Blinded by Stats?

Bude Breakwater 012Well no, actually. I know there are some true data lovers out there, so this info from Cornwall Council is just up their street, and actually very useful at a social level, too, because it gives us the edited highlights of the 2011 census and thus the shape of Cornwall’s population.

In brief:


  • Resident population has increased by 33,000 compared to 2001 with a total population of 532,273 – so ,a population rise (not sure how much infrastructure has been created to support that, however).
  • It is an ageing population as the ‘baby boom’ cohorts get older…..which will eventually raise issues relating to care, transport, and health.
  • There are significant increases in the 15-29, 40-49 and 60+ age groups – so, apart from the 15-29 age group, it seems there are not  too many young people (under 15s) for future years….
  • 52% of the population are female compared to 48% of males – fairly standard, I think, partly because females tend to live longer.
  • 79% identify their health as ‘good’ compared to 66% in 200. 6% identified their health as ‘bad’ compared to 10% in 2001.
  • However, The percentage of the population in Cornwall who identified their health as limiting their day to day activities ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’ has risen to 21.4%, 113,715; this is an increase of 13,114 people or a 1.1% rise from 2001. So, increasing mobility and perhaps mental health problems which limit daily life.
  • There are more people classified as unpaid ‘carers’. 63,192 (11.9%) people undertook unpaid care every week in Cornwall compared to 55,580 (11.3%) in 2001-  this is an additional 7,612 carers. The percentage of the population in Cornwall who provided unpaid care for 50+ hours per week rose in 2011. With an ageing population, caring is going to be a crucial issue in the future; indeed, it already is!  will we need more places like St Hilary’s (featured photo?)
  • 92.7% of people in Cornwall were born in England but there has been a 4,838 increase in people from other EU countries.
  • The predominant ethnic group is ‘white’ (98.2%). No great surprises there.
  • 9.9% stated Cornish as their national identity, higher than the 2001 figure of 6.8%. Some added another identity to their Cornish identity (e.g., Cornish and British) a figure of 20,427. Total with some Cornish identity is 13.8%
  • 98% of people have English as their main language.
  • The main religion in Christian (60%) followed by No/Other Religion (30%) – a rather odd grouping – such as Wiccan, Jedi Knight, etc. Not sure i’d put atheists and agnostics in the same category as other beliefs, but there we go.
  • 50% of the population were married with 900 people registered in same-sex civil partnerships. 28% single and 11% divorced, with 8% widowed and 3% separated. That adds up to quite a lot of housing need.
  • There were 258,883 ‘household spaces’ registered.
  • A shift towards falling levels of owner occupation, down from 72% in 2001 to 70% in 2011 and increasing levels of private rented sector housing – indicating housing under stress.
  • There has been a significant increase in purpose-built flats (43% – 6,800) since 2001
  • Household spaces with no usual residents have risen to 11.2%compared to 6% in the south west overall and 4.4% in England and Wales, indicating the second home/holiday issues. That said, second home owner numbers who normally live elsewhere = 22,997 and residents in Cornwall with second homes elsewhere = 17, 612, so while we (rightly) mutter about affordability and second homes……….17, 612 have second homes elsewhere! Hmn.
  • The average size of households in Cornwall is 2.3 people per household.
  • Average rooms is 5.6 per household, with average bedrooms 2.8.
  • 93% have central heating. But the number without central heating is higher in Cornwall at 7.2% than in the SW (3.6%) and England & Wales (2.7%)
  • In 2011, 17% households had no access to a car or van (which makes transport – and thus work –  an issue for some).
  • There was a 6% rise in numbers of people using their own vehicle to get to work, plus a 1.1% rise in walking. Working from home dropped by 5.2%.
  • The total number of working age people in Cornwall is 389,858 (up on previously) but this may be because the working age is now considered to be 16-74, so a stats change.
  • 25% of people in Cornwall were qualified to level 4 or above (NVQ4. degrees). This is lower than the SW and nationally. 17.4% are educated to level 2 (GCSE). 22.4% of the population still have no academic or professional qualifications.
  • Economically active people aged 16-74 in cornwall = 66.8% lower than nationally or in the SW as a whole. By far the biggest number of employees was Skilled Trades and Occupations at 41,511
  • Cornwall has the 9th highest number of women working 16-30 hours out of 348 local authorities in England and Wales and the 10th highest percentage of males in Skilled Trades, nationally.
  • The wholesale and retail trade employs the biggest % of population, followed by health and social work, and then education. Cornwall is under represented in higher earning industries such as scientific and technical and over represented in agriculture, accommodation and food.

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