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The Casey Review: A review into opportunity and integration

1.1. In July 2015, the then Prime Minister and Home Secretary asked Dame Louise Casey to conduct a review to consider what could be done to boost opportunity and integration in our most isolated and deprived communities.

1.2. Despite the long-standing and growing diversity of our nation, and the sense that people from different backgrounds get on well together at a general level, community cohesion did not feel universally strong across the country.

1.3. The unprecedented pace and scale of population change has been having an impact, particularly in deprived areas, at a time when Britain has been recovering from a recession and concerns about terrorism, immigration, the economy and the future of public services have been running high. Problems of social exclusion have persisted for some ethnic minority groups and poorer White British communities in some areas are falling further behind. As the initial fieldwork for this review concluded, the EU referendum posed another question about our unity as a nation, sparking increased reports of racist and xenophobic hatred.

1.4. So it has been timely and right to step back, take stock and consider what more could be done to bring our nation together.

1.5. This report reflects what Dame Louise and the review team believe to be the best, most recent data to illustrate what we have seen and heard in our fieldwork. It summarises what has been drawn during the review from meetings, visits and discussions up and down the country with more than 800 members of the public, community groups, front-line workers, academics, faith leaders, politicians and others; over 200 written submissions; and a wide range of research, data and other evidence about the population and how it has changed.

1.6. In many cases, the report acknowledges that the available data are already feeling out of date (for example where we rely on the Census which, while comprehensive and rich, is only conducted every decade, with the most recent results coming from 2011). In others, data are not available at a sufficiently granular level to pick out trends that might exist or be emerging in smaller or newer groups in society. In general, better data and research are needed across a range of issues relating to integration.

1.7. The report considers immigration and patterns of settlement; the extent to which people from different backgrounds mix and get on together; how different communities – considering ethnic and faith groups in particular – have fared economically and socially; and some of the issues that are driving inequality and division in society; and it makes recommendations on what we should do next in a new programme to help unite Britain.