JRF: ‘What is the relationship between poverty and ethnicity in Northern Ireland?’

A Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) study published in January 2013 examines the evidence on how people across different ethnic groups in Northern Ireland experience poverty and how this affects their access to work and support, including key services.

Northern Ireland has seen increasing political stability and progress in racial equalities legislation and policies. However, not all people benefited equally from economic success, or have had the same experiences following the financial crisis.

  • People from minority ethnic groups are employed at all levels in the economy, but low‑grade, low‑paid employment appears commonplace, despite many having high qualifications and skills.
  • In-work and child poverty appear to be problematic, but to what extent people from minority ethnic groups receive benefits when eligible to claim is unclear.
  • There has been a focus on access to services, but little is known about education and health outcomes. Housing conditions may vary, but poor management by landlords, high costs and overcrowding are evident.
  • Despite positive policy changes, people from minority ethnic groups have experienced racism as service users, employees and pupils, with mixed responses from organisations, employers and schools.

Click here for summary and report

The study is also accompanied by a blog and the research is part of the Foundation’s programme of work on poverty and ethnicity.

To find out more about the Joseph Rowntree Foundation