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Social attitudes survey stirs 'British or not British' debate

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Social attitudes survey stirs 'British or not British' debate

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Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing

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The latest British Social Attitudes survey, conducted annually since 1983, looks at what the public see as most important in determining whether or not someone is "truly British".

According to NatCen Social Research, Britain’s largest independent social research organisation, 95% of the British public expect someone who is British to speak English (up from 86% in 2003), to have lived here for most of their life (77%, up from 69%) and to have been born in Britain (74%). Less than a quarter (24%) say you need to be Christian to be considered British, though that’s far more than the percentage of Britons who expect Wayne Rooney to score against Uruguay tomorrow.

Half of all people (50%) think the main reason immigrants come to Britain is to work, but nearly a quarter (24%) think the main reason is to claim benefits. The survey notes that "those most concerned about immigration are more likely to think that immigrants come to Britain to claim benefits".

Although on average people give a mark of 8 out of 10 when asked how free and fair they think British elections are, "they give a mark of only 6 out of 10 when asked whether they think the courts treat people fairly – or whether the media provide information that is sufficiently reliable to judge the government".

The 2013 survey consisted of 3,244 interviews with a representative, random sample of adults in Britain. Interviewing was mainly carried out between June and September 2013

The survey editors are Alison Park, John Curtice and Caroline Bryson.

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