Majority of black Britons do not feel 'proud to be British' in damning new poll

A view of Bond Street as it is decorated with 247 Union flags

A view of Bond Street as it is decorated with 247 Union flags

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 28/09/2023

- 11:14

Updated: 28/09/2023

- 10:53

Colonialism and historically racist immigration policies were key reasons cited by black Britons who do not feel proud of the United Kingdom

A majority of black Britons do not feel “proud to be British”, a damning new poll has revealed.

Less than half of respondents, 49 per cent, indicated they were definitely or somewhat proud to be British.

While 45 per cent said they were not really or not proud at all, a further six per cent were not sure or would not answer.

The survey, conducted by the Black British Voice Project, involved more than 10,000 people between November 2021 and March 2022.

An image of Union flags

An image of Union flags


It covered topics such as Britishness, work and education.

Authors of the study, whose researchers were from The Voice, Cambridge University and I-Cubed, said in a report: "Interviewees who expressed pride in being British often gave examples of activities or institutions that have enabled them to successfully participate in British society - eg being 'a Londoner', homeownership, working for the NHS etc.

"Whereas respondents who said they were not proud to be British cited negative factors such as colonialism and historically racist immigration policies as reasons contributing to their responses."

A staggering 98 per cent of respondents also revealed they at least sometimes "compromise who they are and how they express themselves to fit in at work".


This included altering hairstyles, speech patterns or being expected to join in social events.

Lester Holloway, editor of The Voice, said: "This study should be a wake-up call for Britain.

"We have many fourth-generation black Brits and, as a community, we should be feeling part of this country.

"Yet the lived experience of racism in every area of life is leading many to not feel British.

"We cannot keep ignoring racial disparities and its impact.

"There needs to be a national conversation about this, and we need race back on the political agenda, so we can tackle the causes of this disconnect between black Brits and the only country they know."

An overwhelming majority of respondents also believed racial discrimination was either definitely or somewhat the biggest barrier to young black people’s academic attainment.

Among young black Britons, aged under 25, respondents were split on whether the UK was their permanent home.

A general view of Union Jack flags above Regent Street in central London

A general view of Union Jack flags above Regent Street in central London


Almost half, 45 per cent, regarded the UK as their permanent home but 39 per cent expressed a desire to live elsewhere.

Dr Kenny Monrose, of Cambridge University's Department of Sociology, the project's lead researcher, said: "We are mindful that historically black communities have been wary of reports conducted on race, as they attempt to limit or invalidate the reality of their lived experiences.

"However, the carpet of data captured within this report reliably highlights the chronic level of racial disparities and unequal outcomes that they face on a daily basis."

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