Why is minority ethnic Covid-19 death rate in Scotland only half that of ‘white’ population yet in England….

In an interview with Anas Sarwar, BBC Scotland referred to lower vaccination rates among ethnic minority groups, using, I suspect data for England & Wales. Ignored for months now is the evidence of lower death rates for these groups in Scotland.

From the National Records of Scotland, last updated 24th March 2021:

When a death is registered in Scotland, information about the ethnicity of the deceased person is collected, on a voluntary basis. The National Record of Scotland have produced a new dataset on ethnicity by linking records from the 2011 Census and death registration records.

The following chart shows death by ethnicity. A more detailed breakdown can be found on the National Record of Scotland website. The 2011 Census showed that the Scottish population was 4% minority ethnic. This data show that the number of minority ethnic deaths in Scotland relating to COVID-19 is between 1.4% and 2.7%.



In England and Wales, males of Black African, Black Caribbean and Bangladeshi ethnic background had the highest rates of death involving COVID-19, all exceeding 250 deaths per 100,000 and significantly higher than all other ethnic groups. 


What can possibly explain this?

Ethnic minority groups more prepared to take advice on compliance with pandemic control measures and vaccines from Nicola Sturgeon than from Boris Johnson?

Ethnic minority groups in England more likely to be in frontline jobs?



In some respects, the minority ethic population in Scotland is not as disadvantaged as the majority
population. For example, Census data indicates that Pakistani, Chinese and Indian households are more
likely to have access to a car, or to three or more cars, than White Scottish households (these variables
are generally related to income). Most of the visible minority ethnic groups have higher qualifications than
the White Scottish population; this may be related to the fact that many are actually students (31 per cent
of African and 26 per cent of Chinese). Others may have come to Scotland originally to study.

Children in Bangladeshi and Pakistani households were the most likely to live in low income and material deprivation out of all ethnic groups, while children in Indian households were the least likely. Children in Asian households were 2.5 times as likely, compared with the national average, to be in persistent low income during the period from 2013 to 2017.


7 thoughts on “Why is minority ethnic Covid-19 death rate in Scotland only half that of ‘white’ population yet in England….

  1. Lots of reasons for this, such as higher rates of front-line occupation in England, probably. Though risking being accused of essential-ism, I’d suggest there’s a lower proportion of Christian fundamentalists within Scotland’s ethnic minority groups, compared to England. Where they are well represented among England’s ethnic minorities.

    Church campaign to tackle vaccine misinformation launched

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Similarly, the Jewish community has been challenged by resistance to vaccination and non-prophylactic measures, such as social distancing. For reasons related to the Holocaust, as well as cultural traditions and practices. Though they appear to be overcoming these obstacles, I can’t find open access reports to support this. So here’s a look at what’s happening in Belgium, which I think offers further support to my earlier observation, and provides a look at how “bottom-up” community public health works.

    Understanding How Communities Respond to COVID-19: Experiences from the Orthodox Jewish Communities of Antwerp City


  3. Could it be related to poverty? I’m not sure where I saw it but I’m sure I read somewhere a while ago that a greater percentage of BAME folk lived in poverty in England than in Scotland.


      1. John
        I recently recall a report on.BAME in England whereby and beyond doubt
        The main cause was poverty and based
        On Lancashire towns such as Bradford
        With a abnormally high proportion population of BAME residents
        But cannot recall who the source of the report was


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