The 2001 census
The 2001 Census form contains a more detailed question on ethnicity and a new question on religion.
Ethnicity in 2001
The ethnicity question "What is your ethnic group?" (Q.8) contains 16 tick boxes with five write-in boxes, separated into five sections, and you were asked to choose the most appropriate box (see the 2001 Census form in 573K PDF or 87K HTML). A new Mixed group is included in 2001, and the White category is split into British, Irish or Other White. The LS contains two variables, ETHGRP0 (Ethnic group 2001) and ETHP0 (Ethnicity 2001). ETHGRP0 uses the 16 category classification used on the census form. ETHP0 combines the information form the tick boxes and the write-in boxes in the ethnicity question. Values in the 2001 Census that were missing or inconsistent have been imputed. Imputed values have been flagged in the LS. The proportion of values for ethnic group that were imputed in the 2001 Census was 2.91%.
The numbers of people in each ethnic group in the LS at 2001 are shown below:
Ethnic group at 2001 Census (Traced LS members)
Source: 2001 LS sampling fractions by ethnic group for traced LS members (Tables S01.6)
The religion question "What is your religion?" (Q.10) was voluntary in England and Wales. There are seven tick boxes with a write-in box for "Any other religion". The LS variable is RELP0 (Practising religion 2001). No values were imputed for the religion question, and so there is a "not stated" category.
The numbers of people for each religion in the nine standard census categories in the LS at 2001 are shown below:
Religion at 2001 Census (Traced LS members)
Source: 2001 LS sampling fractions by religion for traced LS members (Tables S01.5)
Forward linkage rates show the proportion of people at one census who are present at a subsequent Census, taking into account deaths and embarkations. People from minority ethnic groups present at the 1991 Census are less likely to be present at the 2001 Census. The forward linkage rate for the White group is 89.1%, but is only 73.7% for minority ethnic groups. Some groups have rates of less than 70%; Black Africans have a rate of 61.5%; Black Caribbeans 69.3%; and Other Asian 67.9%. Linkage rates by ethnic group and sex have been produced by ONS (see Table L9101.7 in the ONS document "Quality of linkage between the 1991 and 2001 Censuses").
Consistency of ethnicity groups between 1991 and 2001
Comparing ethnicity at 1991 and at 2001 is not straightforward because of the introduction of the Mixed category in 2001. Work is currently being carried out to find the most appropriate transition matrix for ethnicity at 1991 and 2001.