Date: 29th November 2022
Number of Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller people disclosing ethnicity in census increases by 110,000
The number of people from Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller people willing to disclose their ethnicity in the decennial UK census has risen by 111,069; from 57,680 in 2011 to 168,749 in 2021.
The significant increase in disclosure is mainly attributable to the inclusion of Roma as a distinct ethnic category for the first time, with the first official population of Roma heritage in the UK recorded at 100,981.
Following the Traveller Movement’s Stand up and Be Counted Census campaign, the number of Gypsy or Irish Traveller people disclosing their ethnicity has risen from 57,680 in 2011 to 67,768 in 2021 – a significant increase of 17.5%
There is a significant trust gap between the state/public services and many people from Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller backgrounds which negatively impacts census engagement, and thus the official census record is still very likely to be an underestimate of the true size of the Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller population in the UK. The UK Government believes the true size of the UK’s Gypsy, Roma, Traveller population may be as high as 300,000; independent research from the University of Salford estimated it may be as high as 500,000.
Yvonne McNamara (CEO of the Traveller Movement) said:
“Although the census data are still likely to be an undercount, these figures are nevertheless momentous. Previously Traveller Movement research estimated that 76% of people from Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller backgrounds have hidden their ethnicity to avoid discrimination. In this context, a 17.5% increase in people willing to disclose their ethnicity is significant. We are proud to have played our role in this with our Stand up and Be Counted campaign.
A recorded Roma population of over 100,000 in the first time the ethnic group has ever been included in the census is also extremely significant. This really demonstrates the importance of including Roma as a specific identity and ethnicity across ethnic monitoring in the public sector, and this should be a priority for all public organisations moving forward”
Greg Sproston, Policy and Campaigns Manager
T: +020 7607 2002
Notes to Editor
* The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Irish Traveller and Gypsy communities in Britain. TM is proud to work in partnership with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion. Visit website here: /