The Children of the Windrush: Persistent Inequalities across Multiple Life Domains

Matthew Wallace , Stockholm University
Ben Wilson, Stockholm University
Fran Darlington-Pollock, University of Liverpool

Between 1945 and 1971, the British government welcomed workers and their families from the Caribbean destined to help rebuild the country in the aftermath of World War II. Over half a century later these workers, and particularly their children, began to face serious problems with their immigration status. Despite being British citizens (albeit ones who had not formally naturalised or applied for a British passport), large numbers were detained, denied legal rights, benefits and medical care, and threatened with deportation. The Windrush Scandal – the name given to this particular cohort of immigrants, so called after one of the first boats to arrive with workers from Jamaica – broke in the British media in 2018. Yet despite widespread public awareness, we still know little about the children of the Windrush and their life experiences since arriving in the UK. Consequently, our aim is to investigate (in)equality in the children of the Windrush across five life domains; education, employment, occupation, housing and health. Our main question is whether, through merit of having arrived as British citizens, the children of the Windrush enjoyed the same life opportunities as the White-UK-born. We use a 5% sample of the 2011 Census for England and Wales, from which we can identify three Windrush generations: the G1.5 (our main group of interest), G2 and G2.5. For men and women, we uncover persistent disadvantages in employment and housing. For men only, we uncover persistent disadvantages in education and occupation. The G2.5 are the most disadvantaged relative to the White-UK-born.

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 Presented in Session 76. Children of Immigrants