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20 October 2014
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Your identity comes from all the different influences on your life. It includes your ethnic origins, religion, where you live, your friends and your interests. Can you think of others?


Everyone is different.

Our family, school, history, culture, genes, health and general life experiences form us and inform how we view the world. We are a jumble of all these elements.

We are complex individual beings.

Society, therefore, is diverse. It is made up of people of different classes, sexes, backgrounds, ages, abilities, colours, faiths, sizes, beliefs, languages and practices.

It is important to respect difference - if we want to be respected.

What makes you British?


The increasing ethnic diversity of British society means it is difficult to define what makes someone British.

The former Prime Minister, Tony Blair has said that "blood alone" does not define national identity and that modern Britain has been shaped by a "rich mix of all different ethnic and religious origins".

These views were reflected by the Queen, who talked about "our richly multi-cultural and multi-faith society" in her jubilee speech to Parliament last year.

However, many disagree with these definitions of a multi-cultural United Kingdom.

Research carried out for BBC News Online suggests that the majority of UK residents, of all ethnic backgrounds, support the idea of one national identity.

Seventy-eight percent of people - including a majority across all ethnic groups - think that anyone living in the UK who is not familiar with the British way of life should have to attend citizenship classes.

Ethnic diversity in the United Kingdom

The 2001 Census

Check out the facts from the 2001 census.

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