Warwickshire’s population now at 548,729 people

The Office for National Statistics recently released the latest population estimates for all Local Authorities in the UK.  According to the  Mid-2013 population estimates, Warwickshire’s population now stands at an estimated  548,729 people. This represents an increase of 0.14% or 755 people when compared to figures for Mid-2012. This rate of growth is slightly below that experienced nationally (0.63%). However, as the table below indicates, there has been some variation around the county in terms of population change with some areas gaining population while others have experienced a fall in numbers.


  • Rugby experienced the highest rate of population growth in the last year, roughly in line with the national average. The Borough gained 622 people between 2012 and 2013. This means that  population growth in Rugby accounted for just over 80% of Warwickshire’s population growth as a whole.
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth and Stratford-on-Avon also gained population (around 200 people each) but at rates below the national average.
  • Both North Warwickshire and Warwick District experienced falls in their population.

Population change happens because of a combination of births, deaths and migration (both internal and international) flows. Overall in Warwickshire, natural change (births minus deaths) has been the driving factor in population growth between 2012 and 2013; the county experienced net outflows in its population due to migration. However, there is again variation around the county.

  • Although in North Warwickshire births exceeded deaths in the last year, the population fell because of net out- migration from of the borough.
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth’s growth in population can largely be explained by natural change; births exceeding deaths. It experienced net out-migration between 2012-2013.
  • Rugby, which experienced the highest levels of population growth, did so because of a combination of births exceeding deaths and net in-migration both internal and international.
  • Stratford-on-Avon was the only district to see deaths exceed births, largely due to its older population structure. Population growth here is therefore accounted for by net in-migration.
  • Births exceeded deaths in Warwick District but the population still fell because of net out-migration of residents in the district.

The full Mid-2013 population data set is available from the ONS webpages.  Additionally, a summary of the expected growth in Warwickshire’s population into the future can be found here.


The majority of lone parents work …..and other things the 2011 census tells us about lone parent households in 2011 censusWarwickshire

The 2011 Census revealed that Warwickshire has approximately 14,000 lone parent households with dependent children. This means that around 6.1% of households in Warwickshire are lone parents with dependent children, a figure slightly below the national average of 7.2%. Rates of lone parenting varying slightly around the county with lowest levels recorded in Stratford-on-Avon District (4.9%) and the highest in Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough (7.5%)

At the time of the 2011 Census just over 9 in every 10 lone parent households are headed by a woman. Men are lone parents in around 1,500 households in Warwickshire.

The majority (67%) of lone parents are in employment in Warwickshire either part or full-time. This means that around 1 in 3 lone parents are not in employment. Male lone parents were more likely to be in employment and work full-time. However, the data suggests that male lone parents are more likely to be lone parents of older children than women; 57% of male lone parents (compared with 43% of women) have a youngest child aged ten or over and therefore issues relating to childcare may be less prevalent.

Lone parents and number and age of children
Lone parent families tend to have fewer children when compared to all households with dependent children as the table below indicates.

LP no of children

In addition, the children of lone parents tend to be slightly older than in households generally with dependent children. In 45% of lone parent households the youngest child is aged 10 or over compared with 39% of all households with dependent children.

LP age of children

More private renting of homes among lone parent households
Differences in tenure arrangements between lone parent households and those where there are couples with dependent children are highlighted in the table below along with a comparison with all household types.

tenure and lone parents

Lone parent households are much less likely to own their home with a mortgage compared with households where there are couples with dependent children; 30% of lone parents households own their home with a mortgage compared with 67% of households where there are couples with dependent children. Conversely, lone parents are more likely to be renting their homes either socially or privately when compared with couple households with dependent children. Three out of every five lone parent households rent their home.

Lone parent households less likely to have access to a car/van
Compared with couple households with dependent children, lone parent households are more likely to be without access to a car. Some 30% of lone parent households report being without access to a car. This compares with just 14% of couple households with dependent children.

The above highlights some of the likely characteristics of lone parent households in Warwickshire and how they may differ from other types of household. In particular, higher levels of private renting among lone parent households and lower levels of car access means that that some lone parent households may be more vulnerable to the vagaries of the private rented market and that access to services requiring a car is more likely to be an issue.

For further information on the 2011 Census or to suggest further topics for analysis please contact Warwickshire Observatory at research@warwickshire.gov.uk

Commuters travelling further to work….

A recent release of 2011 Census data is now available looking at the distance travelled and method of transport used by2011 census residents in Warwickshire to get to work. The data sheds light on current travel patterns and can also be used to identify changes in travel patterns since the last census in 2001.

More people are travelling further to work….

The data suggests a general trend towards longer journeys to work. The number of people making journeys over 30km increased by some 30% from 18,950 in 2001 to 24,605 in 2011. 

Stratford-on-Avon remains the district with the highest proportion and number of commuters travelling over 30km to work. The district did not record any proportional increase in commuters travelling this distance but in absolute terms almost 7000 people (up 850 people on 2001) now report travelling over 30km to work on a regular basis.

Number of commuters travelling over 30km to work 2001 – 2011

travel pic

Source: 2011 Census


Rugby and Warwick District have seen the biggest proportional increases in the number of people making regular commutes of over 30 km. Rugby District saw a rise of almost 50% in the number of people making journeys over 30km; just over 5,000 workers in 2011 record routinely travelling over 30km. In Warwick, there has been a 37% rise in the number people now travelling over 30km, translating into around 5,500 people regularly travelling this distance.

At the other end of the journey spectrum, the proportion of people making journeys of less than 2km went down from 20% in 2001 to 16% in 2011.

Car is most popular mode of travel for journeys under 2 kilometers….

Also of interest in the newly available census data is the method of transport data set which gives information on how people travel to work.

In Warwickshire, 65% of regular commuter journeys are done by car. This rises to 88% for journeys between 20-30km. Almost 20% of journeys over 60km are by train.

Overall, 2% of all work journeys are by bicycle rising to 6% of journeys less than 2km. The following table shows how people travel to work in Warwickshire for quite short journeys of less than 2km.

mode table


*May not sum due to rounding

Source: 2011 Census, 2014

The interesting feature of the data is that even with the shortest commuter distances, the single largest mode of travel is by car; 43% of journeys of less than 2km are done so by car. This is significant because these journeys are likely to be the most likely to offer potential for switching to other more sustainable modes of travel.

The above highlights some of the newly available 2011 census data on the topic of travel to work. This data is available from the Nomis website and can be cross referenced with other census variables like age, sex, occupation and industry.

For further information on 2011 Census data or suggest further topics for analysis, please contact the Observatory at research@warwickshire.gov.uk.


















The rise of the private rented housing sector in Warwickshire

Nationally, one of the key headlines from the 2011 Census has been the reported rise in the 2011 Census Logoproportion of privately rented homes.

Warwickshire has been no exception to the trend and between 2001 and 2011 the county saw the number of privately rented homes double from 14, 809 in 2001 to 29,628 in 2011. The proportion of homes being privately rented increased in the same period from 7.0% to 12.8%.

A similar trend was experienced across all districts and boroughs in the county. This pattern of increase is illustrated in the graph below.

Proportion of privately rented homes 2001 to 2011

private renting graph

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough and Rugby Borough both saw the number of privately rented homes increase by 150%. Both boroughs, along with Warwick District, recorded proportional shift in private renting which were higher than the county average.

Warwick District records the highest levels of private renting at almost 17% of homes. In part, this is likely to be a reflection of higher student numbers in the district and higher numbers of young professionals in the area. Indeed, the top three Lower Super Output Areas in the county with the highest levels of private renting are all in Warwick District:

  • Leamington Town Centre 1 (Clarendon ward) 54.7%
  • Leamington Town Centre 2 (Clarendon ward) 48.8%
  • Old Town North West (Willes ward) 47.1%

The 2011 Census also shows higher rates of private renting are evident in particular types of household. Key points include:

  • One in four single person households where the occupant is under 65 are privately rented
  • A quarter of all lone parent households with dependent children privately rent their homes.
  • Full-time students record the highest rates of private renting at 91%
  • Rates of private renting are particularly low (under 5%) in households where the occupant are 65 years or older.
  • Ethnic group variations in rates of private renting are evident with some categories recording higher rates; This is illustrated in the the graph below. Of those aged 25-35, around 70% of the ‘other white’ category privately rented their homes compared with 30% of the same aged resident in the ‘White British’ category. Higher rates (55%) were also evident among the ‘Black African’ and ‘Mixed White and Black African’ categories.
  • Around 22% of residents who privately rent their homes do not have access to a car. This is a lower rate than those in social rented homes (40%)  but higher than those who own their own homes (5.6%)

ethnic group graph

Source: 2011 Census, 2014. *Refers to Household Reference Person 

The rise  in privately rented homes is part of a wider shift in patterns of housing tenure generally which in Warwickshire has seen increasing numbers of homes owned outright but declines in both the number of socially rented and mortgaged properties. The rapid rise in the number of privately rented homes since 2001 and decline in mortgaged properties could be linked to the economic climate in recent years where access the the housing market is more restricted. A combination of higher average house prices, tighter lending requirements and declining wage growth may all have contributed to the higher demand for rented accommodation.

More local factors such as the presence of students in some areas, young people and more transient communities who may find it easier to access private renting than home ownership will also help to explain patterns of housing tenure in Warwickshire.

Private renting of homes carries with it a number of potential implications including issues relating to rent levels, security of tenure and housing quality. The above analysis indicates that some communities in Warwickshire, notably students, lone households, lone parent households and some ethnic groups may be more vulnerable to these issues because of the higher levels of private renting evident in those groups.

For further information about the 2011 Census or comments/suggestions for future areas of interest, please contact the Observatory at research@warwickshire.gov.uk

How Warwickshire’s population changes in a workday

The population of an area changes as people move in and out to go to2011 census work. Data from the 2011 Census shows the difference between resident and work day populations for areas in England and Wales.

The work day population is calculated by re-distributing the usually resident population to their recorded places of work, while those not in work are recorded at their usual residence.
Differences between the usually resident and workday populations can illustrate which areas experience net outflows of people during the work day and conversely where people travel into during the work day. ONS have published an interactive mapping tool to check out local areas and see how they change during the work day.

The table below illustrates the change between usually resident and workday populations in districts/boroughs within Warwickshire.


Across England and Wales, the majority (63%) of local authorities had less than ten per cent difference between their usually resident and workday populations. Warwickshire has two authorities, North Warwickshire and Nuneaton and Bedworth, where differences between usually resident and workday populations exceed ten per cent.

The largest proportional change from usually resident to workday population is in North Warwickshire which sees an eighteen per cent rise in its work day population. An additional 8,300 people are in North Warwickshire on a work day.  North Warwickshire appears in the top twenty local authorities with the greatest percentage gains between the usually resident and workday populations aged 16-74.

In the 2001 Census North Warwickshire had a work day population three per cent smaller than its usually resident population indicating that this change in North Warwickshire’s work day population has emerged in the last ten years. The most likely explanation for this is the expanding automotive manufacturing industry in this area.

Warwick District and Stratford-on-Avon District also experience positive increases in their workday populations albeit proportionally smaller, indicating that lower numbers of residents are travelling out of these authorities for work purposes than the number who travel in. That said, it is important to note that even smaller differences in usually resident and workday population might still involve considerable movement of people but that in and out flows are more balanced; the characteristics of those populations might be quite different even if the volumes are not markedly so.

Two authorities in Warwickshire experience smaller work day populations than their usual number of residents. In particular, Nuneaton and Bedworth experiences a 16.2 % reduction in its usually resident population translating into, at the very least, almost 15,000 people typically travelling outside of the borough for work purposes. These figures are likely to be a reflection of fewer employment opportunities for residents within the borough itself although it does not mean people do not travel into the borough for employment.

As noted above, the characteristics of the usually resident and workday populations may be quite different. For example, the sex ratios of the workday population can vary greatly compared with the resident population. In North Warwickshire, the data indicates that the workday population has a sex ratio of 133 males per 100 females compared to 99 males per hundred females in the usually resident population (ONS, 2013). This feature of the workday population is evident in the population pyramid below; the male side (blue) side of the pyramid shows a marked difference in the workday number of males (light blue) compared with the number of usual resident males (dark blue).This is likely to reflect the largely male dominated automotive  industry in the area.

north warks pyramid


Conversely, the population pyramid for Nuneaton and Bedworth shows that the  male and female workday populations are smaller than the usually resident population although it is more marked for men than women.

When it comes to age structures the profile of those areas experiencing workday population gains is typically younger than those experiencing workday population losses. The population pyramid for North Warwickshire shows some gains particularly in those aged below 34 in the workday population.  Nuneaton and Bedworth has a slightly older population during the workday.

ONS has published a number of datasets using the workday population base, These are available on the Nomis website and can be used to identify further differences between the usually resident and workday populations.

Further publications by ONS of population ‘flow’ data later this year will illustrate actual movements of populations between destinations giving a much clearer picture of travel to work patterns.

For further information or comments about the Observatory’s analysis of 2011 Census data please contact us on research@warwickshire.gov.uk


2011 Census Analysis – Warwickshire’s Ageing Population?

2011 censusBackground

Warwickshire’s population has, in recent years, often been described as ‘growing and ageing’. Much has been made of the implications of this ageing population for public services generally. However, our analysis of 2011 Census data reveals that different ethnic groups*  in the county display some markedly different age structures compared to that of Warwickshire as a whole.

Influenced by a combination of births, deaths and migration patterns, a population pyramid is a useful visual way of looking at the the age structure of different population groups. By creating a population pyramid for a number of ethnic groups in the county we can illustrate the differences in age structure between them and try to explain why they may display different characteristics. Each bar represents the percentage of that ethnic group’s population accounted for by that age and sex.

Males are illustrated in blue on the left of the pyramid while females or in red on the right. 

all pyramids1

The ageing ‘White British’ population….

WarkspyrWarwickshire’s ageing population is largely a consequence of its ageing ‘White British‘ population which make up the majority of the county’s residents. In 2011, around 89% of Warwickshire’s population identified with the ‘White British’ ethnic group category and will thus have most influence on the shape of Warwickshire’s population pyramid.

The ‘White British’ group in Warwickshire has an older age profile than most other ethnic groups in the county with 19% of its population over the age of 65. This is slightly higher than the national average of almost 17%. The wider lines in the population pyramid for people in their sixties and forties reflect the baby boom years following World War Two and again in the 1960s. Warwickshire is expected to be home to increasing numbers of older people in the future; the over 65 and 85 plus age groups grew faster than any other age groups between 2001 and 2011.

Other ageing populations…

White IrishThe ‘upside down’ nature of the ‘White Irish‘ ethnic group pyramid suggest an ageing population and low birth rate. Indeed, the ‘White Irish’ population have the oldest age structure of any ethnic group in Warwickshire. Some 38% of ‘White Irish’ residents in the county are aged over 65 and just 5% of the population are under 15 years old. The 2011 Census indicated that the ‘White Irish’ population was the only ethnic group in Warwickshire to actually decline in numbers. The current ‘White Irish’ pyramid’s shape is likely to be in part a refection of earlier settlement here compared with other ethnic groups and subsequent ageing of that population. There is also some evidence nationally to suggest younger people may not be as likely to retain their parents’ ‘White Irish’ ethnic identity so readily as some other ethnic minority groups and hence younger age groups are under-represented with the population structure.


Unlike some other ethnic minority groups, the Asian Indian pyramid displays slightly higher proportions of people aged 65 + (8%). This is most likely related to larger scale immigration experienced prior to the 1970s and subsequent ageing of that population.The 2011 Census indicates that over half of the number of people identifying as ‘Indian’ are UK born residents.  So, although in general the ‘Asian Indian’ population is younger than the ‘White British’ population, in the next decade or so they are likely to experience an ageing population akin to the ‘White British’ experience being seen now.

Populations with high numbers of young adults…

white otherHigher proportions of young working age people are a characteristic feature of the ‘Other White‘ population pyramid. Census data indicates that the ‘Other White’ ethnic group population more than doubled in the ten years since 2001. The is most likely explanation for this is the well documented arrival of economic migrants, who tend to be younger working age adults,  from EU Accession countries such as Poland over the last decade. Some natural growth may also be apparent as new arrivals begin families, evidenced by higher numbers of 0-4 year olds. Natural change (more births over deaths)  may well be a stronger feature of population growth for these populations into the future assuming current numbers of young adults remains fairly constant.


The ‘Asian Chinese‘ population show similar higher numbers of young adults but in the slightly younger ages 15-24 years. One third of Warwickshire’s ‘Asian Chinese’ population is aged between 15 and 24 years. The proportions and numbers increase still further for Warwick District where 45% of the the resident ‘Asian Chinese’ population are aged 15-24 years. One explanation is in-migration to Warwickshire within this age group for study purposes explaining the wider lines in the population pyramid for these age groups.

The youngest populations…..


Ethnic groups displaying the youngest populations include the ‘Black African‘ group and all ‘Mixed’ categories including ‘Mixed White and Black Caribbean‘ illustrated below. The broad base of the ‘Mixed White and Black Caribbean’ reflects the very high proportion, just over half, of the population who are aged under 15 years compared with a county average of around 18%. The ‘Black African‘ group also displays a high proportion of under 15 year olds at 25% of the population. Both groups are characterised by very low, almost absent, proportions of older people. Just 3% of the ‘Mixed White and Black Caribbean’ group and 1% of the ‘Black African’ group are aged over 65.

Some ninety six per cent of residents who identified with the ‘mixed black and white Caribbean’ group were born in the UK . Greater integration in the last few decades may help explain higher numbers of children among the ‘Mixed’ categories Mixed1as these children, born in the last ten to twenty years, are likely to be born to parents of different ethnicities.

Between 2001 and 2011 residents identifying as  ‘Black African’ increased from 389 to 2,173 people. Of this number around 20% are UK born residents. It is likely that in-migration has played a part in contributing to population growth for this group.  Additionally, the relatively high numbers of children in the population suggests Warwickshire may have experienced in-migration from families in this ethnic group category. Strong natural change as births exceed deaths in such young population structures are also likely to be part of the picture of population growth for these groups going forward.

The above is a reminder that behind headline trends can be considerable variation. Just as we know there is variation in the headline trend of population growth around the county so too there is variation in the growth and age structure of different groups of people. Moreover, when differences in characteristics are noted between ethnic groups, it may be a function of these different ages structures which is actually being observed.

The different ethnic group populations looked at above will age and grow at different rates based on their current structures and the subsequent interplay of births, deaths and migration patterns. This feature of Warwickshire’s ‘ageing population’ is something about which public sector agencies will need to be aware in future service planning. However, even assumptions about the implications of an ageing population as displayed by Warwickshire ‘s population as a whole have come in for further scrutiny recently as highlighted here. These differences of opinion that abound in relation to the topic of ageing populations simply highlight how tricky it can be to predict with accuracy the likely implications of this well documented process both nationally and locally.

*Collecting data on ethnic group is complex because of the subjective and changing nature of ethnic identification; it is a self-defined concept likely to be influenced by a numbers of factors including common ancestry, culture, identity, religion and language (ONS, 2013). However, it is widely regarded as an important population characteristic used by the public and private sectors to monitor equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory policies and to inform future service provision.

The health impact of providing unpaid care

2011 Census Analysis – The provision of unpaid care in Warwickshire

Unpaid carers* make an important contribution to the overall supply of care services. As the population2011 Census  grows and ages, an increasing number of people are likely to continue to provide significant levels of care. As such, it is important to recognise the potential impact that providing many hours of care each week may have on carers’ own quality of life – their physical and mental health, employment opportunities and social and leisure activities.

New information, therefore, from the 2011 Census provides a valuable update on the picture of unpaid care provision in Warwickshire. The following analysis looks at trends in the provision of unpaid care in Warwickshire and highlights how those providing high levels of unpaid care are more likely to report that their own health is ‘not good’.

Levels of unpaid care in Warwickshire 2001-2011

The 2011 Census indicates that Warwickshire has  59,250 people or 11% of the population providing some form of unpaid care each week.

While rates of unpaid care provision are similar to those in 2001 (although absolute numbers have increased),  the data suggests that carers are providing more hours of care each week than ten years ago;  in 2011, around one in five carers (12,438 people) in Warwickshire were providing more than fifty hours of unpaid care each week.

Who provides unpaid care in Warwickshire

Generally, women were more likely to be unpaid carers than men; 58% of unpaid carers in Warwickshire were women and 42% were men. This gender difference remains broadly similar irrespective of the number of hours of care undertaken each week.

Unsurprisingly, rates of unpaid care provision increase with age among both men and women, up to the age of 65. The data indicates that the share of unpaid care provision is higher for women aged 50-64 years.  Indeed, one in four women in this age group provides some level of unpaid care.

The gender difference appears to diminish among those aged 65 plus with men slightly more likely to provide unpaid care than women.

Younger carers (aged between 0 and 24 years) are identified as of particular concern because of the potential impact of caring responsibilities on educational outcomes and wider social opportunities. The 2011 Census reveals that just over three and a half thousand young people report providing some level of unpaid care each week in the county- almost four hundred young people report caring for over fifty hours per week.

The impact of providing unpaid care on general health

Overall, in Warwickshire, those providing unpaid care were more likely to describe their general health as ‘not good’; 25% of those providing some unpaid care each week described their health as ‘not good’ compared with a lower rate of 17% among those who provided no care at all. Moreover, there appears to be a relationship between the self-reported health status of unpaid carers and the amount of unpaid care provided.

The graph below demonstrates the increasing proportion of carers describing their health status as ‘not good’ as more hours of caring are undertaken each week. In Warwickshire, of those caring for fifty plus hours per week, 43% describe their health as ‘not good’.

Health status of carers in Warwickshire by levels of unpaid carer provided each week, 2011

Health status of carers in Warwickshire by levels of unpaid care provided each, 2011

Source: Census, 2011

The difference between the health status of those providing unpaid care and those who do not is most pronounced among those aged 0-24 years.  Carers in this age category are more than twice as likely to report that their health is ‘not good’ compared with their peers who provide no care. This difference is even more marked for young carers who care for fifty plus hours per week; they are five times more likely to report their health as ‘not good’ compared to those of the same age providing no care.

Future Issues

The role of unpaid carers is likely to continue to play a significant role in the overall supply of care in Warwickshire. The data indicates that more carers are caring for longer and that, moreover, higher levels of unpaid care correspond to higher levels of individuals’ reporting that they are not in good health. This was especially marked for young people who provide unpaid care. As a result, there is a particular need to reach out to groups providing high levels of weekly care who may be most at risk of their own health and well-being deteriorating.

Further Information

2011 Census data about the general provision of unpaid care is available down to small areas called Output Areas containing as few as forty households. The more detailed information about the age, sex, ethnicity and general health of carers is available at district/borough level and Middle Super Output Areas and Wards. Access to all data is available from the Nomis website.

If you have any comments or questions about 2011 Census data, please contact the Observatory on research@warwickshire.gov.uk

*A person provides unpaid care if they look after or give help or support to family, friends, neighbours or others because of long-term physical or mental health issues, a disability or problems related to old age or substance misuse. The 2011 Census asked people to state if they provided any unpaid care and to select the typical level of care provided each week from 1-19 hours, 20-49 hours or 50+ hours.