Ethnicity and religion abstracts

Strand organisers: Dr. Stefanie Doebler, Dr. Ian Shuttleworth, Queen’s University Belfast 

Ethnicity: Projections and patterns – Monday 7 September, 4.45pm 

Projecting UK employment by ethnic group between 2012 and 2022
Anne Green, David Owen, Lynn Gambin and Yuxin Li,  Institute for Employment Research (IER), University of Warwick 

No projections of employment by ethnic group have previously been produced for the UK. Increasing ethnic minority employment and the need to reduce differentials in employment rates between ethnic minorities and white people has been a key part of recent government employment policy. This paper reports on research that estimated total employment and employment rates by ethnic group between 2012 and 2022. The research drew upon UKCES Working Futures 5 projections of employment from 2012 to 2022, ETHPOP projections of population by ethnic group from 2001 to 2050 and employment and employment rates derived from Labour Force Survey data. Employment rates were projected from 2013 to 2022 and applied to population projections, yielding projections of employment by ethnic group. Combining these with Working Futures projections yielded projections of employment by industry and occupation by ethnic group, gender and region/nation. The projections reveal employment decline for White British people and increasing employment and employment rates for most minorities. Employment rates are projected to only narrow slightly. Pakistani and Bangladeshi people are projected to remain the most disadvantaged. The occupational/industrial/ethnic profile of employment is projected to change only slowly. In London, minority ethnic groups are projected to benefit most from change in the structure of employment. White-Other people are projected to have the highest employment rates in 2022. The paper explains how the limitations of the Labour Force Survey data restricted the detail in the projections to broad industry and occupation groups and for groups of regions and nations. 


How has ethnic mortality changed between 2001 and 2011 in the UK?
Pia Wohland Institute of Health and Society, Faculty of Medicine and Newcastle University Institute for Ageing 

The ethnic composition of the UK is changing rapidly and diversity is increasing. By 2011, 14% of the population in England and Wales defined themselves as Non-White. But unlike other immigration countries, information on mortality for ethnic groups, an important population health indicator, is still not routinely collected. This even though numerous UK health studies found varying health outcomes by ethnic group and research into immigrant mortality also unearthed significant differences between groups. Previously, in the course of developing subnational population projection for UK ethnic groups, we produced the first estimates of ethnic group mortality rates for local areas in the UK for the year 2001 and found pronounced variation in mortality between ethnic groups, with the majority of ethnic minority groups having lower life expectancy at birth compared to the White British majority population. Now, with newly published census information, we updated these estimates to 2011. This research will show how life expectancy of UK ethnic groups has changed nationally and on a local area level and at different ages between 2001 and 2011 and discuss whether we have become, in view of health, a more equal or unequal society. 


The multifaceted reality of parental leave use: A longitudinal analysis of ethnic differentials in Belgium.
Jonas Wood, Tine Kil, Karel Neels, University of Antwerp

Given increased life expectancies, the financial feasibility of contemporary welfare states typically depends on whether fertility levels are high enough to provide future active age populations, but also on whether active age populations effectively participate in the labour force. As a result social policies aiming to increase maternal employment and fertility levels have been extended in many European countries. We use the Belgian Administrative Socio-Demographic Panel -based on national registers and the Crossroads Bank for Social Security- to study varying leave strategies across ethnic groups for 10.601 one-child mothers who witnessed a first birth between the first quarter of 2004 and the fourth quarter of 2010. Mixed affects (logistic) regression models are applied to assess the ethnic gradient in parental leave use, full-time parental leave use, duration of parental leave use, and employment directly after parental leave use. The findings presented in this article indicate that there is a strong ethnic gradient in the uptake of parental leave among one-child mothers in Belgium, with particularly low use for non-European and first generation migrants. However, when controlling for eligibility, pre-birth employment, and pre-birth employment characteristics, the negative ethnic gradient disappears. Hence in line with previous research, we claim that social policy geared towards the protection of pre-birth labour market positions for more vulnerable groups (e.g. low educated women, migrant women) may be instrumental in order to elevate parental leave uptake and potentially also increase maternal employment for these groups. 


Ethnicity and religion: Dynamics 1 – religion – Tuesday 8 September, 9.00am 

Families, culture and the causes of religious decline

David Voas1, Ingrid Storm2, 1University of Essex, 2University of Manchester 

The pattern of religious change at a national level is primarily determined by the frequency of success or failure of religious socialization within families. Cohort analysis of religious decline shows that secularization is mostly generational: there is comparative stability within each birth cohort over the adult life course, but each cohort is less religious than the one before. While children of religious parents tend to be religious themselves, the trends imply that the parents’ religiosity is not perfectly reproduced in their children. Other socializing influences such as peers, education and popular culture will affect the beliefs and behaviours of young people, shaping the views and habits that they carry into adulthood. In this paper we consider the relative impact of parents compared to other factors in the religious socialization of young people, and whether the degree of family influence depends on national levels of religiosity. The multilevel, cross-national comparative analysis uses data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) modules on religion from 1998 and 2008. We also use data from the European Values Study 2008. In contrast with some earlier work on this topic, we do not find evidence for a contextual effect on parental influence. If religious people do attempt to isolate their children from the secular influences, or augment their efforts at religious socialisation when the environment is unfavourable to religion, it is not apparent that they succeed. 


Demographic profile of strictly orthodox Jews in the UK
Daniel Staetsky, Institute for Jewish Policy Research, London 

The British Jewish population is on the verge of the demographic upheaval. At present, the majority of British Jews are either secular or moderately religious, with a significant proportion of the latter leaning toward not strictly religious, or ethnic, forms of expressing Judaism. The records held by the Board of Deputies of British Jews allow us to attach numeric values to this reality: in 2010 about 60% of British Jewish households were affiliated to a mainstream Orthodox or Progressive synagogue, and close to one third were not affiliated. Those remaining share the households, less than 10%, were Strictly Orthodox. This situation is expected to change in the not too distant future. The Strictly Orthodox component of the UK Jewish population grows at a significantly higher rate than its mainstream component, largely due to the very high fertility of the former. We estimate that during the inter-censal decade (2001-2011) British Strictly Orthodox population grew by 62% whilst the mainstream Jewish population declined slightly. Thus, in a not too distant future, the Strictly Orthodox can be expected to constitute a large minority and, before the 21st century is over, a majority of British Jews. In socio-cultural terms, the Strictly Orthodox and the non-Strictly Orthodox Jews differ in terms of the character and intensity of their religious life, their lifestyles, their appearance, and, often, their economic circumstances. Demographically, too, these subpopulations are rather distinct. Most Strictly Orthodox marriages do not cross the sub-populations’ borders. However, demographic characteristics of Strictly Orthodox Jews are not well known to the broad demographic community of scholars. The purpose of this paper is to outline the demographic profile of the Strictly Orthodox Jews. Utilising Census materials (Census 2011 of England and Wales) we present: 1) The geographical method of identification of Strictly Orthodox Jewish population; 2) Population pyramids of Strictly Orthodox and mainstream Jews; 3) Our estimates of the growth components of Strictly Orthodox and mainstream Jews (fertility, migration, mortality); 4) Estimates of inter-censal change in these two Jewish subpopulations and some considerations as to the future numerical relationship between them. 


Religious identities in Northern Ireland: Stability and transitions
Stefanie Doebler, Ian Shuttleworth, School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen’s University Belfast 

Religious self-identification is declining in most European countries. The decline in the percentages of those who self-identify as members of a denomination was described as an indicator of an ongoing process of secularization, alongside declining church-attendance and declining numbers of believers in God. However, Northern Ireland is a special case: Throughout its history, Catholic and Protestant identities have been salient as markers of national identities and were at the centre of the ‘Troubles’. Religious and national identities in Northern Ireland are thought of as intertwined to such an extent that they are often used synonymously. Thus religious identities can be expected to be more stable than in other countries. However, Northern Ireland seems to be in transition; the 2011 Census showed a decrease in residential segregation since 2001, religious inter-marriages appear to be increasing and the younger strata seem to be becoming more mobile. This paper looks at religious identity-transitions in Northern Ireland. We analyse data from the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS, 2001, 2011) – a Census-linked study based on health-card records, representing 28% of the population (N = c. 500,000). The research questions are: Which social strata are more likely to change their religious identity? Secondly, how is residential segregation of Protestants and Catholics related to the likelihood of individuals of switching religious identities? Are those living in/ moving to highly segregated communities less likely to switch than those living in mixed communities? Are those living in deprived areas more likely to switch than those living in affluent areas? 


Religious mobility of immigrants in Canada
Éric Caron Malenfant1, Anne Goujon2, Vegard Skirbekk3, 1Statistics Canada, 2Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU), 3Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Columbia University 

Over recent decades, the Catholic and Protestant religions saw their share of the Canadian population steadily decrease while those of the non-affiliated and smallest religious groups increased rapidly. These changes are largely related to immigration from non-European countries as well as individual changes of religion over the life course, or religious mobility. Immigrants are often assumed to maintain over their life time the same religious affiliation which they had upon arrival. We study in this paper how likely are immigrants to Canada to change religion after their arrival, thus contributing not only directly but also indirectly to the changing religious landscape of the country. This paper uses data on religious affiliation and other demographic characteristics from the 1981, 1991 and 2001 censuses, as well as from the 2011 National Household Survey and the 2002 Ethnic Diversity Survey to answer the following questions: What is the magnitude of religious mobility among immigrants to Canada and has it changed across the 30 years of observation? How does the religious mobility of immigrants compare to that of the Canadian-born population and what are the socioeconomic characteristics associated with religious mobility? The results show that the religious mobility of migrants does contribute to changes in the Canadian religious landscape, but less than the religious mobility of the Canadian-born population. Place of birth and age appear to be strongly related to religious mobility among the immigrant population in Canada. Moreover, immigrants to Canada are through religious mobility becoming more like the Canadian-born population. 


Ethnicity: Dynamic 2 – ethnicity – Tuesday 8 September, 11.00am 

Understanding the role of contextual factors and competing identities for the salience of ethnic identity
Alita Nandi1, Lucinda Platt2; 1ISER, University of Essex, 2 London School of Economics 

While much is known about factors influencing the expression of stronger or weaker ethnic identities – as well as how they vary both across country contexts and across ethnic groups within a single country context, little is known about factors accounting for the differential salience of ethnic identity across groups, and its relationship to other sources of identity. Using data from the 2nd wave of Understanding Society, 2010-11, we estimate the role of context (ethnic composition of neighbourhoods, friends, inter-ethnic unions, minority status, SES) in accounting for the strength of ethnic identity for different ethno-religious groups, separately for UK and non-UK born. We also explore the role of alternative identities, in particular political identity, in rendering ethnic identity more or less salient. We find that the salience of ethnic identity is higher for those with half or more of their friends from a different ethnic group. Political identity strengthens the salience of ethnic identity for the majority but the opposite is true for some ethnic minority groups. However, differences between groups remain. We explore the role of alternative identities further by comparing ethnic identity by educational qualifications and by employment status. As expected we find that those with stronger alternative identities as proxied by degree recipients and employed are less likely to report strong ethnic identity than the alternative groups. Further analysis will investigate the role of ethnic composition, ethnic diversity and deprivation of neighbourhoods as well as direct measures of alternative identities on the strength of ethnic identity across groups. 


Changes and trade-offs in ethnic and educational preferences in inter-ethnic partnership formation: an agent-based approach
Laurence Lessard-Phillips1, Ruth Meyer2, Huw Vasey1, 1University of Manchester, 2Manchester Metropolitan University

Theories dealing with inter-ethnic partnership formation make various claims about the preference processes that are at play when choosing a mate, especially along the lines of educational or ethnic homogamy. For example, whereas assortative mating (Becker, 1973) emphasises similarity in traits between partners (especially with regard to ethnicity and education), exchange theory (Dribe & Lundh 2008, 2011), on the other hand, asserts that, at least on the part of migrants and minorities, a specific trade-off exists between socioeconomic status and ethnicity. In this paper, we use an agent-based model to test theoretical arguments about trade-offs that are deemed to between ethnicity and education in inter-ethnic partnership formation. Agent-based models, where systems of interacting agents are created based on rules of interactions that are theoretically and empirically relevant, allow us to inspect potential social processes at play when choosing a mate. In our model, we simulate the partnership formation behaviour of single agents aged 18-35 in typical local areas of the UK, taking personal networks and migratory patterns into account. We produce scenarios of ethnic and educational preferences across different groups and areas in the UK to see the effect that various preferences trade-offs may have on inter-ethnic partnership formation. We also attempt to assess which combinations of preferences tend to more closely validate actual data on inter-ethnic partnerships. Preliminary results indicate that whilst simulation scenarios prioritising in-group preference provide realistic inter-partnership formation scenarios, these do not reflect the situation in areas with low levels of diversity. 


Religious and national identities in Northern Ireland and change over time
Ian Shuttleworth, Stefanie Doebler, School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology Queen’s University Belfast 

Religious and national identities are known to be strongly correlated in Northern Ireland. The Troubles were characterized by a demarcation between Protestant/British versus Catholic/Irish identities. Religion and nationality overlap and are still seen almost as being synonymous. However, there is reason to believe the position is changing; the 2011 Census showed residential segregation had decreased since 2001, and that around 25% of the population claimed to be ‘Northern Irish’, and a growing proportion stated they had no religion. This paper examines changes in religious identities over a ten-year period and relates these to national identity in 2011. We analyse data from the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS, 2001, 2011-waves) – a Census-linked study of records based on health-card registrations. The NILS represents c. 28% of the population of Northern Ireland (N = c. 500,000), therefore analyses across religious sub-groups are possible. The research questions are: • Have significant parts of the population left their church, exchanged their religious affiliation for a non-religious identity between 2001 and 2011? • Which (religious) groups of the population are more likely to endorse which national identity categories (as asked in the Northern Ireland Census 2011)? • Are certain national identities more related to religious change (switching between identities) than others? Our results suggest that there are significant differences in national identity endorsements between religious groups. Also, national identities appear to be influenced by religious change. Different social strata (by age, education, tenure) exhibit different likelihoods of endorsing Northern Irish, British, Irish and other national identities. 


Islam and fertility in North Caucasus: does the revival of religion result in the revival of fertility?
Konstantin Kazenin1, Vladimir Kozlov2, 1Russian Academy for National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA, 2Higher School of Economics, Moscow 

This paper looks at the formerly rather poorly studied possibility of the influence of religion on fertility, specifically the  increase of fertility as a result of the religious revival taking place after the first demographic transition has been completed in the area of study, Daghestan (Russian Federation), a region in the North Caucasus. Daghestan completed the first demographic transition in the nineteen nineties, with TFR going below the replacement level. However, a modest though persistent growth of fertility has occurred over the last 6-7 years. To learn whether the recent Islamification taking place in Daghestan is responsible for this, we first attempt to find out a dependency between some “proxies” of Islamification for different districts of Daghestan with their fertility. No strong dependency has been discovered, suggesting that the general fertility rise is more due to pro-natalist government measures introduced in 2007. However, there is evidence that Islam increases fertility in youngest cohorts. The growth of ASFR between 2005 and 2012 for age 15-19 was at least twice that of any other age groups. (For the whole of Russia it was stable.) The study of birth histories in 10 villages has shown that for ages from 16-19 to 25-29, PPR “1 to 2” is constantly higher for a younger cohort than it was for the preceding cohort 5 years previously. Interviews with young people in the villages show that early marriage tends to be preferred by religious youth to avoid premarital intercourse. Since early marriage raises the possibility for early births, we conclude Islam influences young cohorts’ fertility behaviour. 


Ethnicity, religion & their socio-spatial dimensions – Tuesday 8 September, 5.00pm 

Exploring the association between ethnic concentration and neighbourhood deprivation in Britain: A study of small areas over four decades
Gemma Catney, University of Liverpool 

This paper explores the association between ethnic concentration and area deprivation. It considers whether there is a disproportionate clustering of people from minority ethnic groups in neighbourhoods with high levels of socio-economic disadvantage, and how this relationship may have altered over time. The paper makes use of population surfaces for 1971-2011, generated as part of a wider project on geographic inequalities in Great Britain. These are gridded counts over cells of 1km by 1km for the whole of the UK, which enable the direct comparison of small areas across time. By utilising data spanning four decades (for country of birth – available in the 1971 Census and thereafter – and ethnicity – available since 1991), it is possible to gain a longer-term perspective on this relationship. ‘Concentration’ is characterised using measures of spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I). The ‘co-geographies’ of ethnicity and deprivation are considered in the context of historic settlement patterns and structural inequalities in local housing and labour market conditions. The complexities associated with using data on country of birth and ethnicity comparatively are also discussed. 


Can bad segregation be measured?
Nissa Finney1, Ludi Simpson2; 1University of St Andrews, 2University of Manchester

Can bad segregation be measured? Nissa Finney (University of St Andrews) and Ludi Simpson (University of Manchester) Does it matter where people of different ethnic groups live? The residential moves that shape the diversity of neighbourhoods are a reflection of residential choice and of constraints on choice. Debate in Britain over the past decade has focused on explanations based on the idea that residential decision making is driven by desires to increase physical separation between ethnic groups. This paper demonstrates increased residential ethnic mixing as a result of internal migration, and explores whether ‘white flight’ or ‘white avoidance’ are appropriate descriptions of residential mobility in the UK. The 2011 census reveals that White and other ethnic groups are moving away from the most diverse neighbourhoods on balance, at similar rates: there is dispersal from minority concentrations, as was also seen in the 1991 and 2001 censuses. Furthermore, Whites are more attracted than other groups to the most diverse neighbourhoods. This all points to support for theories of spatial assimilation. However, new census tables provide the age and socio-economic class profile of internal migration of ethnic groups. As expected, the highest rates of migration from diverse areas are for ‘Managers and Professionals’ but there are subtleties to the patterns. For example, non-White managers and professionals are moving out of non-white concentrations at twice the rate of non-White Routine workers whereas for Whites, Managers and Professionals and Routine workers are leaving these areas, on balance, at similar rates. The results raise the questions of whether there are particular residential constraints for minorities in lower socio-economic groups, and lead to the paper’s conclusion that it is such potential constraints – including discrimination – that should be the focus of further research. 


Breaking through the boundary in the name of faith: How religious volunteering serves as identity-bridging social capital for British ethnic minorities
Yinxuan Huang, The Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research (CMIST), The University of Manchester 

Previous studies have found that religious participation is an important source of identity-bridging social capital, as it can serve as a rubric for effective inter-ethnic contacts which narrow those culturally defined gaps between ‘us’ and ‘them’ in a multicultural society. While traditional measurement for religious social capital focuses primarily on church attendance, this paper aims to investigate the long-neglected role of religious volunteering as an incubator of identity-bridging social capital in Britain by examining whether non-white people who join and volunteer in religious organizations are more likely to have white British close friends or acquaintances. Data is based on pooled Citizenship Survey for the years 2007-08 and 2008-09. This paper uses a series of logistic regression models to calculate the predicted probability of having white British close friends for non-white believers in different faith communities, conditioning on religious volunteering, religiosity and other sociocultural factors. The analysis of 29,016 responses finds that non-whites who are active in religious volunteering are in general more likely to have white British people as close friends. Personal religiosity, however, presents a negative association with identity bridging. Model results also reveal notable disparities between Christians and Muslims: Christians who are involved in religious volunteering display a significantly higher probability of having white British close friends than other believers; whereas Muslims are found rather unsuccessful in breaking through the barrier in connecting with the white majority, which can hardly be shaped by religious volunteering. 


Visible but not counted: problems conceptualising and operationalising Accession White migrants to Britain in large-scale survey data.
William Shankley, School of Social Sciences and Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), University of Manchester. 

The 2004 expansion of the European Union has led to one of the largest in-flows of migrants in recent history; increasing the cultural diversity of Britain’s White ethnic population. Accession migrants are citizens of states who joined the European Union post-2004. This White migration is not historically unique, but differentiated by the level of development of the sending country, its magnitude and concentration post-2004. Cultural diversity within the White ethnic group has contested a shared White experience. However, this has not been reflected in large-scale surveys; capturing the migrants in an aggregate White Other categorisation; making it difficult to disentangle Accession migrants from other White ethnic minority groups in Britain. The Migration Observatory’s (2014) Census 2011 analysis approximated that 1.1 million people residing in the UK were born in 2004 Accession states. It is therefore important to consider how current survey methods conceptualise and operationalise Accession White migration in order to evaluate the impact of their migration. This paper discusses the possibilities and limitations of examining Accession White migrants using existing large-scale British datasets. Specifically, the paper reviews how Accession White migrants are captured in the Census, social surveys and administrative data. It will then compare how the profile of Accession White migrants varies through the lens of these data sources and subsequently it reviews innovative approaches in data collection and linkages that may provide a route for robust investigation of this group. The paper argues that such reconsideration of how new White migrant groups are measured is important for an understanding of contemporary population change and spatial analysis locally and nationally in Britain; and causes us to disrupt well-established distinctions between migrants and ethnic minorities. 


Panel Session: Measuring ethnicity:  challenges in using categories from Census and Survey data – Wednesday 9 September, 11.30pm 

Ethnicity is a social construct that tries to capture individuals’ identities based on categorizations that often refer to skin-colour, country/or region of birth, language and other cultural practices. Since the introduction of ‘ethnicity questions’ to the UK Census and other national surveys, research in the fields of employment, housing, health and so on have produced analyses measuring social inequalities linked to ethnicity. These statistical categories have also been used to study ethnic identities. Despite changes regularly being introduced – in response to public reaction to proposed categories in the questionnaires –increasingly it seems as though ethnic categories have become fixed and taken as given.

The idea behind this round table session was to take the opportunity of the BSPS conference to set up an exchange of experiences and reflections on how ethnicity is categorized and the operationalized in such statistical surveys, how researchers deal with such data and what the consequences are in terms of analysis and evolving notions of ethnicity. The aim is to encourage discussion amongst colleagues participating in the ethnicity strand at the conference, as well as colleagues working in other fields of population studies but who use ethnic categories in their analyses. Five invited speakers will give brief 5 minute introductions into the topic from their perspectives and experiences. The remainder of session will then be devoted to an open discussion.

Session Convenor: Stephanie Condon -

Confirmed Speakers:Sylvie Dubuc, Stephen Jivraj, Ludi Simpson, David Voas,