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One-third of white Brits don’t have any friends from an ethnic minority

A racegoer wearing a union flag inspired outfit arrives for Ladies' Day at the Royal Ascot horse racing festival at Ascot
Reuters/Toby Melville
One black friend.
  • Aamna Mohdin
By Aamna Mohdin


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

One in three white Brits say they don’t have any friends from an ethnic minority background, according to a recent survey by pollster YouGov. What’s more, 12% of respondents from an ethnic minority also admitted to not having any non-white friends.

The responses differ significantly by location: The further north you go, the less likely it is that white residents say they have friends from ethnic minority backgrounds:

It’s not that surprising that white Londoners are more likely to have non-white friends. The latest government figures show that while 14% of Brits as a whole are from a non-white background, people of color now comprise the majority in London, making up 55% of the city’s population. In the UK, the ethnic minority population is more concentrated in big cities, while whites are more prevalent in rural areas.

The one-in-three white Brits without minority friends may sound like a lot, but it could be worse. A 2014 report by the Public Religion Research Institute found that three-quarters of white Americans don’t have any non-white friends.

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