Coastal Communities in the UK

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  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 28 October 2014
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of iStock Photo

The Office for National Statistics has released figures on coastal communities for England and Wales in 2011.

Comparing the average data for 273 coastal communitieswith the average foe England and Wales shows that in 2011:

  • 20% of the population in coastal communities were aged 65 or over (compared with 16% in England and Wales as a whole)
  • 7.0% of residents aged 16 to 64 in coastal communities had a long-term health problem that meant day to day activities were ‘limited a lot’ as opposed to ‘limited a little’ or ‘not limited’ (5.7% for England and Wales)
  • The share of the population in coastal communities with white ethnicity was 95.4% (86.0% in England and Wales)
  • 3.8% of usual residents in coastal communities in 2011 were both born outside the UK and had arrived in the UK in the decade 2001-2011 (6.7% for England and Wales)
  • The employment rate (aged 16 to 64) was 69.2% in coastal communities (71.0% for England and
    Wales)
  • 31.0% of employees in coastal communities worked part-time (28.2% in England and Wales)
  • There was a net outflow of commuters from coastal communities - with the number of working residents exceeding the workplace population of coastal communities by 233,000 (equivalent to 8% of the number of working residents).
  • 6.1% of household spaces in coastal communities were unoccupied by usual residents (4.4% for England and Wales).

thumbnail image: Coastal Communities in the UK

The report distinguishes between smaller coastal communities (population 1,000 -20,000) and those that are larger. In each case, the coastal communities have been compared to all other similar sized built-up areas in England and Wales. This helps to illustrate when individual coastal communities have particularly notable characteristics.

Comparing medium/large coastal communities (population>20,000) with all other medium/large builtup areas in England and Wales for 2011, the data show:

  • The medium/large built-up areas with the highest median age were either coastal communities (e.g. Bexhill, Christchurch) or located nearby (e.g. Ferndown)
  • Six of the ten medium/large built-up areas with the highest shares of 16 to 64 year old residents whose day to day activities were ‘limited a lot’ by disability were coastal communities (including Peterlee, Port Talbot, Skegness and Rhyl).
  • The highest shares of private sector renting (outside London) occurred in coastal communities (Brighton and Hove, Folkestone and Torquay)
  • Coastal communities had some of the highest rates of self-employment (Newquay and Brighton and Hove) and also some of the lowest rates of self-employment (Whitehaven, Seaham, Workington and Peterlee) among medium/large built-up areas in England and Wales.

Meanwhile, comparing small coastal communities (population 1,000-20,000) with all other small built-up areas in England and Wales for 2011, the data show:

  • Eight out of the ten small built-up areas with the highest median age were coastal communities (highest median ages were in Southwold in Suffolk (65), Fairlight in East Sussex (63) and Milford on Sea in Hampshire (62))
  • Small coastal communities had the highest shares of household spaces with no residents (the share was as high as 50% in Southwold in Suffolk and in Salcombe in Devon).
  • Seven of the ten small built-up areas with the highest rates of self-employment (32-41%) were coastal communities (highest shares were in Polperro in Cornwall, Lynton in Devon and Salcombe in Devon).
  • The highest rates of home-working (30-35%) were to be found in a number of coastal communities (namely Lynton in Devon, Tintagel in Cornwall and Porlock in Somerset).
  • Two small coastal communities were among the ten small built-up areas with the lowest employment rates in England and Wales (Jaywick in Essex (48%) and Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire (49%)).
  • Jaywick and Mablethorpe were also among the ten small built-up areas with the highest share of 16 to 64 year old residents whose day to day activities were ‘limited a lot’ by disability.

Overall, the data illustrate that there are differences between the average characteristics of residents in coastal communities and residents in the rest of England and Wales. However, the data also illustrate large differences between different coastal communities, showing that they vary significantly in their prosperity and characteristics.

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