Ethnic inequalities in later life

Existing research shows that people from ethnic minorities experience poorer health and well-being across the course of their lives. These inequalities are significantly more pronounced among older people, but it is not known how these later-life inequalities have changed over time or why they exist. This project will provide new, much-needed information on ethnic inequalities in mental and physical health, well-being, and socio-economic circumstances among people aged over 45.

The project will involve using innovative methods to analyse existing census and survey data across three stages. The first stage will document the existence and persistence of inequalities among older people, and will create life expectancy and healthy life expectancy estimates by ethnic group, gender, and generation. The second stage of the research will focus on identifying the underlying causes of these inequalities. The final stage will explore how and why ethnic inequalities among older people have changed across cohorts and generations.

As the proportion of older ethnic minority people is growing rapidly in the UK and will have an increasing influence on health and social welfare policies and provision, it is vital to gain a precise understanding of inequalities in health, well-being, and social circumstances. The findings from this research will inform policy makers and social care providers in their efforts to improve healthy ageing.

Project details


Dr Laia Bécares
, University of Sussex
Dr Dharmi Kapadia, University of Manchester
Professor James Nazroo, University of Manchester

Grant amount and duration:
November 2019 - November 2022