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Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic Groups

Key findings (Published March 2018

  • Determining the profile of the local BAME population continues to be a challenge. While national mid-year population estimates are published annually, they lack any ethnicity data. Hence, 2011 Census data remains the most recent and reliable data source for this purpose

  • According to 2011 Census data, Wirral’s BAME population has grown since the previous 2001 Census. In 2011, the BAME population represented 5.46% (n=16,101) of the general population compared to 3.46% (n=10,900) in 2001

  • The 2011 Census reported that more BAME individuals resided in the Birkenhead & Tranmere ward than any other, with twice the number of BAME residents than in each of next highest wards, which include Claughton, Rock Ferry and Hoylake & Meols

  • Since 2011, it is very likely that Wirral’s BAME population has continued to grow, both in number and proportional representation within the general population. An indicator of this growth can be found within the annual School Census (2017) data for Wirral, where BAME pupils now make up 8.1% of the overall school population

  • Another indication of BAME population growth can be found in the analysis of pupils for whom English is a second language. The proportion of the school population with a first language other than English rose from 2.55% (n=1,150) in 2013 to 3.92% (n=1,795) in 2017

  • During the same four year period, the largest proportional increases in Wirral school pupils with a first language (other than English) could be found in Polish, Tamil (Sri Lanka) and Urdu (India/Pakistan) speakers, all of which doubled in number

  • The recording of ethnicity by Public Health commissioned services has vastly improved in recent years due to the introduction of minimum datasets. Analysis of service data from 2016/17 has indicated that whilst some BAME groups were under-represented in engagement with Public Health services (White Irish, Chinese), others showed good engagement with services (White Other – which in Wirral is primarily the Polish community)

  • Recording of ethnicity information has improved in primary care in Wirral in recent years; three-quarters (74.4%) of all GP records now contain an ethnicity code (as of December 2017), compared to less than 40% of records ten years ago. This paves the way for more in-depth analysis of ethnicity and long term conditions for example

  • Secondary (hospital) care in Wirral also has seen improved levels of recording of ethnicity data, compared to previous years, with currently only 10% of records lacking ethnicity data compared to 12% in England. Meaningful analysis could now be conducted on this data to help inform local needs of the BAME community

  • A greater proportion of non-white households live in the private-rented sector in Wirral, compared to the general population, a sector that is usually associated with areas of greater deprivation

  • Educational attainment data for Wirral suggests that all ethnic groups have equitable access to a good level of education (at Key Stage 4 or GCSE, the proportion of Wirral school pupils achieving A* to C grades in English and Mathematics was greater than in the North West and in England and BAME groups in Wirral tended to perform better than their White counterparts)

  • National police data suggests that self-reported ethnic groups are twice as likely to be stopped and searched as the white population. On Merseyside, the difference is much less pronounced at approximately 20% more likely

  • Cardiovascular and Coronary Heart Disease (CVD/CHD) risks vary considerably with ethnicity. Rates of CVD are considerably higher in Irish and Pakistani male populations, while the latter are also at greater risk of CHD. Conversely, Black African and Chinese ethnic groups are at much reduced risk of CVD/CHD. Modifiable lifestyle factors are thought to be able to reduce risks of CVD/CHD, as well as a number of other related health conditions

  • The prevalence of hypertension and stroke is significantly higher for South Asian and Black Caribbean ethnic groups. Research suggests that BAME groups are twice as likely to suffer a stroke compared to White ethnic group (British Heart Foundation, 2010)

  • Some ethnic groups, such as South Asians and Black Africans, are between 2 and 4 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, than White ethnic groups. Diabetes is linked to a range of other health conditions such as CVD, kidney disease, blindness and amputation. Mortality rates from diabetes are between 3.5 to 6.5 times higher for South Asian and Black Caribbean groups

  • Obesity is a major risk factor for a range of other disease, such as CVD, diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis and cancer. Obesity disproportionately affects Black Caribbean, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women, as well as some South Asian male ethnic groups

  • The Irish population are thought to have one of the highest mortality rates for most cancers, compared to the rest of the UK. On the other hand, Asian and Chinese ethnic groups, as well as Black females, are generally less likely to get cancer than White ethnic groups

  • Some ethnic groups are prone to particular types of cancer. Asian and Black ethnic groups are twice as likely to develop liver and stomach cancer respectively, compared to the White population

  • Black males are also three times more likely to develop prostate cancer, while Black females are twice as likely to be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer, than their White counterparts

  • Smoking continues to be particularly problematic among some BAME groups such as Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Irish males. In addition, some ethnic groups, such as Bangladeshi women, use different forms of chewing tobacco which can lead to mouth and oesophageal cancer

  • Anecdotal evidence suggests that drug and alcohol use is just as prevalent within BAME Communities as it is for the general population; yet BAME groups are largely underrepresented within local treatment services. It is thought that religious and/or cultural taboos may prevent BAME individuals from these groups from seeking support for drug and alcohol problems

  • Palliative care pathways are underused by BAME groups, for several reasons. National research indicates that some cultures prefer to take care of dying family members themselves, regarding it as their ‘duty’ and hospices were generally considered to be unsuitable, (Calanzani et al., 2013)

  • White ethnic groups are twice as likely to have a life-limiting disability compared to Black ethnic groups, (Office of National Statistics, 2014)

  • Incidence of tuberculosis is particularly low in Wirral at a rate of 2.8 cases per 100,000 compared to a national rate of 10.5 cases per 100,000 (Public Health England, 2016a)

  • National infant mortality rates in 2013 were substantially higher for Pakistani, Black Caribbean and Black African groups, at 6.7, 6.6 and 6.3 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to 3.8 deaths per 1,000 live births within the general population (Office of National Statistics, 2015b)

  • According to the UK Confidential Inquiry into Maternal and Child Health, maternal death rates among Black African females were found to be 5 times greater than in the White population (Knight, 2008)

  • Considerations for Commissioners, Service Providers and Partners - see Pages 53 - 54 of document

Needs Assessment of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Groups (March 2018)

Previous BAME JSNA content

Further Information

Equality Act 2010 - Wirral Council responsibilities
A requirement of the Equality Duty 2010 is for the council to publish information relating to people affected by our policies and decisions. 

Health inequalities: reducing ethnic inequalities (August 2018)
This guidance from Public Health England to support local and national action on ethnic inequalities in health.

Wirral BAME Research and Innovation Toolkit (August 2017)
This local resource that seeks to support the improvement of the health and wellbeing for BAME groups in Wirral. 

Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (2014)
This needs assessment was commissioned to identify the needs of Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople (referred to hereafter as “Travellers”) from across the area. The overall objective of the research was to provide a robust evidence base to inform future reviews of Local Plans and housing strategies.

Dementia does not discriminate - The experience of Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (July 2013
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Dementia, who produced this report, was formed in 2007 to build support for dementia to become a publicly stated health and social care priority, and therefore meet one of the greatest challenges presented by our ageing population.

Gypsy, Traveller and Roma: experts by experience (December 2014)
This report by The National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups and Anglia Ruskin University has found that nearly 9 in 10 children and young people from a Gypsy, Roma or Traveller background have suffered racial abuse and nearly two thirds have also been bullied or physically attacked. It also found the infant mortality rate of Gypsies and Travellers is three times higher than the national average. 

Range of factsheets provided by the Federation of Irish Societies (FIS) on Irish population key health issues (August 2012)

The Federation of Irish Societies has also produced research on:


Key information sources for you to consider: