ck Br hi O C iti th ar s er h ib -B be Et an hn la ck ic Af G ro ric up an -C hi ne se

0%

The range amongst women of pensionable age is higher – 5.1% from the lowest at 4.9% (white Irish women) to the highest at 10.0% (white and Black African women). 7.0% of white British women are providing this level of care. The picture in the West Midlands is lower or very similar to that in England as a whole. A marked exception to this is in the white and Black African population – 10.0% of the population of the West Midlands and 4.6% of the population of England. The following charts look at those people providing between 20 and 49 hours a week of unpaid care. Figures 27 and 28 look at carers aged between 16 and pensionable age and figures 29 and 30 look at carers of pensionable age. b. Between 20 and 49 hours a week of unpaid care Figure 27. Proportion of men aged between 16 and pensionable age providing 20 to 49 hours a week of unpaid care 2.50% 2.00% 1.50%

West Midlands England

1.00% 0.50%

-B M r it ix is ed W h W hi -W te hi te hi -I te -O ris M an h ix th ed d er B -W W la hi ck hi te C te a an rib d be M Bl ix an ac ed As k -W ia A n fri hi or ca As te n As ia a nd n i a or As n A Br As si ia an iti n ia sh Bl or n ac Br A In k si iti or an di sh an Bl B ac rit Pa is Bl k ki h Br ac st -B iti an k C sh an or hi i ne gl Bl -B a a se de la ck ck or sh Br C i O iti ar th s h ib er b Et ea Bl hn ac n ic k A G f ric ro up an -C hi ne se

W hi te

To t

al

0.00%

The chart above looks at men providing a higher level of care – between 20 and 49

30


hours each week. As the level of care has increased, the proportion of men aged between 16 and 64 involved has fallen on average by 7% - to just 1%. Interestingly those communities in which the largest proportion of men are participating are the Asian communities (Indian – 2.0%, Pakistani 2.0% and Bangladeshi 2.2%). 1.2% of the white Irish population are providing this level of care – slightly higher than in the white British population (1.1%). The lowest level of care comes from the Chinese population at 0.5%. Figure 28. Proportion of women aged between 16 and pensionable age providing 20 to 49 hours a week of unpaid care 3.5% 3.0% 2.5% 2.0%

West Midlands

1.5%

England

1.0% 0.5%

M

ix ed

W hi te

To t

al -B r it W is W -W h hi hi te hi te t M e I r O ix is an ed th h d er Bl -W W ac hi hi k te te C ar an i M bb d ix Bl ea ed As a n ia - W ck Af n As hi or r i ca te ia As n n an ia As or d n ia A A B n si si rit Bl an an or is ac h As Br k or ia In iti sh n d Bl Br ac - P ian iti Bl k s a ac Br h ki C k st -B iti hi or an sh a ne n i Bl g se ac Bl la ac de k or B k s O rit hi C th is ar er h ib -B Et be hn la an ck ic G A ro fri ca up n -C hi ne se

0.0%

1.9% of women aged between 16 and pensionable age are providing between 20 and 49 hours of care a week. This varies little between the different minority ethnic groups – from 0.7% amongst Chinese women, to 3.3% amongst Pakistani women. The white Irish population provides the fourth highest level of care (1.9%), an identical level to the white British population.

31


Figure 29. Proportion of men of pensionable age providing between 20 and 49 hours a week of unpaid care 3.0% 2.5% 2.0% West Midlands

1.5%

England

1.0% 0.5%

M ix ed

W hi te

To ta -B l r iti W -W W sh hi hi te hi t e te M -O ix Iri an ed sh th d er -W Bl a W ck hi hi te an Car te M ib d be Bl As ixed ac an ia -W k n Af As or h r ite ia ic As n an As an ia or n ia d A Br n As Bl s ia or iti ac ia n sh n As k Br or -I ia iti n n Bl s d h Br ac Bl - P ian i k ac Br tish a C k hi iti - B kis or sh ne ta Bl ni se - B ang ac la or la k d c B O es k rit th C hi is er ar h i Et bb -B hn ea la ic ck n G A ro fri up ca n -C hi ne se

0.0%

1.6% of the men of this age are providing between 20 and 49 hours a week of unpaid care – the same as in the white British population. The highest level is to be found amongst the Pakistani men (2.4%) and the lowest is to be found amongst the Chinese men (0.8%). Figure 30. Proportion of women of pensionable age providing between 20 and 49 hours a week of unpaid care 4.0% 3.5% 3.0% 2.5% West Midlands

2.0%

England

1.5% 1.0% 0.5%

-B r it W is W h hi h te it e hi t M e -O Iri ix an sh ed th d er Bl -W W ac hi hi k te te C ar an i M b d b ix Bl ea ed As a n ia - W ck n A As fri or hi ca te ia As n n an ia As or d n ia As As Br n Bl iti ia ia or ac sh n n As Br k -I or ia i tis n n d Bl h Br ac - P ian Bl iti k sh ak ac B rit C is k -B ta hi is or an ne h ni B -B gl se la a c l ac de or k Br k sh O C iti th i ar sh er i b -B Et be hn la an ck ic G Af ro ric up an -C hi ne se

M

ix ed

-W

W hi te

To t

al

0.0%

General levels of care of this level in this age are similarly low amongst women as they are amongst the men (figure 29). The highest level is to be found in the white and Asian population (3.5%) and the lowest level in the Chinese population (1.1%). In the white Irish population it is 1.4% and in the white British population 1.5%. Levels are similar in both the West Midlands and England with the exception of the white and Black African women and the white and Asian women.

32


The following charts look at those people providing 50 hours or more of care a week. Figures 31 and 32 look at people aged 16 to pensionable age. Figures 33 and 34 look at people of pensionable age. c. 50 or more hours a week of unpaid care Figure 31. Proportion of men aged between 16 and pensionable age providing 50 or more hours a week of unpaid care 2.5% 2.0% 1.5%

West Midlands England

1.0% 0.5%

M

ix ed

W hi te

To t

al -B r it is W h W -W hi hi t e te hi t Iri -O e M sh an ix th ed d er B -W W la ck hi hi te te C ar an i b d M be Bl ix an ed ac As k -W ia Af n r ic hi or As te an As ia an n i a As or d n As ia Br As n ia iti ia Bl or n sh n ac As Br -I k iti ia or nd sh n ia Bl Br n -P ac i t Bl i k a s k ac h Br i s -B k iti C ta sh or hi ni an ne Bl g se Bl la ac de ac k or sh k Br O C iti i th a s r ib er h -B be Et hn an la ck ic G Af ro ric up an -C hi ne se

0.0%

At the highest level of care provision (49+ hours a week) the white Irish men stand out a little from the rest in the West Midlands. 2.3% of white Irish men are providing 50 or more hours a week of unpaid care – more than 7 hours a day on average. This compares with 1.7% of the men of the West Midlands as a whole. In fact, the proportion of the white Irish population providing this level of care is the highest to be found amongst those populations listed. The lowest is in the Chinese population (0.7%). Figure 32. Proportion of women aged between 16 and pensionable age providing 50 or more hours a week of unpaid care 7% 6% 5% 4%

West Midlands

3%

England

2% 1%

M

ix ed

W hi te

To t

al -B r it is W W h -W hi hi t e hi te t M e -O Iri ix an sh th ed d er Bl -W W ac hi hi k te te C ar an i b M d be ix Bl ed an a As - W ck A ia n f h As r ic or ite an ia As an n ia As or d n ia As As Br n Bl ia iti ia or sh n ac n A B k s r In or iti ia sh di n Bl an Br ac -P iti Bl k a s ac h Br ki st -B k C iti an hi or sh an ne i B g la se B l a ck la d or es ck Br O hi C iti th ar sh er ib Et be Bl hn an ac ic k G A fri ro ca up n -C hi ne se

0%

On average, 2.9% of the women of the West Midlands aged between 16 and pensionable age are providing this highest level of weekly care. Only Bangladeshi

33


and Pakistani women have higher proportions involved 5.5% and 5.9% respectively). The white Irish population provides the third highest proportion – 3.3%. Figure 33. Proportion of men of pensionable age providing 50 or more hours a week of unpaid care 9% 8% 7% 6% 5%

West Midlands

4%

England

3% 2% 1%

W hi te

To ta l M B ix r iti ed W sh W hi -W hi t e te hi te Iri -O M sh an ix th ed d e rW Bl -W ac hi hi k te te C ar an ib d M be Bl ix an ed ac As k ia A W n fri hi or As ca te As ia n a n n i a As d or n As Br ia As n ia iti ia Bl n or sh n ac As Br -I k iti n ia or di sh n Bl an Br -P ac i t Bl i k a s k h ac Br is -B iti k ta C sh or hi ni an ne Bl g B la se ac l de ac k or sh k Br O C i iti th ar s er h ib b Et ea Bl hn ac n ic k Af G ro ric up an -C hi ne se

0%

4.2% of white Irish men of pensionable age are providing this high level of care – this compares with 5.1% of white British men. The highest level is to be found in the white and Asian population (8.1% - although this is not mirrored in the England picture) and the lowest level is to be found in the Chinese population (2.1%). Figure 34. Proportion of women of pensionable age providing 50 or more hours a week of unpaid care 7% 6% 5% 4%

West Midlands

3%

England

2% 1%

M ix ed

W hi te

To ta l -B rit W is W -W h hi hi te hi te te M -O Iri ix an sh th ed d e Bl rW -W ac hi hi k te te C ar an ib M d be ix Bl ed an As a ia - W ck Af n As hi or ric te ia an As a n ia nd As or n ia As As Br n Bl iti ia ia or ac sh n n A B k s r or In ia iti sh n d Bl Br ac - P ian iti Bl k s a ac Br h ki C k st -B iti hi or an sh a ne n i B gl se la B ad ck la or c e Br k sh O C iti th i ar sh er i b -B Et be hn la an ck ic G Af ro ric up an -C hi ne se

0%

34


For women of pensionable age, the population most involved with this highest level of care is the Bangladeshi population (6.5%). The Chinese women, as with the men, are the least involved (1.6%). 4.3% of the white Irish population is providing this level of care as is 4.2% of the white British population. The data from this section indicates that there are relatively high levels of care in the white Irish population (in comparison with the other populations listed) in the following population groups: - Working age women – 1-19 hours a week of care - Working age men – 50 + hours a week of care - Working age women – 50 + hours a week of care

10.5% 2.3% 3.3%

_____________________________________________________________________ In summary Providing care for a family member or other person can have a significant impact not only on the person caring but also on the dependents of the carer, as the time devoted to caring may mean that taking on employment is not possible. The above analysis demonstrates a complex pattern of care amongst the minority ethnic populations in the different age bands. What is needed is an assessment of the economic and health impacts of care provision as well as the support needs of those who are caring.

35


Section 5. Qualifications

_____________________________________________________________________ This section looks at educational achievement as measured by the attainment of qualifications. While there is a whole range of educational attainment, this section examines the topics by two means – the attainment of no qualifications at all, and the attainment of the highest levels of qualifications.

Figure 35. Proportion of 16 to 24 year olds with no qualifications 35% 30% 25% 20%

West Midlands

15%

England

10% 5%

N o

qu

al ifi c

at io ns W :t h ot M i t a e ix -B l ed r it -W W W is hi hi h hi te te M te ix a ed Iri O nd sh th -W er Bl ac W hi k te hi te an Ca M rib d i x As Bl be ed ia an - W ack n As or Af hi ia r ic As te n As an or an ia n As d Bl ian Br A ac or ia si iti n k an Br sh or Asi an -I iti Bl n s a B h d Bl - P ian ac ck B ritis C k ak h hi rit o ne is r B ish - B t se l - B ang ani or ack l O Br lack ade th sh C er itish ar i Et ib hn - Bl be a ic a G ck A n ro up fric - C an hi ne se

0%

Taking England as a whole, in the white Irish population aged between 16 and 24, 12.3% have no qualifications. In the West Midlands, this percentage increases to 16.6%. However, this remains a lower proportion than is found in the West Midlands population generally (18.8%) and the white British population (18.3%). The highest proportion is to be found in the Pakistani population in which 30.1% have no qualifications.

36


Figure 36. Proportion of 16 to 24 years with qualifications at level 4/5 11 30% 25% 20% West Midlands

15%

England

10% 5%

Le ve l

4/ 5: W to hi ta t e M -B l ix ed r it W is -W W h hi hi t hi e t e te M -O Iri ix a ed sh nd th er -W Bl a W ck hi hi te te an Car M ib d ix b B ea ed As la n ia - W ck n A As or hi fri ia te ca As n an n As ia or n d ia A Br As n Bl s ia or iti ac ia n sh n As k Br or ia i In tis n Bl d h Br ac - P ian Bl iti k ac sh a B C k rit - B kist hi or is ne an h an Bl se i gl ac Bl ad or k ac Br es O k iti th hi C sh a er Et - B ribb hn ea la ic ck n G A ro up frica n -C hi ne se

0%

16.3% of the white Irish population of the West Midlands aged between 16 and 24 have qualifications at levels 4 or 5. Only two groups have higher proportions – ‘other white’ (26.3%) and Chinese (24.8%). The white British population fares relatively poorly – with only 8.8% attaining levels 4 or 5. Interestingly, the proportion of the white Irish population in the region with qualifications at this level (16.3%) is lower than that in England (21.9%). This is a larger absolute differential than in the case of any other of the ethnic groups listed, although proportional differentials are larger in the white and Black African and the Indian populations, for example.

Figure 37. The proportion of the population with no qualifications 90% 80% 70% 60% no qualifications white Irish

50%

no qualifications white British 40%

no qualifications all

30% 20% 10% 0% 16 - 24

25 - 34

35 -49

50 - 59

60 - 64

65 - 74

The chart above clearly indicates how the older generations have a far greater proportion of people with no qualifications than the younger generations reflecting changes in education. Whereas 13.4% of 25 to 34 year old white Irish people had no qualifications, this rises to 77.2% of those aged between 65 and 74. 11

Level 4/5 equates to a first degree, higher degree, NVQ levels 4-5, HNC, HND, qualified teacher status, qualified medical doctor, qualified dentist, qualified nurse, midwife, health visitor or equivalents.

37


However, there are also other patterns in existence. In the 16 to 24 and the 25 to 34 age groups, a lesser proportion of the white Irish population than the white British population have no qualifications. In all other age groups, the pattern is reversed. In the 50 to 59 age group, for example, 56.3% of white Irish people in the West Midlands have no qualifications along with 43.7% of the white British population. 77.2% of the white Irish population aged 65 to 74 has no qualifications in comparison with 67.6% of the white British population. The age band in which the change occurs is the 35 to 49 years – before this age group there is a smaller proportion of white Irish people with no qualifications than there is amongst white British people. Figure 38. The proportion of the population with qualifications at levels 4 or 5. 40% 35% 30% 25% white Irish 20%

white British all

15% 10% 5% 0% 16 - 24

25 - 34

35 -49

50 - 59

60 - 64

65 - 74

With the exception of the 16-24 age group, many members of which may not have had time to reach higher levels of qualifications thus far, the general trend is downward as the older generations have fewer individuals with higher levels of qualifications. It is very apparent that more of the white Irish population are achieving these higher levels of qualifications than the rest of the population of the West Midlands. 35.5% of the white Irish population aged between 25 and 34 have higher levels of qualifications in comparison with 21.1% of the white British population. 25.7% of the white Irish population aged between 35 and 49 have higher levels of qualifications in comparison with 18.8% of the white British population. Hickman and Walter (1997) 12 notice the trend for a high proportion of the Irish population to have high level qualifications and term it a ‘brain drain’ – a tendency for some migrants to be highly qualified. They also recognise the tendency for other migrants to be ‘on the other end of the scale’ and have no qualifications at all. They create a picture of two extremes.

_____________________________________________________________________ In summary Hickman and Walter (ibid) found a dual picture of Irish people in Britain. A high proportion of Irish people with high level qualifications and a high proportion of people with no qualifications. However, in terms of the younger sections of the white Irish population (those in the age bands below 35 years of age), there is a relatively small proportion of people with no qualifications at all.

12

Hickman MJ and Walter B (1997) Discrimination and the Irish Community in Britain, The Commission for Racial Equality.

38


Section 6. Home tenure and accommodation type

_____________________________________________________________________ The type of housing in which a community lives can say much about its position in society and about the impact of other community characteristics such as economic activity and income. Type and nature of housing can also impact on a community and affect how it functions in terms of, for example, health and well-being. This section looks at type of housing in broad terms – such as ownership and whether it is shared.

Figure 39. Proportion of the population which owns own home 90% 80% 70% 60% 50%

West Midlands

40% 30%

England

20% 10%

M

O w ns

ho m

e: W to hi ta te l ix Br ed iti W -W W sh hi hi hi te te M te -I ix an ris O ed th h er -W dB la W hi ck hi te te an Car M i d b i x b B As ed ea la ia n - W ck n A As or hi f r ia ic te As n an As an ia or n ia d A n Br Bl As s ia or ac iti ia n As n k Br sh or ia i tis In n Bl d h Br ac Bl - P ian iti k ac sh Br ak C k iti hi or sh - Ba ista ne Bl ni se ng -B ac la or la k d c Br es O k th iti C hi sh er ar i Et bb -B hn ea la ic ck n G A ro up fric - C an hi ne se

0%

70.7% of the population of the West Midlands own their own home. This is slightly higher than the England-wide proportion of 69.3%. 66.8% of the white Irish population own their own home – the fourth highest percentage after the Indian population (85.2%); the Pakistani population (71.9%) and the white British population (71.7%). The lowest level is in the Black African population – 31.6% These figures include people who own their own home outright (have no further payments to make on it) and those who own it with the help of a mortgage or other loan. The following charts give this breakdown.

39


Figure 40. Proportion of the population who own their own home outright 40% 35% 30% 25% West Midlands

20%

England

15% 10% 5%

-B

hi te

W

M

ix ed

O

w ns

ou t

rig

ht :

to

ta l r -W iti W W s hi hi h hi te te M te ix -O -I an ed ris h - W d B the rW la hi ck h te ite an Ca M rib d i x Bl be As ed a an ia - W ck n As A o hi rA f ia r te ic n As si an a or a ia As n B n d Bl n As or ac r it ia ia n i k As n Br sh or ia -I iti Bl n n s a B d h Bl - P ian ac ck B ritis C ak h k r hi i or ti is ne Bl sh - Ban tan se i gl Bl or ack Br ack ade O th s i t C hi is er ar Et h ib Bl be hn ac an ic k G Af ro r ic up - C an hi ne se

0%

25.3% of the population of the West Midlands own their own homes outright – 1% higher than the population of England as a whole (24.0%). In the white Irish population, 32.2% own their own homes outright – only the Indian population (32.9%) and Pakistani populations (33.7%) of the West Midlands have higher levels of outright ownership. This pattern is also true of England as a whole. The lowest levels are in the white and Black Caribbean population (5.3%) and the white and Black African population (7.8%). Figure 41. Proportion of the population who own their own home with a mortgage or loan 60% 50% 40% West Midlands

30%

England

20% 10%

O w ns

w

ith

m

or tg ag e: W to hi M ta te ix ed -B l r it -W W W is hi hi h hi te M te te ix a ed Iri O nd th sh -W Bl er ac hi W k te hi te an Ca M rib d i x As Bl be ed ia an - W ack n As or Af h ia ite r ic As n As an or ia an n Bl ian As d Br ac or A ia it si k n an or Asi Br ish an -I iti Bl sh nd ac Br Bl k - P ian ac i C Br tish k ak hi iti or ne Ba ista Bl sh se ni ng or ack - Bl O Br ack lade th sh C er itish ar i Et hn - Bl ibbe a ic a G ck A n ro up fric - C an hi ne se

0%

45.5% of the population of both England and the West Midlands own their own home but do so with the aid of a mortgage or loan. The proportion in the white Irish population is 34.6% reflecting the high proportion of people who own their homes outright. Amongst the white British population, 46.4% have a mortgage or loan.

40


Figure 42. Proportion of the population in social housing 60% 50% 40% West Midlands

30%

England

20% 10%

So ci a

lr en t: W to hi ta te l M ix B r it ed W is W -W h hi hi te hi t e -I te M ris ix O an ed th h d er Bl -W W ac hi hi k te te C ar an ib M d be ix Bl ed an As a ia - W ck A n fri As hi or ca te ia As n n an ia As or d n ia A A B n si si rit Bl an or an is ac h As Br k or ia iti In sh n d Bl Br ac - P ian iti Bl k s a ac Br h ki C k st -B iti hi or an sh a ne ng Bl i se ac Bl la ac de k or B k sh O rit C th i is ar er h ib -B Et be hn la an ck ic G A ro fri ca up n -C hi ne se

0%

18.6% of the population of the West Midlands is in social housing (including properties rented from the local council). This is a similar proportion to that found in England as a whole – 17.6%. 21.8% of the white Irish population lives in social housing – the seventh highest proportion of each of the ethnic groups listed. The highest level is to be found in the white and Black Caribbean population (48.5%) and the lowest level is to be found in the Indian population (5.7%).

41


Figure 43. Proportion of the population in private rented accommodation 35% 30% 25% 20%

West Midlands

15%

England

10% 5%

-W W W sh hi hi hi te te te ix an Ir i O ed sh th -W dB er l a W hi c k hi te te an Ca M rib d i xe be Bl As d a an ia - W ck n As Af or h ric ia ite As n an As an ia or ia n d As n Bl B A r it or ac ia si i n an k As Br sh or ia iti I Bl n nd sh Br ac Bl - P ian iti k ac s B C a h k r it hi - B k is or is ne ta h Bl se ni - B ang ac or la la k d ck Br O e th sh iti C er s i ar ib Et h be Bl hn ac an ic k G Af ro r ic up - C an hi ne se

rit i

ix ed M

M

-B

hi te

Pr iv

at e

W

re nt e

d: to t

al

0%

6.6% of the population of the West Midlands is living in privately rented accommodation. The white Irish population has one of the lowest proportions – 6.3% - with the level rising to 28.1% in the Black African community, for example. The lowest level is in the Black Caribbean population (5.1%). Generally, there are lower levels of private renting in the West Midlands than is found in England as a whole. The exceptions to this are in the Bangladeshi, Black African and Chinese populations. Figure 44. Proportion of the population in communal establishments 14% 12% 10% 8%

West Midlands England

6% 4% 2%

Li vi

ix e

M

ng

in

co m m

un a

le

st a

bl is hm e W d hi nt: te to M Wh W - ta ix it ed e hit Wh Bri l - W and e - ite tish O hi Bl th - Ir a t e i As Mi e a ck r W sh As ia xed nd Ca hi te B r A i n Bl sia an or - W lac ibbe ac n or As h k a k or A ia ite Af n r or A sia n B a n ica C Bla Bla sian n B riti d A n hi c ck B riti sh sia ne k se or Bri ritis sh - In n t B i or la sh h - - P dia n O ck B a th B Bl an kist er rit ac g an l Et ish k C ad i e hn ic Bl arib shi G ac be ro k up Af an - C rica hi n ne se

0%

The proportion of people living in communal establishments has a significant range – from 0.3% (Pakistani) to 13.1% (Chinese) between the ethnic groups listed. 1.5% of the West Midlands’ population as a whole is living in communal establishments, including 2.2% of the white Irish population – slightly higher than the white British population (1.5%).

42


1.1% of the white Irish population is living in medical and care communal establishments – slightly higher than the 0.8% of the white British population in medical and care establishments – and a further 1.1% are living in other communal establishments along with less than 0.6% of the white British population. Figure 45a. Proportion of the male population in key examples of communal establishments in the West Midlands (not including staff members) – by establishment type (whole numbers are given in parenthesis, ‘neg.’ suggests number less than 20)

Psychiatric hospitals and homes Nursing homes Residential care homes Prison service establishments Probation/bail hostels

White Irish population 0.04% (neg.) 0.18% (64) 0.44% (155) 0.29% (103) 0.01% (neg.)

White British population 0.03% (667) 0.15% (3,228) 0.22% (4,897) 0.11% (2,531) 0.01% (131)

Whole population 0.03% (845) 0.16% (4,023) 0.23% (5,966) 0.13% (3,407) 0.01% (163)

Figure 45b. Proportion of the female population in key examples of communal establishments in the West Midlands (not including staff members) – by establishment type (whole numbers are given in parenthesis, ‘neg.’ suggests number less than 20)

Psychiatric hospitals and homes Nursing homes Residential care homes Prison service establishments Probation/bail hostels

White Irish population 0.01% (neg.) 0.56% (209) 0.70% (213) 0.02% (neg.) 0% (neg.)

White British population 0.02% (547) 0.36% (8,450) 0.55% (10,117) 0.01% (216) 0% (neg.)

Whole population 0.03% (678) 0.39% (10,516) 0.55% (11,655) 0.01% (260) 0% (neg.)

Noticeably, white Irish men have a significantly higher proportion of people in nursing homes and residential care homes in comparison with white British men. In terms of residential care homes and nursing homes, this is likely to be related to the relative age of the male white Irish population in comparison with the rest of the population. However, there is no other data from the Census which can offer explanations for the proportion of the white Irish population in psychiatric hospitals and prison. Discussion surrounding a high proportion of Black Caribbean people in prisons and in psychiatric units suggests that direct and indirect racism 13 has a significant role. This was the similar finding of Bracken et al 1998 14 in terms of

13

Direct racism is where a person is directly refused a service or receives physical abuse because of racism. Indirect racism is where a condition is imposed on a service which consequently means that an individual cannot achieve it. 14 Bracken P, Greenslade L, Griffin B, Smyth M, 1998, Mental health and ethnicity: an Irish dimension. British Journal of Psychiatry Vol 172 pp103-105.

43


hospital admissions for mental health issues for Irish people. They found that the neglect of the Irish community in this regard is untenable. Figure 46. Proportion of households comprising a lone pensioner 25% 20% 15%

West Midlands England

10% 5%

O ne

pe n

si on e

rh

ou se ho l W ds: M hi to ix t ta e ed -B l -W r it W W is hi h M h te hite ix i t e an -I ed O r is - W d B th la e r W h hi ck te an Ca hite M r d As ixe Bl ibb d ia ea a n As n W ck or i Af As hite As an r i c o an an r A ia n Bl ian ac si Br d A or a k i si n t or As an Br ish B l ia n iti ac sh - In Bl B d a r k C Br itish - P ian hi ck ak or iti ne sh is B se B t or lack - B ang ani l l a O ad B c th r er itis k C esh ar Et h i hn Bl ibb ea ac ic n k G A ro up fric - C an hi ne se

0%

31.9% of the West Midlands white Irish population are aged over 65. It is thus perhaps not surprising that 21.1% of white Irish households comprise a sole pensioner. This compares to 15.1% in the white British population. The lowest proportion is to be found in the Bangladeshi population – 1.8%. Figure 47. Proportion of households with more than one related pensioner 12% 10% 8% West Midlands

6%

England

4% 2%

O ne

fa m il y

ho us

eh ol d

s, al l

pe

ns io ne W rs: M hi ix ed te tota l -W W W Brit hi h M i h s i t t i ix e d e a e - te - h O Ir - W nd t h Bl er ish hi a ck W te h a C M ar ite As ixe nd ib B i d be As an - W lac a or k Af n hi As ian A t r s o e i i a Bl ca i r a ac n o A s an Br nd A n r i k iti or As an si a Bl ian Bri sh B ti -I n a nd C lac ck Bri sh hi tis B k P ian ne ri o h se r B tish - B aki st l a a or a c O k B Bla ngla ni th c er ritis k C des Et h hi a hn Bl ribb ic ac ea G ro k A n up fri - C can hi ne se

0%

Again, reflecting the high proportion of people of pensionable age in the white Irish population, a high proportion are living in households in which all inhabitants are pensioners who are related to each other (e.g. a married couple) – 11.0%. This compares to 9.6% in the white British population and 0.7% in the Bangladeshi population.

44


_____________________________________________________________________ In summary Housing can be very important in terms of a person’s health and well-being. The analysis of the relevant data in this section suggests that the white Irish population has a relatively high level of home ownership and, in comparison with the white British populations, a relatively high proportion living in rented accommodation (both social and private). A relatively high proportion of Irish people live in medical and care establishments including nursing homes, residential care homes, prison and psychiatric homes. There is a relatively high proportion of lone pensioner households in the white Irish population.

45


Section 7. Amenities

_____________________________________________________________________ There are certain measures which are used by researchers to assess the quality of life of households. In the Census these include central heating, overcrowding, bathroom sharing and car ownership.

Figure 48. Proportion of the population living without central heating 30% 25% 20% West Midlands

15%

England

10% 5%

N o

ce

nt ra

lh ea t in g: W h M ite tota ix ed -B l r it -W W W is hi hi h hi te te M t e ix a ed Iri O nd th sh -W er Bl ac W hi te k hi te an Ca M rib d As ixe Bl b e d ia an - W ack n As or Af hi ia r ic As te n As an or an ia n Bl ian As d B ac A or ia r si it n k an or Asi Br ish an -I iti Bl sh nd ac Br Bl k - P ian ac C Br itish k ak hi iti or ne Ba ista Bl sh se -B ni ng or ack l O Br lack ade th sh C er itish ar i Et ib hn - Bl be a ic a G ck A n ro up fric - C an hi ne se

0%

10.3% of the white Irish population in the West Midlands is living without central heating. Only two populations have higher levels without central heating – the Pakistani (27.0%) and Bangladeshi (23.6%) populations. As a comparison the proportion of the white British population living without central heating is 9.6%. The lowest proportion without central heating is to be found in the Chinese population (9.6%). In each of the populations listed, the proportion without central heating is lower in the West Midlands than it is in England as a whole. This is particularly pronounced in the Bangladeshi population. There are a number of factors which may have an impact on the different levels of central heating. These include: - Expense Central heating is an expensive investment. Economic activity is comparatively low amongst both white Irish men and white Irish women (section 2: Economic activity and inactivity). This leaves a relatively high proportion of the white Irish population living on forms of income other than earnings – pensions, benefits etc. In such situations, affording central heating may not be possible. - Home ownership Tenants may have no say in the type of heating provided by a landlord (private or otherwise). It is only when a home is owned by the occupier that they can make their own decisions about heating adaptations. There is a relatively high proportion of the white Irish population living in homes that they own (figure 39).

46


Figure 49. Proportion of population with an occupancy rating of –1 or less 15 60% 50% 40% West Midlands

30%

England

20% 10%

M ix ed

W hi te

To t

al -B r it is W h W hi -W hi t e te hi te Iri -O M sh an ix th ed d e rW Bl -W ac hi hi k te te C ar an ib d M be Bl ix an ed ac As k ia A W n fri hi or As ca te As ia n a n nd ia As or n As Br ia As n ia iti ia Bl or n sh n ac As Br -I k iti n ia or di sh n Bl an Br -P ac i t Bl i k ak s h ac Br is -B k iti ta C sh or hi ni an ne Bl -B g l se ac a l d ac k es or k Br hi O C iti th a s r ib er h b Et Bl ea hn ac n ic k Af G ro ric up an -C hi ne se

0%

An occupancy rating of –1 or less suggests overcrowding. In the West Midlands, 7.9% of the population are in accommodation with an occupancy rating of –1 or less. In the white Irish population, 8.8% are living with an occupancy rating of –1 or less. Only the white British population has a lower proportion – 5.9%. Given the high proportion of people living in single pensioner households, this is perhaps not surprising. Figure 50. Proportion of the population living in households without sole use of shower/bath and toilet 1.4% 1.2% 1.0% 0.8%

West Midlands England

0.6% 0.4% 0.2%

w ith

ou t

M ix e

so le

us e

of s

ho w

er /b

at h

& t W oile d hi t: -W te to M ix hite Wh W - B tal ed ite h rit - W and - O ite ish hi Bla the - Iri te s As Mi an ck C r W h As ia xed d ar hite n B i A i Bl sia an or - W lac bbe ac n or As hi k A an k or As ia te or A ia n a fric a n B n B s C Bla la ian B ritis d A n hi ck ck r Br itis h - sia ne se or Brit itis h - In n or Bla ish h - Pa dia O ck - B Ba kis n th B er rit lac ngl tan Et ish k C ad i hn a es ic Bla rib hi G ck be ro a up Af n - C rica hi n ne se

0.0%

In the West Midlands, 0.18% of the population are living without sole use of basic toilet facilities (the proportion of the population of England is 0.21%). Only one group 15

The occupancy rating in the Census assumes that every household, including one-person households, requires a minimum of two common rooms (excluding bathrooms). An occupancy rating of –1 implies that there is one room too few and that there is thus overcrowding in the household.

47


reaches the 1.00% level – the Black African population. 0.25% of the white Irish population are living without sole use of a shower or bath and a toilet – the same proportion as in England’s white Irish population. The white British population has the lowest proportion without sole use: 0.11%. Figure 51. The proportion of the population which does not own a car or van 60% 50% 40% West Midlands

30%

England

20% 10%

M ix ed

W hi te

-B r it is W h h W it e -W hi t -I e hi r is -O te M h an th ix er ed d B W -W la hi ck te hi C te ar an ib be d M Bl an ix ac ed As k Af ia W n r ic hi or an te As As an ia n ia d n or As As Br As ia ia iti n n i sh an Bl or ac B As I r nd iti k ia sh or ia n n Bl Br -P ac iti a sh ki k Bl st Br ac -B an iti k C an sh i or hi gl -B ne Bl a ac de se la ck k sh or Br i C O i ar tis th ib h er be -B Et an la hn c k ic Af G ric ro up an -C hi ne se

0%

42.2% of the white Irish population of the West Midlands does not own either a car or a van. The group with the lowest level of car or van ownership is the Black African population (52.6% does not own one). The Indian population has the highest proportion – 20.0%. 25.6% of the white British population does not own a car. One factor in the relatively low level of car ownership in the white Irish population could be expense – with low levels of economic activity (section 2: Economic activity and inactivity) leaving a proportion of the population reliant on forms of income other than a salary. Hickman and Walter (1997) suggest that, in large part, such issues as car ownership could be dependent on the tendency of the Irish population to ‘cluster’ in urban areas.

__________________________________________________________________ In summary Like housing tenure, the picture provided by the Census data on amenities is a complex one. This section illustrates that the white Irish population has a relatively high proportion of the population living without central heating; a low proportion of people without sole use of bathroom facilities and a high proportion of people living in overcrowded accommodation in comparison with the white British population, although a relatively low proportion in comparison with other minority ethnic populations. A relatively high proportion of white Irish households are without a car. Each of these high proportions of ‘doing without’ may point, at least in part, towards relative poverty, although other factors will also play a part.

48


Section 8. Health

_____________________________________________________________________ This section looks at the health of the population. This is not based on medical records or hospital admissions but on questions in the Census about how people rated their own health. There are two questions – whether people have limiting long-term illness and whether people feel themselves to be in good or poor health.

Respondents were asked, in the Census form, whether they had ‘any long-term illness, health problem or disability which limits your daily activities or the work you can do’. The illnesses or disabilities that people were thinking of when answering this question must inevitably cover a very wide range of health issues including both physical and mental complaints. The key issue that the question presents is that of the long-lasting nature of the health issue or disability. The other question relating to people’s own analysis of their health, relates only to the previous twelve months. This is examined in figures 59 and 60 at the end of this section. The following figures look at the proportion of the population that said yes, they did have a limiting long-term illness. Figure 52. Proportion of 0 to 15 year old girls with limiting long-term illness 6% 5% 4% West Midlands

3%

England

2% 1%

M ix ed

Li m iti

ng

lo ng -

te r

m

illn e W ss: hi te tota l -W W W Brit hi h M i h s i t t ix e d e a e - it e - h O I - W nd Bl the rish hi a r ck W te h a C M ar ite As ixe nd i b B i d As an - W lac bea or k As ian h Af n A r ic si ite Bl ian or a a an A ac n Br nd k or A sia As n or i t s ia Bl ian Bri ish B t a -I n nd C lac ck Bri ish hi ne k o Brit tish - Pa ian se r B ish - B ki st or lac a an O k B Bla ngl i a th c r d er itis k C e s Et h h a h n - B r ib i be la ic c a G ro k A n up fri - C can hi ne se

0%

In the West Midlands 3.8% of girls under 16 years old have a limiting illness. Amongst white Irish girls, this rises to 4.7% - close to the level amongst the Pakistani and Bangladeshi girls (both 4.5%). The level of long-term limiting illness amongst white Irish girls is the third highest of those listed – behind Black Caribbean girls (5.4%) and white Black Caribbean girls (5.2%). The differential between the West Midlands and England is higher amongst white Irish girls than in any other of the ethnic populations listed. In the West Midlands, 4.5% of girls have limiting long-term illness in comparison with 3.8% of the equivalent population in England. The differentials between the West Midlands and England in each of the ethnic groups varies. There is not a clear pattern relating to how limiting long-term illness is experienced in this age group in the region in comparison to the country as a whole.

49


Figure 53. Proportion of 0 to 15 year old boys with limiting long-term illness 8% 7% 6% 5% West Midlands

4%

England

3% 2% 1%

M ix ed

Li m iti

ng

lo ng -

te r

m

illn e W ss hi : to te ta -W l W W Brit hi M h te ite hit ish ix ed a -O e- W nd th Iris B e l hi h te ack r W an C M hi te As ix ar e d i As ian d - Bla bbe c W o a i an A r h kA n fr Bl sian or Asia ite ac a ica A n k or A sia n B nd or si n B ritis As B a i h a r B l n C lac ack Br itish - In n hi ne k o Bri itish - P dia se r B tis - B ak n or lac h a is O k B Bla ng tani th l er ritis ck ade C s Et h a hn - B rib hi be ic la G ck an ro up Afr i c - C an hi ne se

0%

Levels of limiting illness are slightly higher amongst young boys than girls – 5.1%. Amongst white Irish boys the proportion is again higher than the white British boys 5.7% and 5% respectively. Amongst boys, the white Irish population has the fourth highest level of long-term limiting illness behind white and Black Caribbean boys (6.8%), Black Caribbean boys (6.4%) and Pakistani boys (6.0%). Figure 54. Proportion of 16 to 49 year old women with limiting long-term illness 2.5% 2.0% 1.5%

West Midlands England

1.0% 0.5%

Li m iti

ng

lo ng -

te r

m

illn

e W ss: M t hi ix te o ta ed -B l -W ri W W hi hi tish hi M t t t e e e ix -O -I an ed - W d B the rish la rW hi ck te hi C a te M a n As ixe d B ribb d la ea i As an o - W ck n Af ia r h i A r ic n As te s or an i a Bl ian As an B nd ac or A i r a i k or Asi n B tish sian an r it Bl -I i s a n B B h c - P dian C lack k B ritis hi h r it a o ne - B kis i se r Bl sh an tan a or c Bl gl i ac ad O kB th r k er itis C esh ar i Et h hn Bl ibb ea a ic c n k G A ro up fric - C an hi ne se

0.0%

1.1% of women in the general population in the West Midlands aged between 16 and 49 have a limiting long-term illness. In the white Irish population, the proportion is 0.9%. Highest levels of limiting long-term illness are amongst Pakistani women (1.9%). The three populations with lower levels than in the white Irish population are Chinese women (0.6%) and Black African women (0.5%). Indian women have the same proportion with long-term limiting illness as white Irish women.

50


Figure 55. Proportion of 16 to 49 year old men with limiting long-term illness 16% 14% 12% 10% West Midlands

8%

England

6% 4% 2%

M ix ed

Li m iti

ng

lo ng -

te r

m

illn e W ss: hi te tota -B l -W W r it W h h M ite hite ish ix i t e ed -O an - W d B th Iris h l ac er W hi te k hi C a M te n As ixe d B arib be d ia l a - W ck As n an or As ian As hite Afri o c ia r an a Bl ian ac or Asia n B nd As k r it A n or is s i Bl ian Brit h - an Bl is ac I B n h a r k C - P dia Br itis hi ck n h ne or a iti s se B B kis h or lack - B ang tan i l O th Bri ack lade tis er C s h h a Et hn - B ribb i la ic ea c G ro k A n up fric - C an hi ne se

0%

Amongst men in this middle age group, limiting long-term illness rises dramatically, from 1.1% of West Midlands’ women to 10.1% of men. Amongst white Irish men, the percentage is 14.4% - the highest proportion of all the ethnic groups listed. It would perhaps not be unreasonable to suggest at least a partial link between this high level to the high proportion of white Irish men working in the construction industry – 21.5% (figure 21). The lowest proportion is to be found in the Chinese population of this age group (3.5%). The differentials between the England data and the equivalent regional data do not follow a clear pattern. In some ethnic populations there is a greater prevalence of limiting long-term illness in the region rather than the country as a whole. In others, the situation is reversed. The white Irish population has the largest absolute difference between the regional situation (14.4%) and the England-wide situation (11.8%). Figure 56. Proportion of 50 to 64 year old women with limiting long-term illness 60% 50% 40% West Midlands

30%

England

20% 10%

Li m iti

ng

lo ng -

te r

m

illn

e W ss: M hi ix te tota ed -B l -W W r it W h h i h M it e it e s h ix i t e ed an -O - W d B th Iris h la e r hi ck W te an Ca hite M As ixe d B rib b d i As an - W lack ea n or i a A h As n As ite fri o c i ia a r Bl an an n ac n o A s Br d A r A ia k i n t s or is s i Bl ian Brit h - an Bl ac is In B h a k r C - P dia Br itis hi ck n h ne o i a se r B tish - B kis - B an tan or lac gl i la O kB a c th er ritis k C des hi ar Et h hn Bl ibb ic ac ea G ro k A n up fri - C can hi ne se

0%

51


27.7% of the older women in the West Midlands has a limiting long-term illness. Amongst white Irish women, the proportion rises to 31.5%. Five groups have lower levels than the white Irish population. These are the white British women (26.4%), the other white women (25.1%), the white and Black African women (24.0%), Black African women (29.7%) and Chinese women (27.8%). Figure 57. Proportion of 50 to 64 year old men with limiting long-term illness 60% 50% 40% West Midlands

30%

England

20% 10%

Li m iti

ng

lo ng -

te r

m

illn e W ss: t hi M te o ta ix ed -B l -W ri W W hi hi tish hi M t t t e e e ix -O -I an ed r - W d B the ish rW la hi c te k hi an Ca te M As ixe d B ribb d l ia - W ack ean n As or Af ia h ite As r ic n As o an i a i an r a n Bl Br d A ac n or Asia i si k a or Asi n B tish an r it Bl -I n i sh ac nd Bl Br a k iti - P ian C s hi ck o Bri ak ne tis h r Ba ist Bl h se an a n or c Bl gl i ac ad O kB th r it k e s er C is hi ar Et h hn Bl ibb e a ic G ck A an ro up fric - C an hi ne se

0%

26.4% of white British men in this age group have a limiting illness. For white Irish men, this proportion rises to 35.2%. Only four populations of men have higher levels than in the white Irish population – Indian men (36.4%), Pakistani men (48.9%), Bangladeshi men (57.1%) and Black Caribbean men (36.3%). Figure 58. Proportion of women aged 65 or over with limiting long-term illness 80% 70% 60% 50% West Midlands

40%

England

30% 20% 10%

Li m iti

ng

lo ng -

te r

m

illn

es s: W t h M it e o ta ix ed -B l -W ri W W hi tish hi hi t M t e te e ix -O -I an ed r - W d B the ish rW la hi ck te hi te an Ca M rib d As ixe B be l d ia an - W ack n As or Af hi ia r A te n ic As si an or an an Bl ian As d B ac As or ia r i t k n ia or Asi Br ish n an -I iti Bl s n ac Br Bl h di k -P ac an C Br itish k a hi iti or ne - B kis s h Bl se an tan i gl or ack - Bl a O Br ck ade th i s t C is er hi ar Et h hn Bl ibbe a ic a G ck A n ro f ric up - C an hi ne se

0%

54.9% of the women of the West Midlands aged 65 or older have a limiting, long-term illness, rising to 68.0% of Indian women. At 50.7%, white Irish women have the lowest proportion of each of the ethnic groups listed with the single exception of Chinese women (50.0%).

52


Figure 59. Proportion of men aged 65 or over with limiting long-term illness 70% 60% 50% 40%

West Midlands

30%

England

20% 10%

Li m iti

ng

lo ng -

te r

m

illn e W ss: M t hi ix te o ta ed -B l -W ri W W hi hi tish hi M t t t e e e ix -O -I an ed - W d B the rish la rW hi ck te hi C a te M a n As ixe d B ribb d la ea i As an o - W ck n Af ia r h i As r ic n As te or an i a Bl ian As an B nd ac or A i r a i k or Asi n B tish sian an r it Bl -I i s a n B B h c - P dian C lack k B ritis hi h r it a o ne - B kis i se r Bl sh an tan a or c Bl gl i ac ad O kB th r k er itis C esh ar i Et h hn Bl ibb ea a ic c n k G A ro up fric - C an hi ne se

0%

Whereas in previous age groups, white Irish men have fared comparatively badly relative to the other ethnic groups listed, in this oldest age group, other ethnic groups are tending to fare comparatively worse. 50.3% of white Irish men in this age group have limiting illness. Overall, 18.9% of the population of all ages, and both genders, in the West Midlands have a limiting long-term illness in comparison with 17.9% of the population of England as a whole. The white Irish population is the ethnic group, of those listed, with the highest level – 30.8%. The ethnic groups with the next highest level are the Black Caribbean population (20.5%) and the white British population (19.2%). The high proportion amongst the white Irish population when looking at it over all ages and genders lies largely in the large proportion of the population who are aged 65 and over (31.9%), where limiting long-term illnesses are more common, regardless of ethnic group. On the subject of health, the Census form also asked if, over the previous 12 months, respondents would say that their health had been good, fairly good or not good. As health can fluctuate in a 12 month period, it is the responsibility of the respondent to find some form of average or overall feeling of health which may, of course, be affected by how the respondent was feeling, health-wise, at the time of completing the Census form. For under 16 year olds, it may be that parents are completing their Census details on their behalf which means that the health rating is likely to be the parent’s assessment rather than the child’s own assessment. The following two figures look at those respondents who rated their health as being not good.

53


Figure 60. Proportion of women in the region who rated their health as being not good 30%

25%

20% white Irish 15%

white British all

10%

5%

0% 0-15

16-49

50-64

65 +

It is clear from the data, that being in not good health increases with age as we would expect. What is interesting is that there is greater experience of being in not good health amongst white Irish women between the ages of 16 and 64 – working age. 28.5% of white Irish women and 20.8% of white British women aged between 16 and 64 are not in good health.

Figure 61. Proportion of men in the region who rated their health as being not good 30% 25% 20% white Irish 15%

white British all

10% 5% 0% 0-15

16-49

50-64

65 +

Amongst the men of the West Midlands, the disparity between the experience of the white Irish population and that of the white British population is greater. 32.5% of white Irish men aged between 16 and 64 are not in good health. This compares with 20.6% of white British men. Unlike the women, however, the disparity amongst men continues into the 65 and over age group. The health of a population is a complex issue with many inter-linked factors at play. Relatively high rates of long-term illness amongst Irish people are discussed at some length by Hickman and Walter (1997) as well as other commentators. What is clear is that there is no single answer to the matter of why there are relatively high levels of ill-health (and mortality) amongst Irish populations. The following are some of those factors which could be at play: Poverty and housing As established earlier in this report, the white Irish population has a comparatively low level of economic activity (section 2: Economic activity and inactivity) which implies reliance on other forms of income such as pensions and benefits. Likewise a relatively high proportion of the white Irish population is living in social housing (figure 42). Both of these factors may have an impact on the health of individuals.

54


Socio-economic status As well as practical issues related to class, people of lower social classes may also view their own health differently bringing about reporting differences. Changes brought about by the act of migration Living in a rural setting in Ireland and moving to an inner-city area of Birmingham, for example, can represent a significant change in a person’s life which may impact on their health. Negative experiences of host country and racism Many commentators have documented racism and discrimination experienced by Irish people in England both in the past and currently. Lifestyle factors The links between excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and poor diet and poor health are now clearly established and need to be taken into consideration when looking at any population experiencing poor health. Genetics In any discussion of health, genetics may play a factor. Certain illnesses (e.g. cancers) have strong genetic components. In a single community of people this may impact on the incidence of those illnesses. Occupation It has been established that a relatively high proportion of white Irish men work in construction (figure 21) and an even higher proportion of white Irish women work in health and social care (figure 22). While the Census data does not indicate the type of work undertaken in these broad fields, we know that construction includes many roles which are dangerous or cause ill-health and that many roles in health and social care involve long, anti-social hours, lifting and stress.

_____________________________________________________________________ In summary The data in this section suggests that health is a particular issue for white Irish people in the region. This relates particularly to white Irish men of working age who are experiencing relatively high levels of limiting long-term illness. It also relates to men and women of working age who rate their own health as being not good.

55


FIS exists to represent and develop our members and our community


This report, one of a suite of twenty four, is an outcome of a research project on the Irish data in the 2001 Census. The data and commentaries in the suite of reports are presented in a comparative context at national, regional and selected local levels, and on the basis of the full sixteen categories from the 2001 Census Ethnic Group Question. ... there are sections of the Irish population who have multiple needs, are marginalised, and have information, support and service needs ... to be addressed. We have been disappointed by the structuring of much of the analysis of ethnicity data from the 2001 Census published todate, particularly the use of various “combined ethnic group categories” and the failure to disaggregate the White ”combined group” data. Increasingly, microdecisions about delivery of services take place at a local level. ... Those with local responsibility under the Race Relations Acts for addressing inequalities must have the best possible local data on all significant communities (including minority ethnic communities) at their disposal, and must use it in an inclusive way to inform their policies. Dr Mary Tilki Chair, Federation of Irish Societies

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West Midlands THE IRISH DIMENSION