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The impact of ethnic diversity on well-being and health

Researchers: Professor Miles Hewstone | Miguel Ramos ...

Project overview

Demographic trends reveal that modern societies have become more heterogeneous in their ethnic composition.  Existing research examines the impact of ethnic diversity on critical variables such as economic performance and neighbourhood trust. However, today’s increasing diversity poses a range of challenges, as people living in mixed neighbourhoods have contact with new cultures, norms, and values, or choose to avoid such encounters. It remains unknown how diversity may affect people’s quality of life.

This project will work at the intersection of various social sciences to study how ethnic diversity impacts people’s well-being and health.  Using several years of cross-country and national data (World Values Survey, Latino Barometro, European Social Survey, UK Longitudinal Household Study, National Child Development Study) it will examine its effect on subjective measures of health and well-being and explore opportunities for innovative biological analyses.

The findings will identify risk factors as well as positive aspects of diversity that will inform leaders and policy makers in planning the broad range of diversity-related challenges of modern societies.

This project is one of three funded by the Nuffield Foundation that will be working closely together to better understand the drivers of individuals’ well-being.  The other projects are: Immigration and well-being and Investigating people-place effects in the UK.

Latest on this project


  • Professor Miles Hewstone
    University of Oxford
  • Miguel Ramos
    University of Oxford
  • Dr Matthew Bennett
    University of Birmingham
  • Professor Douglas S. Massey
    Princeton University

  • Alex Beer
    Senior Consultant, 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.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.