The seminar paper 'The Religion question in the Census and use of the SAR dataset' is now downloadable from the MCB website -
The presentation - on 28th August 2008 at the MCB office - by Miqdad Asaria - reported findings of an analysis of the 'SAR' dataset (Sample of Anonymised Records) of the 2001 Census. The study analysed data relating to Muslim employment, with specific reference to Muslim women. It found that taking factors such as age, marital status, education and other census markers into account, a Muslim woman was four times less likely to be employed. However a university degree increased access to the workplace by a factor of eight! The data was analysed using regression techniques.
The presenter described his work as "exploratory analysis" and was careful to point out that "correlation does not imply causality". In the discussion that followed the presentation, areas for further work were identied, including qualitative studies to establish reasons for turn-over at the workplace and further quantitative work to compare the characteristics of Asian and non-Asian Muslim datasets.
The MCB's ReDoc Committee is planning further seminars focussing on other datasets which capture data on religion such as the Labour Force Survey, European Values Study etc.