Terminology and definitions
The Scottish Government uses the definition of race present in the Equality Act 2010, that it is colour, ethnicity, nationality and citizenship. We use "Minority Ethnic" to include all racial and ethnic groups protected under the Act, and we use the terminology minority ethnic (ME) instead of "BME" or "BAME", as ME is inclusive of both visible and non-visible (i.e. white) ME groups. We recognise that across Scotland, people belonging to ME communities define themselves and their communities using a variety of terms; our use of the over-arching term minority ethnic aims to be inclusive of that variety.
It is crucial that our policies and services meet the needs of all our minority ethnic communities. This includes both visible and non-visible minority ethnic groups, as per the legal definition of ethnicity. The Census 2011 figures showed that the percentage of the population belonging to all minority ethnic groups was 8% (this figure is expected to be significantly higher in the 2022 Census). This is the definition and the figure the Scottish Government uses.
We will use data in order to focus our interventions on specific communities within that definition of minority ethnic. There may be occasions in which we need to focus our work on, for example, visible minority ethnic groups for some of our work on colour-based prejudice. Accurate gathering and maintenance of data, along with clear and consistent terminology, are important so that policies and interventions are designed around/delivered to minority ethnic communities in the right way.
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