Poverty and ethnicity in Wales

Author: Holtom, Duncan & Bottrill, Ian

Publisher: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Publication date: October 2013

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This is a summary of findings from a qualitative study of poverty and ethnicity in Wales, focusing on the experiences of 47 people from five ethnic groups – Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Somali, Polish and white British/Welsh – living in a large city, the north Wales coast, the south Wales valleys or the countryside. The study found marked differences in the levels and experiences of poverty amongst interviewees. These differences were not caused by ethnicity, but by the differences in where people lived and the interaction of their human capital, social capital, entitlements and attitudes, thinking and choices. Racism and discrimination, sometimes directly linked to people’s ethnicity, but also for example, to their appearance or religion, was the main exception.

The study found that many Bangladeshi families were very dissatisfied with their housing, despite living in places felt to be safe, inclusive and meeting their everyday needs. The authors recommend that the forthcoming Welsh housing bill's effectiveness and impact on different ethnic groups should be reviewed.