Unemployment and overcrowding blight the lives of Muslim families

Almost a fifth of children – including a third of Muslim children –
live in households where no adult works, according to new figures
from the 2001 census.

Two in five Muslim children are also subjected to overcrowding,
compared with an average of just over one in 10, and one in eight
Muslim children live in a household with no central heating. The
Muslim population also has a very high proportion of young people
with 34 per cent aged 0 to 15 and 18 per cent aged 16 to 24.

Director of homelessness charity Shelter, Adam Sampson, said
reducing overcrowding levels among ethnic minorities was not simply
a case of improving their economic position, citing a shortage of
quality housing as the root of the problem.

“The impact of right to buy and stock transfer to housing
associations has led to councils only having two or three-bedroom
houses available and there is no doubt this has a disproportionate
effect on ethnic minorities,” he said.

Figures reveal above-average rates of poor health among ethnic
minority groups. Unemployment rates among Bangladeshi and Pakistani
men are more than twice as high as those of white British

The latest census data published reveal that nearly a quarter of
children now live in single parent families, nine out of 10 of
which are headed by a woman. Further movement away from the
traditional family is shown by more than one in 10 children living
in a step-family and only two-thirds of children living with both
natural parents.

A picture of the 5.2 million carers in England and Wales is also
given. A spokesperson for Carers UK said the figures showed that
those providing the “heavy end” of care were often in poor health
themselves – more than 225,000 people who provide 50 or more hours
of unpaid care per week said they were “not in good health”.

“This is evidence to demonstrate to the NHS that carers have health
needs in their own right as well as providing the important role of
support to people,” she added.

Other figures show that nearly 4,000 people aged 90 or over are
providing 50 or more hours of unpaid care a week, and over a
quarter of a million of people aged 16-74 who are permanently
disabled or sick provide some unpaid care.

More census information will be released on 30 June.

– www.statistics.gov.uk/census

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