Scotland's ethnic population mix was put under the microscope today, as a detailed analysis of data from the 2001 Census was published.
Information on ethnic group was collected as part of the 2001 Census in Scotland, representing the first large-scale collection of data on ethnicity in Scotland for a decade. The profile of the country's minority ethnic population will help to promote equal opportunities and paint a more detailed picture of where inequalities may lie.
"This report provides us with vital insight into the situation facing minority ethnic communities in Scotland. The Executive is committed to promoting equal opportunities and information like this paints a more detailed picture of where inequalities may lie.
"The findings reinforce the need for work to continue to promote equality and the report will certainly inform future policy work in this field."
The report was published by the Scottish Executive's Office of the Chief Statistician to encourage discussion by highlighting differentials between ethnic groups.
The Executive is today holding a seminar with race equality specialists to discuss the findings and to initiate debate on the key issues.
The 2001 Census in Scotland, which was carried out by the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS), published information according to the following ethnic origin categories: White Scottish; Other White British; White Irish; Other White; Indian; Pakistani; Bangladeshi; Other South Asian; Chinese; Caribbean; African; Black Scottish or Other Black; Any Mixed Background; Other Ethnic Groups.
It also posed a voluntary question on religious affiliation to which only 5.5 percent of respondents declined to answer.
The seminar was held this morning at the Scottish Executive, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, involving representatives of race equality groups including the Commission for Racial Equality.
The second phase of the Scottish Executive's anti-racism campaign "One Scotland, Many Cultures" will be launched on 16 February 2004. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of racist attitudes and behaviour and highlight the negative impact this has on individuals and communities. It highlights the positive features of diversity as well as tackling negative behaviour. For more information about the campaign, please see the One Scotland website.