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Race review reveals gaping inequality in the UK

Government will have to explain or try to change inequalities revealed by report on race, PM Theresa May says.

Theresa May

Black and ethnic minority (BME) Britons are almost twice as likely to be unemployed as white adults, a government-backed review of racial issues in the UK has revealed.

The audit, published Tuesday via the government's new "Ethnicity Facts and Figures" website, also shows that police are three times more likely to stop and search non-white Britons.

Black and Arab Britons are more than 40 percent less likely to own their own home, compared with white Britons, the report said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May had ordered the review.

"If these disparities cannot be explained then they must be changed," May said following the report, calling on government and the UK's institutions.

"People who have lived with discrimination don't need a government audit to make them aware of the scale of the challenge," she added. "But this audit means that for society as a whole - for government, for our public services - there is nowhere to hide."

The audit covers areas including health, education, employment, and crime.

The Department for Work and Pensions is expected to set up some 20 "hotspot" areas to help ethnic minority individuals find employment.

The Ministry of Justice, meanwhile, says it will attempt to ensure prisoners of all ethnicities are treated appropriately.

The government's report on Tuesday follows research released on October 8 suggesting that higher levels of education among certain ethnic minority groups has not led to more employment or higher salaries.

The UK's Resolution Foundation, a non-partisan think-tank, said the number Britons of Chinese, Indian and Black African heritage - aged between 16 and 64 years old - with a degree has more than doubled since 1999, but employment rates and income have not reflected that change.

Following the release of Tuesday's report, social media users shared their views.

Actress Kelechi Okafor wrote on Twitter: "The extent of racism in Britain is only 'Shocking' to those who haven't been paying attention."

Seema Chandwani, supporter of the opposition Labour Party, wrote: "#RaceAudit is a collection of *existing* data from public bodies. The evidence has existed for a long time & required action a long time ago."

Twitter user Funmi Adebayo said: "The #raceaudit sadly only looks into the public sector. I imagine the racial disparities are much worse within the private sector."


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