Skip to main content Skip to navigation

The National Ethnic Minority Data Archive


NEMDA was established by CRER in collaboration with the Commission for Racial Equality in October 1991. Its aims are:

  • to bring together quantitative information on minority ethnic groups
  • to conduct quantitative analyses of the characteristics of minority ethnic groups
  • to disseminate information on minority ethnic groups widely.

NEMDA is a specialist source of quantitative information and data analyses relating to the changing situation of minority ethnic groups living in the United Kingdom (and, where information is available, the countries of continental Europe). Research conducted by NEMDA draws upon numerous data sets, ranging from the decennial Census of Population and large-scale national social surveys (such as the Labour Force Survey) to the results of local surveys of particular ethnic groups.

The areas with which NEMDA is concerned include:

  • demography;
  • the labour market;
  • social structure;
  • housing;
  • educational qualifications;
  • standards of living.


image hand pointing

NEMDA plays a valuable role in disseminating research in these areas. Though much useful data on minority ethnic groups is available in official publications, the amount of detail they contain is limited and often does not answer the key questions about the circumstances of minority ethnic groups. NEMDA has addressed this gap in three ways:

  • Publishing research reports (1991 Census Statistical Papers and Information Notes);
  • Conducting commissioned research;
  • Producing ad-hoc analyses for individual organisations or persons.

Research Publications

The 1991 Census of Population was the first to collect information on the ethnic group of every individual in the population of Great Britain. As such, it is of crucial importance as a source of comprehensive benchmark information on the comparative situation of the various ethnic groups resident in Britain. NEMDA has played an important role in disseminating the findings of the Census, through a series of ten "1991 Census Statistical Papers", which contain detailed analyses of a range of key topics for the ten ethnic groups identified by the Census. These inexpensive reports have proved an extremely popular source of national benchmark information with a wide range of public and private sector organisations. Click for further details of this series, or information on how to order Statistical Papers.

NEMDA has also published a number of academic papers containing the results of the analysis of Census data and other large scale data sets. Recently, NEMDA has been heavily involved in the preparation of a four-volume publication "Ethnicity and the 1991 Census" by the Office for National Statistics (published by HMSO in 1996), which contains five chapters authored by David Owen.

Click here to see a list of publications containing NEMDA research.

An ad hoc series of short "information notes", containing tables, graphics and data analyses for a particular issue (e.g. the ethnic breakdown of Coventy's population) has also been produced. These cover a wide range of topics, and are distributed for the cost of photocopying.

Commissioned Research

Since CRE core funding ended in September 1993, NEMDA has been funded through research conducted for a range of sponsors, including:

  • The Economic and Social Research Council
  • The Equal Opportunities Commission
  • The Department for Education and Employment
  • The Department of the Environment
  • The Health Education Authority
  • The Department of Health

Further details of these projects are available by clicking on the highlighted links above

Ad Hoc analyses and advice

NEMDA is contacted by a large number of people and organisations each year, requesting information on the numbers and living conditions of ethnic minorities. These range from central governmnt departments through local government, private sector companies, academic researchers and community groups to students and private individuals. We endeavour to answer all requests for information as fully as possible, either by providing information already available or by advising on which other bodies to contact for information. NEMDA also provides a substantial amount of data and advice to the Commission for Racial Equality

In some cases, we carry out bespoke data analyses. The research time involved in undertaking this work is usually charged for, unless the body requesting the information is unfunded and has an urgent need for information. NEMDA welcomes commissions from external research sponsors. Call Dr. David Owen +44 (0)24 7652 4259 : e-mail to discuss possible projects.


NEMDA's research and dissemination activities are the responsibility of Dr. David Owen, a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations. The staff of the CRER Resources Centre also collaborate closely with NEMDA. Other staff at Warwick who have been associated with the work of NEMDA include Mark Johnson, Muhammad Anwar and Peter Ratcliffe (Sociology).

Contacting NEMDA

Further information is available from:

Dr. David Owen,
Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations,
University of Warwick,
Coventry, CV4 7AL, U.K.

Telephone no.:
024 76524259 from UK,
+44 24 7652 4259 from outside UK
Fax no. : 024 7652 4324 from UK,
+44 24 7652 4324 from outside UK

who can also be contacted via email: David Owen

To: David Owen's Home Page