It is estimated that there are approximately 300,000 Gypsies and Travellers living in the UK (Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT), 2011). However it is only since the 2011 census that these communities have been recognised and able to identify themselves yet according to the (Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2014), only 58,000 did so. So true data is not available. Gypsies and Travellers may be reluctant to disclose their ethnicity for fear of discrimination and therefore all statistics relating to this community should be read with caution as they are likely to be under-reported.
Every January and July there is a national count of the number of Traveller caravans on both authorised and unauthorised sites. The most recent data is from January 2015. The total number of caravans was 20,123 which was an increase of 604 since January 2014. It is estimated that two thirds of the GRT community are living in brick houses.
- 87% of caravans were on authorised land. The number of caravans on unauthorised sites has shown some decrease over the past five years. The greatest increase has been seen on authorised private sites. Source: Department for Communities and Local Government
- In the January school census a count of pupil by ethnicity is undertaken. One category used identifies children who Gypsy or Roma and another identifies children who are Travellers of Irish Heritage. The data identifies 0.36% of all Primary School Children in England are Gypsy or Roma; 0.10% are Travellers of Irish Heritage. In Secondary Schools 0.22% of children in England are Gypsy or Roma; 0.03% are Travellers of Irish Heritage. Source: Department for Education
- 42% of GRT are affected by a long-term condition (18% of the general population have a long-term condition)
- GRTs report the highest level of perinatal infant mortality of all ethnic minorities
- Poor mental health, excessive alcohol consumption and substance misuse are additional factors reflecting social exclusion
- There is a lack of suitable accommodation and GP registration amongst GRT. Source: Royal College of General Practitioners
The 2011 census reports that GRT population in Wokingham was 291 people and this represents just under 0.2% of the total population (ONS, 2011). However, this does not align with the number of caravans on sites in Wokingham, see Table 1 below. This may be because the GRT community are reluctant to identify their ethnicity for fear of discrimination.
Table 2 below shows the school population of GRT children in Wokingham. There is a higher proportion of GRT children in primary schools compared to England and the South East. Again, we believe this number is lower than the actual number of GRT children in local schools.