Ethnicity

The following describes best practice for providing ethnicity data to the national collections.

Please note that this is a general guide when recording ethnicity for NHI and national collections reporting – individual collections may define specific rules which may be less robust than the descriptions below.

Reporting ethnicity to the national collections
Field Rules
Ethnicity_1
  • Mandatory (must be populated)
  • Can be ‘Not stated’ (code 99) if ethnicity_2 and ethnicity_3 are both null
Ethnicity_2
  • Optional
  • Can only be populated if Ethnicity_1 is populated
  • Cannot be the same value as Ethnicity_1
  • Cannot be populated with ‘not stated (code 99)’
Ethnicity_3
  • Optional
  • Can only be populated if Ethnicity_2 is populated
  • Cannot be the same value as Ethnicity_2 or Ethnicity_1
  • Cannot be populated with not stated (code 99)

Guidelines

  • Not specified’ maps to null ethnicity. ‘Not specified’ should be used when the respondent provides fewer than three responses to the ethnicity question.
  • ‘Not stated’ means that the respondent did not want to have their ethnicity recorded or the respondent was not in a position to report their ethnicity (eg unconscious).
Some valid combinations
Number of ethnicity codes reported Ethnicity_1 Ethnicity_2 Ethnicity_3
3 valid codes 11 21 30
2 valid codes 11 21 Null
1 valid code 11 Null Null
1 valid code 99 Null Null
Some common invalid combinations
Number of ethnicity codes reported Ethnicity_1 Ethnicity_2 Ethnicity_3 Comment
3 codes 99 21 10 Cannot have 99 as ethnicity_1 when there are valid codes in ethnicity_2 or ethnicity_3
3 codes 21 11 11 Entry in Ethnicity_3 not required, it is the same as the code in Ethnicity_2
3 codes 21 11 21 Entry in Ethnicity_3 not required, it is the same as the code in Ethnicity_1
2 codes 54 99   Cannot have 99 as an ethnicity_2. Report null in this field
2 codes 21 11 99 Cannot have 99 as an ethnicity_3. Report null in this field
2 codes Null 21 10 Ethnicity_1 should be populated first, then Ethnicity_2
2 codes 21 Null 11 Ethnicity_2 should be populated, not Ethnicity_3
1 code Null 21   Ethnicity_1 should be populated first
1 code Null     Ethnicity_1 is mandatory. Use ‘not stated’ (code 99) if no ethnicity is reported
Back to top