Why Change Is Needed


Bridging the inequality divide.

Greater Manchester has a population of 2.7 million and is the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom. Manchester also has the third largest economy in the UK and is the third most visited city after London and Edinburgh. The ethnic minority population in Manchester alone, as measured by non-white residents increased by 104,300 between 1991 and 2011. The second largest ethnic group in Manchester is African, which has grown fourfold and faster than any other group since 1991 (Geographies of Diversity report. Manchester University). The largest group is Pakistani.

According to the 2011 census, Manchester’s Black pollution consisted on 25,718 Black African, 9,642 Black Caribbean, 5,884 Other Black and 5096 Mixed. The African ethnic group is clustered in Manchester accounting for more than a tenth of the population in the wards of Moss Side (17%), Bradford (11%), Harpurhey (11%), Ardwick (11%) and Gorton North (10%)

BME people in the city are more likely to have a degree or higher than white people. Around 26% of white adults in Manchester have no qualifications compared to just 17% of all BME adults, while 28% of white adults have a degree-level qualification or higher compared to 32% BMEs.

However people from black backgrounds are nearly three times as likely to be unemployed. This confirms anecdotal stories of BME degree holders driving taxis or working as cleaners in the NHS because they can’t get a degree level job.


The data reveals that:-

  • 33% of people living in Manchester in 2011 (168,000 residents) were from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background compared to 7% across the UK. This has continued to grow in recent years, with new economic migrants joining well established BME communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Nigeria and Somalia.


  • Research from the Resolution Foundation for the Independent Prosperity Review (IPR) found that across Great Britain as a whole, workers from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are more likely to be low paid than white workers. It found one-in-three black employees is low paid in Greater Manchester, a figure that is 12 percentage points higher than that for white people. Asian employees are six percentage points more likely to be in low pay than white people in Greater Manchester.  BAME employees were found to be more likely to be paid less than the living wage in Retail & Wholesale, Hospitality, Tourism & Sport, Health & Social Care.
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