As an input to projections of sub-national populations by ethnicity, this paper develops the first estimates of the mortality risks experienced by the UK ethnic groups. Two estimates were developed using alternative methods. In the first, UK 2001 Census data on limiting long-term illness to predict mortality levels and regression equations between local Standardized Illness and Mortality Ratios for all ethnicities are assumed to apply to individual ethnic groups. In the second, the geographical distribution of ethnic groups by local areas is combined with local mortality for all ethnicities to estimate national mortality rates by ethnicity, which are then employed to estimate local ethnic mortality. A comparison of the two estimates indicates that the method based on illness rates produces more plausible outcomes. The local SMRs produced for each ethnic group were used to generate ethnic group life tables for 432 UK local authority areas in 2001, which included estimates of survivorship probabilities by single year of age, gender and ethnic group for each local area for use in a projection model.