Poverty linked to ethnicity in Northern Ireland

People from minority-ethnic groups in Northern Ireland face problems of low pay and child poverty, according to a new study from the Joseph Rowntree Federation.

The JRF project consisted of a comprehensive literature review of empirical research since 1998, together with five focus groups to discuss the emerging findings with people from minority-ethnic groups and community organisations.

Key findings

  • People from minority-ethnic groups are employed at all levels in the economy: but low-grade, low-paid employment appear commonplace among them, despite many having high qualifications and skills.
  • Others from minority-ethnic groups are disadvantaged by limited skills or education, and the current recession may have affected them disproportionately.
  • In-work and child poverty appear to be problematic, but to what extent people from minority-ethnic groups receive benefits when eligible to claim is unclear.
  • There has been a research focus on access to services, but little is known about education and health outcomes. Housing conditions may vary, but poor management by landlords, high costs and overcrowding are evident.

Source: Alison Wallace, Ruth McAreavey and Karl Atkin, Poverty and Ethnicity in Northern Ireland: An Evidence Review, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
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