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White British or something else?

101 replies

Saltisford · 21/03/2021 07:27

Please settle a debate for me. Am I being unreasonable to tick something other than White British on the UK census form? White European?

My background is that I have one British grandparent, two Polish and one German but I was born in the UK.

What should I tick?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

sweetpotatopie12 · 21/03/2021 07:28

White British or whatever it says on your passport


shouldistop · 21/03/2021 07:28

What about your parents? You only mention grandparents in your op.


Number3BigCupOfTea · 21/03/2021 07:31

White British.
Your grandparents were European but you are British!


GreenBalaclava · 21/03/2021 07:32

White British


sweetpotatopie12 · 21/03/2021 07:32

My mum used to to say

Just because you were born in a stable doesn't make you a horse lol


PrintempsAhoy · 21/03/2021 07:36

Haha do you not feel special enough as white British?Wink

I’m a mix of European, have only had British citizenship for 3 years, am olive skinned yet put “White British”

Maybe I am wrong

Actually, it is confusing as “British” is nationality and “white” is skin colour

Are “Olive skin British” and “Black British” on there too? Can’t remember now

I think I lots of people won’t put “White British” as that is now a shameful thing to be in the eyes of the woke


Saltisford · 21/03/2021 07:41

One parent was born in the UK to Polish grandparents and the other in Germany but British Army hospital. Both have British passports.

I suppose my question is about ethnicity not nationality. I know my nationality is British but don’t think white British on the census reflects my heritage/culture?

OP posts:

DancesWithDaffodils · 21/03/2021 07:41

How to you feel? If you feel British, select that. If you feel European, select something that reflects that.


CherryMaple · 21/03/2021 07:42

Ethnic group is all about how you see yourself. You don’t have to put White British. White European would make sense with your family history if that’s how you identify.


Ahbahbahbah · 21/03/2021 07:45

That question is very difficult for a lot of people. Depends totally on how you feel I think. Put whatever feels closest to right.


justanotherneighinparadise · 21/03/2021 07:48

I would look to your parents. If they are white and British, you are white British


Modestandatinybitsexy · 21/03/2021 07:50

I did mine last night and I'm fairly certain there's an "other" option which will let you write 100 characters or so. If you don't like 'White British' I'd probably put 'White European' instead?


MissyB1 · 21/03/2021 07:51

My parents were white Irish so that’s what I always put.


GrumpyHoonMain · 21/03/2021 07:53

You are a white person born in Britain though - that makes you white British. White European is surely a white person living here with a European passport?


Spillanelle · 21/03/2021 07:53

Interesting that most think OP should select White - British because she was born here. There is rarely an option on these forms for Black - British; even if you, your parents and grandparents were born here you generally have to choose Black - African, Black - Caribbean or Black - Other. Just an observation.

OP - I think you could probably either choose White - British or White - European. Whatever feels right to you.


Saltisford · 21/03/2021 07:56

But ethnicity isn’t a choice is it? It’s determined by your ancestors? (Oh no we’re getting deep now!)

I suppose I would like it to be accurate for researchers or my descendants doing future family research but I know my family will all choose different options.

OP posts:

ManxRhyme · 21/03/2021 07:56

Ethnicity is about the culture, language, background etc you identify with. Not your skin colour or nationality. So in your case you could list it as British European or whatever permutation you feel represents you. Use the other section.


toodleloooo · 21/03/2021 08:03

I'm half British, half European but born in the UK. I think they ask your place of birth too as a separate question so I wrote White European as I figured it was getting more at your heritage and how you feel about it.


PigeonPants · 21/03/2021 08:06

(In Scotland so no census, but) aren't there separate categories for something like (1) country of birth and citizenship/passport(s) held (2) national identity and (3) ethnic group?

For "ethnic group", I think it's completely reasonable to select "white British" AND tick other and write in "Polish, German" if you want. (The last Scottish census had "white Polish" as a choice, if I remember right.)

For national identity, it's supposed to what you feel your identity is, so if you also feel strongly Polish and/or German in terms of your own ties now, it's not unreasonable to say so. If you mostly feel British (English, etc.) with heritage from these other countries, you might just leave it at that.


CreosoteQueen · 21/03/2021 08:07

‘White British’ would be accurate because ‘white’ is your ethnicity and ‘british’ is your nationality (assuming you are a British National). If you aren’t a British National you should put the nationality you are instead.


Camomila · 21/03/2021 08:07

You can tick different things for "ethnicity" and "national identity"
I did that for my DC.

You could put European if you wanted as national Identity and either White British or White Other (European) as your ethnicity.


silentpool · 21/03/2021 08:07

I tick White - Other. But that's only because White - African is not an option (I'm not mixed race but born in Africa).


Fucket · 21/03/2021 08:13

I’m British but identify with that part of my known ancestry I feel closest represents me and how I was brought up. My DH is welsh and he identifies as British - Welsh and my children we put down as British. I quite like that being British means we are all the same nationality but as we are melting pot of global cultures formed over 100 years we can identify as British and xxxx whilst simultaneously having a feeling of belonging to these Isles.


CecilyP · 21/03/2021 08:15

One parent was born in the UK to Polish grandparents and the other in Germany but British Army hospital. Both have British passports.

White British! You were born in Britain as was one of your parents, while to other would have been registered under British births abroad. So both your parents would also tick the white British box. I’m similar (including dad being born with the army, but in India) with one British grandparent but my Dutch mum was born in Holland. so while dad ticked white British, mum ticked white European. It still wouldn’t have occurred to me to tick anything other than white British as both words describe me.

If everyone with a similar background you put something else, it would really skew the results and not in a useful way. The census is for the benefit of the government to collect useful information about the population; it not for our pleasure to show how we feel about out heritage and culture!


DaisyWaldron · 21/03/2021 08:19

I have one grandparent with dual British/Irish nationality, one who got British citizenship through marriage to the dual national and two who aren't British at all. I usually go with White European. My husband is uncomplicatedly British and our children have more than half their family in England, and consider themselves to be British, so they always tick white British. It's about your heritage and culture.

Similarly, I always tick white, and my grandfather would probably have ticked white, but my great grandmother probably wouldn't. There's often not really a clear cut-off point in terms of assimilation.

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