There is a significant gap between perceptions of influence between ethnic minorities and white people

White people feel more alienated from power

White people feel more alienated from power

White people are significantly more likely to feel disconnected from power than ethnic minorities, a new report has revealed.

The Community Life Survey by think-tank Demos showed ethnic minorities felt more able to influence decisions at a local and national level.

"There are several likely driving factors in this imbalance of perceived influence," David Goodhart, director of Demos, said.

"First, some ethnic minority citizens will have direct or familial experience of real oppression in their countries of origin and are grateful for British freedoms.

"It's also the case that many BME families have experienced high social mobility over just a few generations – giving them a real and justified confidence in the fairness of the British system."

Asked whether they had a say on local issues, 51% of ethnic minorities said they did – compared to just 37% of white people.

At a national level, 39% of ethnic minorities felt they had influence, compared to just 19% of white people.

"This is a reminder that even for disadvantaged communities, an open and democratic society is the great advantage of living in Britain," former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Philips said.

"Minority citizens are reminding us that the right to participate is a precious privilege which we've tended to take for granted recently."