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2001 Census Ethnicity Reports - Report on Coding of Any Mixed Background

2001 Census Ethnicity Reports - Report on Coding of Any Mixed Background

2. Pre-determined Detailed Codes

Although Census output on ethnicity has generally been presented using one of the two standard classifications – one with 14 categories and one with 5 – each person’s ethnicity was coded to a 3 digit code. Details of this coding, which was decided before any data was captured, are given in Appendix B. The breakdown of the 12,764 persons of ‘Any Mixed background’ by these detailed categories is given in the column headed ‘In Output Database’.

The 3 digits of the code comprise:

  • a single digit for the Section (or Sections) used in answering the question – referred to in this paper as the ‘Section prefix’; and

  • a two-digit code aimed at yielding the range of detail in which information on ethnicity was expected.

The output category of ‘Any Mixed background’ was made up of some 150 or so detailed codes. The number in the category given each of these codes is shown in the first column of figures in Appendix C. By comparing this column with Appendix B it can be seen that not all of the codes materialised that might have been expected. The number broken down by Section prefix is given in Table 1.

Table 1: Persons of ‘Any Mixed background’ by Section prefix

Section Prefix

In Output Database



Section A White


Section B Mixed


Section C Asian


Section D Black


Section E Other


Ticks or text in more than one section


Ticks in more than one section but no text


Text in more than one section but no ticks


Table 1 shows that, for around three-quarters of those of 'Any Mixed Background', the classification is based simply on Section B on the form. For around 9 percent, it is based on an entry contained within one of the other 5 sections. For 18 percent, the classification is based on entries in more than one section.