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Ethnic minorities prefer to identify themselves as Scots

PEOPLE from ethnic minorities living in Scotland are more likely to call themselves Scottish than their counterparts living in England - who are less inclined to identify themselves as English.

Census data reveals 83 per cent of residents living north of the Border feel Scottish.

However, almost all minority communities north of the Border were more likely to claim a Scottish identity in Scotland.

South of the Border residents from an ethnic background are less likely to claim an English identity .

The researchers said it showed the "complexity of national identity", because many minorities in Scotland were just as likely to choose a "British only" identity as a "Scottish only" identity.

This is one of a series of findings from an analysis of the 2011 Scottish Census data by the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity co-hosted by Glasgow University and Manchester University.

Researchers examined national identity in Scotland, exploring how it relates to other characteristics, such as place of birth and religion, drawing comparison with data from around the UK.

Dr Andrew Smith, senior lecturer in Sociology at Glasgow University, said: "There is clearly a range of different factors - personal background, histories of migration, the perceived relationship between different identities -which shape the way in which people describe themselves.

"In some respects, these results appear to suggest that minority communities in Scotland see Scottishness as a relatively 'open' identity, but not in all cases and many minority communities are at least as likely to consider themselves British as they are Scottish.

"Where you are born is clearly a crucial factor in all of this: 94 per cent of people born in Scotland, regardless of ethnicity, consider themselves to be Scottish, either solely, or in conjunction with another national identity."

Asian, Arab and white Irish ethnic groups are more likely to identify as Scottish only in ­Scotland than as English only in England.

In contrast, African, Caribbean and other white ethnic groups show similar patterns of identification across Scotland and England.

Being born in Scotland makes people feel Scottish - 94 per cent of the Scotland-born choose ­Scottish as their national identity alone or with other identities, but less than half of those born outside Scotland do so.

For those born outside Scotland it makes little difference where they were born - about 5 per cent of residents born outside the country feel Scottish -this is no less for those from South and East Asia, Africa and the Middle East, than it is for those born in England or other parts of Europe.

There is no significant difference in the likelihood of claiming Scottish national identity for those who are Roman Catholic, Church of Scotland or of "no religion" (two-thirds of each of these groups identify as Scottish only).

Almost 75 per cent of Muslims in Scotland identify as either Scottish, British or some other form of UK national identity.

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