Skip to navigationSkip to content
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.

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

Aamna Mohdin
By Aamna Mohdin


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.

Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.