Inclusive content - Ethnicity, religion and nationality

When and how to refer to ethnicity, religion or nationality and when to use capital letters.

Only refer to people's ethnic background or religion if it's relevant to the content.

Example

You're more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you are of south Asian, Chinese, African Caribbean or Black African origin (even if you were born in the UK).

We refer to skin colour in our content when we need to tell users that a skin symptom may look different on various skin tones. Follow our guidance on skin symptoms.

Writing about ethnicity

Follow the guidance on writing about ethnicity from the Race Disparity Unit on GOV.UK. Be as specific as you can.

Use "ethnicity", not "race".

Use "ethnic minorities", not "BAME" or "BME".

Capitalisation

Use a capital letter when you're writing about ethnicity or when you're asking users for their ethnic group.

Examples

"Black, Asian, African, Black British or Caribbean" or "people from a White British background"

Use lower-case when you're writing about skin colour and skin symptoms.

Would you like to contribute to this guidance?

Please let us know how this has worked for you and, in particular, if you have research findings to share. This will help us improve it for everyone.

Before you start, you will need a GitHub account. It's an open forum where we collect feedback.

If you have any questions, you can message us on Slack. You will need a Slack account if you do not have one. Or you can contact us by email.

Updated: October 2023