The accumulation of disadvantage across the life course for ethnic minority older people

There is very little research exploring the experiences of ethnic minority older people in the UK. Evidence suggests that ethnic minority older people are one of the most disadvantaged groups in terms of their health, access to health and social care services, financial security and housing quality.

The racism that ethnic minority older people have faced over the life course is a fundamental reason why disadvantages are evident for this group in health, social and economic later life.

This research aims to explore the factors that affect ethnic minority people across the life course. We want to understand how the experiences across a life course have shaped access to resources, to shed more light on the issues that have been brought to the forefront by Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement.


This project seeks to understand how structural inequalities have impacted on life chances of older ethnic minorities.

Dr Jenny Hewitt

The research focuses on:

  • How have experiences of racism shaped biographies?
  • How has racism affected life chances and equality?
  • What effects have the pandemic and subsequent lockdown had?
  • How were ethnic minority older people affected by the focus on the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020

UoM Researchers

Principal Investigator

Professor Bridget Byrne, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester


Dr Jenny Hewitt, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester

Dr Dharmi Kapadia, School of Health Sciences, University of Manchester

Professor James Nazroo, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester

Additional Universities/External Partners

Dr Laia Becares, University of Sussex

Funding Period

September 2020 – March 2021