Statistical Evidence of Inequalities G674

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Education - MEG's

There are clear differences in eductional achievement between ethnic groups:

GCSE results 2011 by ethnic group (achieving 5 A* - C grades including Maths and English) DFE

  • Chinese 78.5%
  • Indian 74.4%
  • Bangladeshi 59.7%
  • White British 58%
  • Black African 57.9%
  • Pakistani 52.6%
  • Black Caribbean 48.6%
  • White Irish Travellers 17.5%
  • Gypsy & Roma 10.8%
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  • Black Caribbean boys in particular are twice as likely to be characterised as having to be characterised as having behavioural, emotional or social difficulty compared to White British boys (Ball, 2008)
  • Black Caribbean boys are more likely to be permanently excluded from school than any other ethnic group (Runnymede)
  • In all, 72% of White students who entered higher education with A-level grades of BBB gained a first or upper second class degree. This compares with 56% for Asian students, and 53% for Black students, entering with the same A-level grades. (HEFCE 2014)
  • There is evidence to suggest that Black pupils are more likely to be entered for lower tier exams and less likely to be identified as gifted and talented compared to other ethnic groups. (Ball 2008)
  • Black British students, Asian British Pakistani students and 'other' British Asian students are significantly more likely to drop out of higher education. (N.Powdthavee and A.Vignoles, 2007)
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Education - Gender

  • 2013 - 72.3% of girls gained 5 A*- C grades at GCSE compared to 63.7% of boys (ONS)
  • 2013 Disadvantaged girls perform better in GCSEs than disadvantaged boys (ONS)
  • Boys are more likely to be excluded (both permanently and for a fixed period) at all ages than girls. (Dept for Education 2013)
  • Nearly half of all students with low achievement are White boys. (JRF 2007)
  • Female students are more likely to achieve and upper second or higher than male students with the same prior educational attainment (HEFCE 2014)
  • The pattern of AS and A2 level choices of subjects tends to follow gender stereotypes. (Cambridge Assessment)
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Education - Social Class

  • Evidence shows that white working class pupils are the largest underachieving group in education. "If you want to know how well a child will do at school, ask how much its parents earn." (Hatcher 2006)
  • 2012 - 36.3% of pupil eligible for free school meals gained 5 A*- C GCSEs, including Maths and English; compared with 62.6% of all other students. (DFE)
  • 49% from the poorest fifth of families say they are likely to apply for university, compared with 77% of the richest fifth (Sodha and Margo, 2010), and only 4% of those eligible for free meals at 15 continue to study at university, compared with 33% of their peers.(Guardian, 2010)
  • By the time they move to secondary school poorer children are on average 2 years behind better-off children. (CPAG)
  • Being poor means a pupil is nearly 3 times more likely to fail to get atleast 5 A - C grades at GCSE  - and the grade gap with the wealthiest pupils is widening. (CPAG)
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  • Students from disadvantaged areas tend to do less well in higher education than those with the same prior educational attainment from more advantaged areas (OECD 2009)
  • Currently 23% of British School educational spending goes on the 7% of pupils who are privately educated (OECD, 2009)
  • A previous study found that, as a rule, a state school pupil needs 2 A's and a B to get into Russel Group University, whereas a teenager from public school can get in with an A and 2 B's. (Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commision)


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However, a report from the Commons Education Select Committee (June 2014) highlights that there is a difference in academic achievement between different disadvantaged groups in terms of GCSE results (gaining 5 A*- C grades):

  • White British children from a disadvantaged background - 32%
  • Disadvantanged children from a Indian background - 61.5%
  • Disadvantaged children from a Chinese background - 78.8%

This report also pointed out that the gap in results between poor white children and their richer classmates has hardly changed in the last 7 years, and the attainment of poor children from other backgrounds is improving faster than it is for White children.

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Work and Income - MEG's

  • Pakistani women (26%) and Pakistani men (23%) suffer the greatest pay gaps compared to White British men. (EHRC 2008)
  • Half of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis earn less than £7 per hour. (The Poverty Site)
  • l in 7 people from MEGs aged over 25 are not in work but want to be. (Labour Force Survey 2011)
  • In 2008 the ethnic pay gap was 43p an hour (Essex university)
  • The Bangladeshi group shows a very consistent pattern of inequality and relative income. They have the lowest income inequality and are consistently the worst off. They have the highest poverty rates of all groups and only 25 per cent have incomes that are among the top half of incomes overall. (JRF 2011)
  • Pakistani men on average earn almost one quarter less than white British men (EHRC 2009)
  • In late 2012 the youth unemployment rate among people of black ethnic background was 47% compared to 29% for young people of Asian ethnic background and 20% for young people of white ethnic background. (ONS)
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  • Around two-fifths of people from ethnic minorities live in low-income households, twice the rate for White people. (The Poverty Site)
  • In 2012 the unemployment rate for people of white ethnic background was 7%, but for other ethnicities, it was higher. For example, for people of black ethnic background, it was 16%(ONS Labour Market Statistics).
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Work and Income - Gender

  • On average a full time female worker earns 15% less than a male fulltime worker; this gender pay gap costs fulltime women over £5000 a year and is even wider for part-time workers. (ONS 2013)
  • Women still earn 14.9% less on average than a man for the same job (Fawcett Society 2012)
  • CMI 'Gender Salary Survey' 2012 showed that a woman can earn £423, 000 less than a man during her career.
  • Male average (median) weekly pay is £538 compared with £439 for a woman (ONS 2010)
  • Nine out of ten lone parents are women. The median gross weekly pay for male single parents is £346, while for female single parents it is £194.4 (The Fawcett Society)
  • Only 6.6% of FTSE 100 executives are women (ABI survey 2012)
  • On average men work 40.1 hours per week compared to 37.4 for women (ONS 2012)
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  • The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) estimates it will take 70 years at the current rate of progress to see an equal number of female and male directors of FTSE 100 companies.
  • The International Labour Organisation (2015) found that globally women earn 77% of the amount paid to men, a figure that has improved by only 3% in the last 20 years.
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Work and Income - The Working Class

  • Controlling for qualifications, people in their 30s who experienced financial hardship whengrowing up are less likely to be doing well in the labour market (Blanden and Gibbons 2006).
  • The High Pay Centre (2013) found that income inequality is at its highest since the 1930s and that the top 26,000 top-earning Britons, have salaries of more than half a million pounds a year, and receive at least £21,500 a month after tax - more than the average annual wage of £20,500. At the other end of the spectrum, there are 6.75 million workers earning less than £800 a month.
  • The IFS found the median full time salary in 2010-11 was £26,200 per year, but someone working full time for the minium wage would only earn around £11,000, while the top 10% earned over £52,600.
  • Males growning up in poverty are 2.97 times more likely to be unemplyed than men not in poverty (Oxfam, 2008).
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  • The full-time occupations with the highest earnings in 2010 were 'Health Professionals' (median pay of full-time employees of £1,067 a week); followed by 'Corporate Managers' (£757); and 'Science and Technology Professionals' (£704). The lowest paid of full-time employees were those in 'Sale Occupations', at £287 a week. (ONS 2010)
  • The Social Mobilty and Child Poverty Commision (2015) has found that 'Thousands of working-class people are being denied jobs at firms, as they effecively need to pass a "poshness test" to join elite employers.' It found that the top firms are more likely to judge potential recruits by how they speak than how well they may do the job. This research shows that "young people with working-class backgrounds are being systematically locked out of top jobs," said Mr Milburn, the former Labour Cabinet minister who chairs the Commision. 
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Work and Income - Age

  • The ONS found in 2012-2013 that average incomes for those aged under 20 were £12,700, with incomes rising with age until a peak average at age 45-49 of £36,500 and then incomes fall as people age, declining to £22,700 at age 75+.
  • Single female pensioners and older pensioner couples are the most likely to be low income. (The Poverty Site 2006)
  • In 2008, 70% of all employees aged 18 to 21 - both men and female - were paid less than £7 per hour. (The Poverty Site, 2009) 
  • 40-49 year olds earn the highest average (median) weekly wage at £560 (ONS 2010)
  • June 2013 the unemployment rate for those aged 16-24 was 20.5%, compared compared to 7.8% for the total population (Labour Market Statistics ONS 2013)
  • Men's median weekly earnings were highest in the 40-49-year-old age group, at £622 per week, whereas women's earnings were highest in the 30-39-year-old age group, at £527. 
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Health - MEG's

  • There is a clear link between racism and mental health problems amongst children and young people (Priest et al 2012)
  • Black and minority ethnic groups in the UK generally have worse health than the overall population ( 2011)
  • Bangladeshi and Pakistani men and women and Black Caribbean women were more likely to report bad health than the general population (Health Survey for England 2004)
  • Most MEGs have higher morality rates than the white population and consequently ethnic minority life expectancy is generally lower than the white population. In particular, infant mortality rates tend to be significantly higher than the white population. (Moore et al 2010)
  • Studies show up to 7 times higher rates to new diagnosis of psychosis among Black Caribbean people than among the White British. (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology 2007)
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  • South Asian people are 50% more likely to die prematurely from coronary heart disease than the general population. (Race for Health 2008) 
  • Young Asian women are more than twice as likely to commit suicide as young white women, (Race for Health, 2008)
  • in 2005-06, the infant mortality rate among the Black groups (8.0 deaths per 1,000 live births), as well as the Asian groups (6.9 deaths per 1,000 live births), was signifacantly higher than that of the White ethnic groups (4.4 deaths per 1,000 live births). (Public Healh England)
  • Stevenson and Rao (2014) found that MEG's have lower subjective well-being than the white population. (This is how they see their well-being). They suggested that this was because MEG's felt that they were members of an 'outside group'. 
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Health - Gender

  • Women in industrialised countries report twice as much anxiety and depression than the men (Giddens 2008)
  • 'The Health Survey fo England 2005:the health of older people' found that older women were more likely than men to have to have a chronic illness or condition that affected their lives in some way. E.g. 25% of women over 65, but only 14% of men had walking problems.
  • Popay and Bartley (1984) argue that the number of hours spent in domestic labour, with its poor conditions contribute to women's poor health compared to men.
  • Females live longer than males, but spend a larger proportion of their lives with a disablilty (ONS 2014)
  • 'Men die 5 years younger than women on average - it is one of the starkest health inequalities we face. Heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, suicide and accidents are all generally more prevalent among men and men on average visit GPs less than women. Those on low income have and men on low incomes has grown. (Men's Health Journal 2001)
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Health - The Working Class

  • The inverse care law (Tudor Hart) suggests that those areas/groups most in need of health services the most are those that are funded the least. In general this means that middle class areas gain more healthcare funding than working class areas, which in practical terms means that working class areas have fewer GP's, denists, hospitals, specialist etc. than better off middle class areas.
  • In the 1970s the mortality rate for men in social class 5 was twice as high for those in social class 1, but by 2003 it had increased to 2.5 times as high. (Moore et al 2010)
  • Men from social class 1 can expect to live almost 8 and half years longer than men form social class 5, while women in social class I can expect to live 4 and half years longer than women in social class 5. (Moore et al 2010)
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  • Among the 45-64 age group 185 of people from a managerial background reported a limiting long standing illness, compared to 32% of people from routine or manual backgrounds. (ONS 2007)
  • Those from poorer backgrounds or with less education are more likely than others to develop long-term conditions such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease earlier and to experience them more severely. (Kings Fund 2012)
  • Twice as many babies are still born or die within the first week of life in unskilled families than in professional families. (Browne and Bottrill 1999)
  • People in work tend to live longer than those without work. (Browne and Bottrill)
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Health - Age

  • Research reveals a pattern of behaviour under which older children, usually (but not solely) aged 16 and 17, receive less favourable treatment from health services than adults or younger children... (Young Equals, 2009)
  • The teenage cancer trust estimates that 50% of teenagers with cancer are not treated in age-appropriate facilities. (2008)
  • Negative, ageist attitudes still pervade the NHS, leading to the lack of respect for the dignity and privacy of older people. (Age Concern, 2007)
  • 47% of members of the Geriatric Society think that the NHS is institutionally ageist. 66% think older people are less likely to have their symptoms fully investigated and 72% said that older people are less likely to be considered and referred on essential treatments. (Help the aged, 2009, Survey)
  • Adults over 65 do not have the same access to specialist mental health services as those under 65. Old age services have been excluded from investment and have seen reduced resources in some areas. (Royal College of Psychiatrists 2009)
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Poverty - MEG's

  • People from ethnic minority groups experience much higher levels of poverty than people from the majority white population. (JRF)
  • There are stark differences in poverty rates according to ethnic group. Risks of poverty are highest for Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Black Africans, but are also above average for Caribbean, Indian and Chinese people. Muslims face much higher poverty risks than other religious groups. (JRF 2007)
  • The income poverty rate varies substantially between ethnic groups: Bangladeshis (65%), Pakistanis (55%) and black Africans (45%) have the highest rates; black Caribbeans (30%), Indians (25%), white other (25%) and white British (20%) have the lowest rates. (JRF 2007)
  •    70% of those in income poverty in inner London are from minority ethnic groups, as are 50% in outer London. (JRF 2007)
  •  74% of Bangladeshi children live in poverty. (Oxfam 2008)
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Poverty - Gender

  • Women are more likely to experience persistent poverty. More than one fifth of women, 22 per cent, have a persistent low income, compared to approximately 14 per cent of men. Living in persistent poverty denies women the opportunity to build up savings and assets to fall back on in times of hardship. This effect accumulates for older women which can result extensive poverty. (NUT)
  • 25 per cent of women live in poverty (Fawcett Society 2003)
  • 22 per cent of women and 14 per cent of men have a persistent low income (Oxfam 2008)
  • The income of retired women is less than 40% of that of retired men. (Oxfam 2008)
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Poverty - Age

  • The risk of poverty among older people in the UK is about three to four times higher than the typical risk of poverty in Europe. (JRF 2006)
  • In 2006/7, 2.9 million children were living in poverty (CPAG)
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Poverty - Social Class

The working class and 'the underclass' have the lowest incomes, so are the most likely to suffer poverty. Those who suffer poverty because of age, gender or ethnic group are usually part of theworking or 'underclass'. This is a good example of how differences intersect and overlap in their effect on inequalities.

Oxfam (2014) found that today, the five richest families in the UK are wealthier than the bottom 20 per cent of the entire population. That's just five households with more money than 12.6 million people - almost the same as the number of people living below the poverty line in the UK.

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