Ethnic Group Populations: The Components for Projection, Demographic Rates and Trends

  • Paul Norman
  • Philip Rees
  • Pia Wohland
  • Peter Boden
Part of the Understanding Population Trends and Processes book series (UPTA, volume 3)


This chapter reports on a range of innovative data usages and methods to estimate ethnic-group specific demographic rates for input to a projection of ethnic group populations for subnational areas within the UK. A difficulty to be overcome is that few data sources exist which directly inform about geographically referenced demographic behaviour by ethnic group. We begin by defining the ethnic group categorisations of the population by age and sex used in the study. We then work through each demographic component and outline how rates and recent trends of each have been estimated by ethnic group and the geography of interest. Finally, we report on the outputs of a benchmark set of projections of populations by ethnic group for the period 2001–2051 and describe how scenarios might be applied to explore alternative future populations.


Ethnic Group Labour Force Survey Total Survivor High Life Expectancy Migration Probability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research reported here was supported by ESRC Research Award RES-163-25-0032, ‘What happens when international migrants settle? Ethnic group population trends and projections for local areas’. 1991 and 2001 Census data were obtained via the MIMAS CASWEB facility and the SARs team at CCSR and GIS boundary data via EDINA’s UKBORDERS facility, all supported by ESRC and JISC. The Census, official Mid-Year Estimates, Vital Statistics and Labour Force Survey data for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been provided by ONS, GROS and NISRA and the digital boundary data by OSGB and OSNI. These data are Crown copyright and are reproduced with permission of the Office of Public Sector Information.


  1. Ahmad, W. (1999) Ethnic statistics: Better than nothing or worse than nothing? in Dorling D. and Simpson S. (eds.), Statistics in Society, Arnold, London.Google Scholar
  2. Boden, P. and Rees, P. (2010) International migration: The estimation of immigration to local areas in England using administrative data sources, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-985X.2009.00637.x.Google Scholar
  3. Boden, P. and Rees, P. (2010) New migrant databank – Concept and development, Chapter 6 in Stillwell, J., Duke-Williams, O. and Dennett, A. (eds.), Technologies for Migration and Commuting Analysis: Spatial Interaction Data Applications, IGI Global, Hershey, pp. 112–133.Google Scholar
  4. Booth, H. (2006) Demographic forecasting: 1980 to 2005 in review, International Journal of Forecasting, 22: 547–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, D. and Rees, P. (2006) Trends in local and small area mortality and morbidity in Yorkshire and the Humber: Monitoring health inequalities, Regional Studies, 40(5): 437–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Burström, B. and Fredlund, P. (2001) Self-rated health: Is it as good a predictor of subsequent mortality among adults in lower as well as in higher social classes, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 55: 836–840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coleman, D. (2006) Immigration and ethnic change in low-fertility countries: A third demographic transition, Population and Development Review, 32(3): 401–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Coleman, D. and Scherbov, S. (2005) Immigration and ethnic change in low-fertility countries – towards a new demographic transition? Presented at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting, Philadelphia. Online at
  9. Dunnell, K. (2008) Ageing and mortality in the UK – National Statistician’s annual article on the population, Population Trends, 134: 6–23.Google Scholar
  10. Fennelly, K. (2005) The healthy migrant effect, Healthy Generations, 5(3): 1–3.Google Scholar
  11. Green, A.E., Owen, D. and Adam, D. (2008) A resource guide on local migration statistics. Report prepared for the Local Government Association. Online at
  12. Harding, S. and Balarajan, R. (2002) Mortality data on migrant groups living in England and Wales: Issues of adequacy and of interpretation of death rates in Haskey, J. (ed.), Population Projections by Ethnic Group: A Feasibility Study, The Stationery Office, London, pp. 115–127.Google Scholar
  13. Haskey, J. (2002) Introduction in Haskey, J. (ed.), Population Projections by Ethnic Group: A Feasibility Study (Studies on Medical and Population Subjects No. 67), The Stationery Office, London, pp. vii–x.Google Scholar
  14. Heistaro, S., Jousilahti, P., Lahelma, E., Vartiainen, E. and Puska, P. (2001) Self-rated health and mortality: A long term prospective study in eastern Finland, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 55(4): 227–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Helweg, M., Kjøller, M. and Thoning, H. (2003) Do age and social relations moderate the relationship between self-rated health and mortality among adult Danes? Social Science and Medicine, 57(7): 1237–1247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hussain, S. and Stillwell, J. (2008) Internal Migration of Ethnic Groups in England and Wales by Age and District Type, School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, Online at Paper 08/3).
  17. McGee, D.L., Liao, Y., Cao, G. and Copper, R.S. (1999) Self-reported health status and mortality in a multiethnic US cohort, American Journal of Epidemiology, 149(1): 41–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. NCHS (2007) United States life tables, 2003, National Vital Statistics Reports, 54(14): 1–40, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, MD 20782. Online at
  19. Norman, P., Rees, P. and Boyle, P. (2003) Achieving data compatibility over space and time: Creating consistent geographical zones, International Journal of Population Geography, 9(5): 365–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. ONS (2009, February) Improvements to migration and population statistics. Office for National Statistics. Online at
  21. Penn, R. (2000) British population and society in 2025: Some conjectures, Sociology, 34(1): 5–18.Google Scholar
  22. Raymer, J. and Giulietti, C. (2008, 2 July) Analysing structures of interregional migration in England. Paper presented at the ESRC Research Methods Festival Session 40: Handling Migration and Commuting Flow Data, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  23. Raymer, J. and Giulietti, C. (2009) Ethnic migration between area groups in England and Wales, Area, 41(4): 435–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Raymer, J., Smith, P. and Giulietti, C. (2008) Combining Census and Registration Data to Analyse Ethnic Migration Patterns in England From 1991 to 2007 (Methodology Working Papers M08/09), Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute, Southampton.Google Scholar
  25. Rees, P. (2002) New models for projecting UK populations by ethnic group at national and subnational scales in Haskey, J. (ed.), Population Projections by Ethnic Group: A Feasibility Study (Studies on Medical and Population Subjects No. 67), The Stationery Office, London, pp. 27–52.Google Scholar
  26. Rees, P. (2006) What is happening to the UK population in a global mobility system? Paper presented at the ESRC/ONS Public Policy seminar series on Demographic Change and Government Policy, Third Seminar on Globalisation, population Mobility and the Impact of Migration on Population, Royal Statistical Society, London.Google Scholar
  27. Rees, P. (2008) What happens when international migrants settle? Projections of ethnic groups in United Kingdom regions in Raymer, J. and Willekens, F. (eds.), International Migration in Europe: Data, Models and Estimates, Wiley, Chichester, pp. 329–358.Google Scholar
  28. Rees, P. and Boden, P. (2006) Estimating London’s New Migrant Population. Stage 1 – Review of Methodology, Mayor of London, Greater London Authority, London, Online at
  29. Rees, P. and Butt, F. (2004) Ethnic change and diversity in England, 1981–2001, Area, 36(2): 174–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rees, P. and Parsons, J. (2006) Socio-demographic Scenarios for Children to 2020, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York, Online at
  31. Rees, P. and Parsons, J. (2009, January) Child Poverty in the UK: Socio-Demographic Scenarios to 2002 for Children (2008 Update) (Report on Datasets, Models and Results, Report to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation), School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds.Google Scholar
  32. Rees, P., Stillwell, J., Boden, P. and Dennett, A. (2009) Part 2: A review of migration statistics literature, in UK Statistics Authority in Migration Statistics: The Way Ahead? Report 4, UKSA, London, pp. 53–140.Google Scholar
  33. Rees, P. and Wohland, P. (2008) Estimates of Ethnic Mortality in the UK (Working Paper 08/04), School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds.Google Scholar
  34. Rees, P. and Wohland, P. (2009) What happens when international migrants settle? An analysis of the demographic future of ethnic mixing in the UK. Presentation at the session on Migration, Mixing and Ethnic Integration at the Annual conference of the Royal Geographical Society-IBG, University of Manchester, Manchester, 26 August. Online at
  35. Rees, P., Wohland, P. and Norman, P. (2009) The estimation of mortality for ethnic groups at local scale within the United Kingdom, Social Science and Medicine, 69: 1592–1607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Simpson, S. (1997) Demography and ethnicity: Case studies from Bradford, New Community, 23(1): 89–107.Google Scholar
  37. Simpson, L. (2002) The starting population for population projections by ethnic group in Haskey, J. (ed.), Population Projections by Ethnic Group a Feasibility Study (Studies on Medical and Population Subjects No. 67), The Stationery Office, London, pp. 73–80.Google Scholar
  38. Simpson, L. and Akinwale, B. (2007) Quantifying stability and change in ethnic group, Journal of Official Statistics, 23(2): 185–208.Google Scholar
  39. Simpson, L., Purdam, K., Toya, A., Fieldhouse, E., Gavalas, V., Tranmer, M., et al. (2006) Ethnic Minority Populations and the Labour Market: An Analysis of the 1991 and 2001 Census, Department of Work and Pensions, London, Online at Report No.333).
  40. Sporton, D. and White, P. (2002) Fertility in Haskey, J. (ed.), Population Projections by Ethnic Group a Feasibility Study, The Stationery Office, London, pp. 81–92, Online at on Medical and Population Subjects No. 67
  41. Statistics New Zealand (2008a) New Zealand period life tables: 2005–07. Online at
  42. Statistics New Zealand (2008b) National ethnic population projections: 2006 (base)-2026 (Statistics New Zealand/Tatauranga Aotearoa). Online at
  43. Stillwell, J. and Hussain, S. (2008) Ethnic Group Migration Within Britain During 2000–01: A District Level Analysis (Working Paper 08/2), School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds.Google Scholar
  44. Stillwell, J., Hussain, S. and Norman, P. (2008) The internal migration propensities and net migration patterns of ethnic groups in Britain, Migration Letters, 5(2): 135–150.Google Scholar
  45. Townsend, P. (1987) Deprivation, Journal of Social Policy, 16: 125–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tromans, N., Natamba, E., Jefferies, J. and Norman, P. (2008) Have national trends in fertility between 1986 and 2006 occurred evenly across England and Wales? Population Trends, 133: 7–19.Google Scholar
  47. US Census Bureau (2008) National population projections, released 2008 (Based on Census 2000). Online at
  48. Wilson, T. and Bell, M. (2004) Comparative empirical evaluations of internal migration models in subnational population projections, Journal of Population Research, 21(2): 127–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wilson, T. and Rees, P. (2005) Recent developments in population projection methodology: A review, Population, Space and Place, 11: 337–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Norman
    • 1
  • Philip Rees
    • 1
  • Pia Wohland
    • 1
  • Peter Boden
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Geography, University of LeedsLeedsUK

Personalised recommendations