§ Mr. Churchill
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the assessed accuracy, expressed in percentage terms, of census figures relating to the size of the ethnic minority communities settled in the United Kingdom; and to what extent the census figures are believed to reflect the numbers of immigrants living illegally in the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Sackville
The 1991 census is estimated to have counted 98.1 per cent. of the resident population of Great Britain.
No estimates are yet available of the coverage of particular ethnic groups in the census. Such estimates as are possible when the "Census Report for Great Britain on Ethnic Group and Country of Birth" is published in late summer will be included in that volume. A copy will be placed in the Library.
The census validation survey for Great Britain, carried out soon after the census to help assess coverage and quality of census statistics, will provide some information on the accuracy of answers to the ethnic group question. Preliminary results on accuracy of answers will be published in an Office of Population Censuses and Surveys monitor in the autumn. A full report will be published in 1994.
As the census contained no questions relating to nationality or immigration status, no information on these topics is available from the census.
The 1991 census in Northern Ireland did not contain a question on ethnic group.