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Ethnic inequalities in later life

Researchers: Dr Laia Becares | Dr Dharmi Kapadia ...

Project overview

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.


  • Dr Laia Becares
    University of Sussex
  • Dr Dharmi Kapadia
    University of Manchester
  • Professor James Nazroo
    University of Manchester

  • Catherine Dennison
    Programme Head, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Welfare
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

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