UK minorities embrace technology

21 August 2013
LONDON: Consumers from the UK's ethnic minority groups are more likely than average to say they love gadgets and to desire the latest technology, according to new research from the regulator Ofcom.

The Ethnic Minority Groups and Communication Services report, which drew on three years of data covering 72,218 people, of whom 7,686 were from an ethnic minority group, found that 37% of people from such groups said they 'loved gadgets', compared to 30% of the British population as a whole.

This attitude was particularly prevalent among Asians originating from Bangladesh (47%) and Pakistan (46%). Black Caribbeans showed least enthusiasm, but at 35% they were still ahead of the average.

Having the latest technology was important for 33% of those from ethnic minority groups compared to 20% of the general British population. Once again, Asians featured prominently, with 47% of the Asian Indian group and 44% of the Asian Pakistani group expressing this sentiment. Black Africans were also significantly more keen (45%) than those from the Caribbean (27%).

Despite their love of gadgets and technology, ethnic minority groups expressed more concern than the overall population about e-commerce. While (68%) of Britons agreed on the need to "be careful about the quality of things you buy on the internet", 79% of the Mixed Ethnic and Black African groups thought this, as did 75% those in the Asian Indian and Asian Bangladeshi groups.

The study also suggested that Asian groups tended to be more open to influence by online comments and reviews. While 20% of the population overall admitted to being swayed this way, the figures were higher among Bangladeshis (37%), Indians (35%) and Pakistanis (30%).

TV viewing habits varied widely among ethnic minority groups. Generally, they watched less television overall but were more attracted to certain channels.

So, where 89% of the population said they watched more than seven hours of television a week, this fell to 78% among ethnic minorities and as low as 65% in the Asian Indian group.

But Channels Four and Five were significantly more likely to be heavily watched – four hours or more a day – by Black Caribbeans, Black Africans and Asian Bangladeshis.

Data sourced from Ofcom; additional content by Warc staff
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