FEATURE16 October 2014

The UK’s ethnic youth

Features Youth

44% of the UK’s young ethnic population strongly agree that they are proud to be British, compared to 33% of White British youth, according to research from Manning Gottlieb OMD.


While the numbers who agree that they are proud to be British are broadly similar ( 72% of ethnic youth compared to 69% white British youth), strongly agreeing with that statement is significantly more common among the ethnic youth.

This is one of the findings from Manning Gottlieb OMD’s Our Ethnic Youth study, a two-phase qual and quant study exploring the attitudes, behaviours and aspirations of 18-29 year olds in the UK, across ten key ethnicities.

The study found that while Generation Y share many common characteristics, there are a number of differences between ethnicities in terms of attitudes and behaviours that Manning Gottlieb OMD feels could be pertinent to marketers. One of these is that, while around a third of all Gen Y put a new house or flat as their number one priority over the next 12 months, a new car is much more of a priority for the UK’s Asian and Black youth. This, says the insight team, represents an opportunity for car manufacturers to target these groups.

Other key insights were:

  • Ethnic youth consume significantly more mainstream digital, print and radio than their white British counterparts: 70% of the ethnic youth population regularly read a newspaper vs 60% of white British youth
  • Ethnic youth have greater daily usage of all the newer social media and digital platforms: Instagram 20% vs 9%; Google+ 21% vs 7%; Tumblr 14% vs 6% and Snapchat 13% vs 10%
  • 27% of the Ethnic youth communicate with 5+ friends in an average day vs 16% of white British youth. The difference is greater for family, with 22% of the Ethnic youth communicating with 5+ family on a typical day compared with only 7% of White British youth
  • 64% of th Ethnic youth group agreed that there are lots of opportunities in the UK vs 52% white British youth. This correlates with a higher appreciation for life in the UK ( 78% vs 69%), and a greater desire to be based here over any other location in the world ( 56% vs 44%)

The team at Manning Gottlieb OMD believe that these characteristics of the ethnic youth in the UK represent significant opportunities for marketers to tap into. However, it seems that they are currently going unnoticed. “The UK’s ethnic youth have wider, more diverse networks and they communicate much more with their friends and family,” says Alison Tsang, head of insight at Manning Gottlieb OMD (pictured above). “They are untapped communicators and connectors.”

According to Tsang, their potential isn’t limited to just passing on content; their behaviour also means that people in their network are more likely follow their lead.

“They also engage more in sharing self-made content and are more motivated to share their experiences,” says Tsang. “This means they are more likely to be influencers.”