A new survey has shown that the British public has the wrong idea about many issues including crime, benefit fraud and immigration
• Immigration: British people believe that the immigrant population is 31 per cent. In fact the UK population is 12.5% foreign-born and 7.9% foreign citizens.
• Ethnicity: British people think that Black and Asian people make up 30 per cent of the population, when the figure is closer to 11 per cent.
• Crime: Most British people do not believe crime is falling, when actually the Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that incidents of crime were 19 per cent lower in 2012 than in 2006/07 and 53 per cent lower than in 1995. About half of British people think that violent crime is rising, when it has fallen from almost 2.5 million incidents in 2006/07 to under 2 million in 2012.
• Religion: Many British people believe that 24% of the population is Muslim. Actually, in England and Wales it’s only 5%. (In Scotland it’s less than 1%)
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conception or misconception?
• Foreign aid: A quarter of British people think foreign aid is one of the top three government expenditures - but in fact foreign aid accounts for only 1.1 per cent of government expenditure.
• Unemployment benefit: Many British people think that more money is spent on Jobseekers' Allowance than pensions. In fact we spend £4.9 billion on Job Seekers Allowance but £74.2 billion on pensions – so pensions cost 15 times more than Job Seekers Allowance.
Source: The Royal Statistical Society 'The Perils of Perception'
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