Black and Asian Welsh not included as options for 2021 census
“It’s like forcing people to choose between being Welsh or being black or Asian”
It has recently been revealed that in the 2021 census, there will be several options about identity including white Welsh, but no option for black Welsh, only black British.
Campaigners are infuriated by the lack of ethnic minority Welsh options.
— Gareth Wyn Williams (@LDRMonGwynedd) November 22, 2019
Merthyr-born singer Kizzy Crawford has said that she wanted to see the option for black Welsh included in the census. Crawford told BBC Wales 'Newyddion 9 programme: "For years now, whenever I've had to fill a form like this, and state my nationality, there's never been an option for me."
The Office for National Statistics (ONS), whom are responsible for the census, have said they've consulted with the public.
According to a draft version, when people from Wales complete the census, there will be a section for white people noting if they identify as Welsh, English, Scottish, Northern Irish or British.
Whereas for ethnic minority groups in this section, the categories are black British and Asian British with no option to say black Welsh or Asian Welsh. However, the question offered in Scotland runs differently. People from ethnic minorities can tick a box if they are British, Scottish or otherwise. The census in Scotland is run by National Records of Scotland, not the ONS.
Writer and activist from Cardiff Yasmin Begum has tweeted about the issue saying: "I'm Welsh Pakistani, not British Asian."
I'm Welsh Pakistani, not British Asian. For years I've said that anglocentric approaches to data census was erasing the real life embodiment and existence of Welsh people of colour in Wales: a thread https://t.co/ZJ8ScrXEBh
— Yasmin (@punkistani93) November 23, 2019
Gwynedd council has asked the ONS to reconsider the categories. While Plaid Cymru has also written to the ONS asking them to correct the issue.
The ONS’ decision not to allow people who are not white to automatically identify themselves as Welsh in the next census is an example of institutional prejudice.
— Plaid Cymru (@Plaid_Cymru) December 3, 2019
Councillor Nia Jeffreys noted: "How it is worded, with only the choice of black British or Asian British, it's like forcing people to choose between being Welsh or being black or Asian, It's not acceptable."
However, the ONS have defended their choice of options, saying there are a number of questions in the census which allow people to state their national identity and ethnic group.
A spokeswoman said: "Everyone who wants to identify as Welsh can do so through their national identity and their ethnicity.
"The census questionnaires are designed to ensure people have the options to do this."