Few in UK See Multiculturalism as a Success

Few in UK See Multiculturalism as a Success

More than half of respondents believe that racism has become a significant national problem.

People in Britain are dubious about the effect of multiculturalism in their country, but many acknowledge that racism has become a significant problem, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 2,014 British adults, only one-in-four respondents (26%) believe that multiculturalism has succeeded by allowing immigrant groups to have a better life in the UK.

Conversely, 44 per cent of respondents think multiculturalism has failed and has pushed immigrant groups to live apart from the mainstream.

A majority of Britons (57%) believe racism is a significant problem in the United Kingdom, but only 23 per cent perceive it as a problem in their own city or town, and fewer (8%) regard is as a problem in their workplace.

More than half of respondents (54%) believe the UK is an intolerant society towards people of Romani origin, and almost half (49%) believe Arabs face comparable treatment. Other groups perceived to be receiving intolerance are Pakistanis (43%), Bangladeshis (37%) and Black Africans (30%).

The Suarez Case

Two-in-five Britons say they have followed the recent incidents of alleged racism involving English Premier League (EPL) players Luis Suarez of Liverpool and John Terry of Chelsea. Suarez has been banned for eight matches and fined £40,000 for addressing Manchester United's Patrice Evra as "negro"� during a match.

While 37 per cent of Britons believe that Suarez's punishment is correct, one third (32%) believe it is too harsh. A majority of Britons (53%) admit that, if they had used similar language in their workplace to refer to a co-worker of African ancestry, they would have lost their job.


Respondents become more sceptical about multiculturalism with age. Most Britons are looking at racism as a national problem, but not as something that affects their city or town, or their workplace. While the Suárez case has divided perceptions, older respondents are more likely to believe that the punishment for the Liverpool striker was too severe. However, younger respondents are convinced that they would be sacked if they used similar language around the office.

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Mario Canseco, Vice President, Angus Reid Public Opinion +877 730 3570 mario.canseco@angus-reid.com

Methodology: From January 13 to January 16, 2012, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 2,014 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error"”which measures sampling variability"”is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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