A new Channel 4 survey reveals the majority of people failed a short UK citizenship test of questions, based on the Life in the UK Test. The Life in the UK test is required for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK or British Citizenship.
The Ipsos MORI Poll, commissioned by Channel 4 to coincide with a new documentary series exploring Britishness, Make Bradford British, asked the British public three questions similar to those in the official test. It found that only 30% answered two or more questions correctly (just 4% got all three right). Half (48%) answered one question correctly and around a quarter (23%) failed to answer any questions correctly.
The results are echoed on the channel's website (www.channel4.com/makebradfordbritish ) where so far 85,428 online respondents have failed Channel 4's Citizenship Test and 3,661 have passed.
When asked on what date St George's Day is celebrated in England, 62% correctly said 23 April meaning that around four in ten (38%) got the multiple choice question wrong. Only 20% of respondents knew how many elected members the UK has in the European Parliament. And 28% correctly answered that two-thirds of people in the UK own their own homes. All three are sample questions, similar to those that people applying for UK Citizenship can expect to be asked.
Head of Channel 4 Factual, Ralph Lee, said: "What it means to be British is something that is very hard to define. The Citizenship Test has distilled Britishness into an exam - something that needs to be revised and learnt. But if we, as a nation, are to integrate then we need to look at what can bring people together; what our common values may be. This series will hopefully generate debate about what it means to be British and show us the dramatic impact that integration can have."
The documentary series Make Bradford British, follows eight people in Bradford who fail the Citizenship Test and then spend time with others from different backgrounds with whom they would not usually integrate, in an attempt to develop common notions of Britishness. The series explores barriers to integration and how to build a sense of greater community.
When asked about integration the nationwide survey found that Britons mix more with people of different generations (41% on a daily basis, outside of work/school) than they do with people of different ethnic backgrounds (29%) or sexualities (27%).
People also felt the biggest barrier to being British is ‘not speaking English' (59%). Speaking with an accent was only cited by 7% of people, and dressing differently by 8%.
Being born outside the UK (26%) and not mixing with other groups (25%) were the next highest-rated answers for barriers to being fully British. Less than a fifth of people said not living in Britain is a barrier.
The majority of people say they are sometimes confused about language and which words they can use when talking about race. The survey found that 54% of those polled agreed they are sometimes confused about which words are acceptable to use when describing people from ethnic minorities.
And while the majority (70%) said there are too many immigrants in Britain, less than half (43%) said they would rather live in an area where most people are from the same ethnic background as them. The survey also split people when it came to the impact of immigration on crime rates. 49% thought immigration increase crime rates in Britain, while 47% disagreed.
Make Bradford British starts on Thursday 1 March at 9pm on Channel 4
Note to Editors
Make Bradford British is a major two-part series exploring what it means to be British. It brings together some of the city's residents - all British citizens, but from different races and backgrounds - to see if they can come up with a common notion of the thread that binds them all together; what it means to be British.
The series uses the Government's Life in the UK Test as a prism to explore British-ness, overcoming stereotypes and preconceptions to uncover the shared values and common ground in what it means to be British.
Ipsos MORI interviewed a nationally representative quota sample of 998 adults aged 15 and over across the Great Britain, interviews were conducted face-to-face between 27 January - 5 February 2012. Results have been weighted to the known GB adult population profile. An asterisk (*) indicates a finding of less than 0.5% but greater than zero. Where percentages do not add up to exactly 100% this is due to computer rounding, the exclusion of "don't knows" or to multiple answers. Results are based on all respondents unless otherwise stated
For citizenship questions and poll results, please see the attached document below...