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Wales 'more racially prejudiced,' attitudes poll finds

media captionJeff Cuthbert said it was "concerning" as people looked for "scapegoats" in difficult economic times

More people in Wales admit to being racially prejudiced than in the UK as a whole, research has suggested.

Data obtained by The Guardian newspaper suggests 29% people in Wales admit to being "very prejudiced" or "a little prejudiced".

It is a rise of nine percentage points since 2000, drawn from figures for the British Social Attitudes Survey.

Communities Minister Jeff Cuthbert said it was "concerning" as people looked for "scapegoats" in times of austerity.

The Guardian says its report is based on raw data it obtained from NatCen, the social research company which carries out the BSA survey.

The social attitudes survey has been carried out every year since 1983 and is based on questioning around 2,000 people in the UK.

Aled Edwards, chairman of Wales Migration Partnership, said the economic situation drove the response to some of the survey.

He said: "Obviously low income is a factor and people feeling a sense of economic pressure.

"Benefits cuts, perhaps, ... in some parts of the valleys, that may shape a sense of a person being insecure and looking, perhaps to blame either immigrants or people of a different race.

"It's part of the pattern, alas."

Communities Minister Jeff Cuthbert said: "It's not surprising at a time of economic difficulty that you would find these views.

"But the same survey suggests that about 70% do not hold these views, so let's not try and create too dark a picture."

Correction 31 May 2014: The original Guardian article suggested that the figure was even higher - at 34% rather than 29%. The newspaper has adjusted its story and this article has been amended to reflect that correction.

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