Sikhism will not be an option as an 'ethnicity' at next Census
By Barfi Culture Team
14th December 2018

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has recommended that Sikhism not be offered as an 'ethnicity' option at the next Census.

The move will deeply disappoint some Sikh groups who had campaigned for such an option, while delighting others who were opposed.

In a White Paper published today, the ONS said it had conducted focus groups with Sikhs from Leicester, Birmingham and London and found:

"...that the inclusion of Sikh tick-box, without other religion tick-boxes, within the ethnic group question was viewed as unacceptable – particularly amongst younger, second-generation participants."

Older Sikhs were more likely to want to express their Sikh identity with an ethnicity Sikh tick-box, and many were confused since they being asked to make a choice "when they felt they were both".

The Network of Sikh Organisations said they were "delighted to see a common sense decision" by the ONS.

The campaign to have Sikhism offered as an 'ethnicity' option was spearheaded by Sikh Federation UK and Preet Gill MP. They claimed they had unanimous support for their campaign. Neither has commented on the setback.

Barfi Culture hosted a debate between the Preet Gill and the NSO's Lord Singh on this issue earlier. That explains many of the issues.

The government will use the recommendations from the White Paper for legislation regarding the next Census. It is highly unlikely to ignore them.

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