An annual exploration into the Quality of Life in Warwickshire has once again uncovered findings ranging from earnings and employment, to house prices and the county’s booming population.
The report says that by 2037 there will be almost 100,000 more people living in Warwickshire, and that one in six of the 624,000 people living in the county will be aged over 75 – around 100,000 people. Currently about one in 12 of the population is aged over 75, just over 40,000 people.
The Quality of Life report says that while the ageing population can have health and social care implications, it can also have positives with increased volunteering, spending power and charitable donations.
It also states that the population growth will be varied around the county, with North Warwickshire only seeing an 8.4 per cent increase, while Rugby Borough is predicted to increase by 18.9 per cent.
There is good news for earnings in Warwickshire over the last year, with the average wage going up by four per cent in the county, ahead of both the regional and national figures.
However, houses in Warwickshire are less affordable than the national average, and in particular in Warwick District ‘affordable decent housing’ was identified as an issue needing improvement.
The Index of Multiple Deprivation highlights nine areas in Warwickshire that feature in the ten per cent most deprived communities in the country, all nine are in Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough.
There are currently 1,100 people long-term unemployed in the county, and half of the long-term unemployed residents live in Nuneaton and Bedworth – 12 years ago the proportion was one fifth.
There is good news for education in Warwickshire with pupils in the county performing well at both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4, outperforming their regional and national counterparts.
Jim Graham, Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Council, said: “As ever the Quality of Life presents a mixed view, but as a countywide picture earnings are up, education is performing well, and crime and anti-social behaviour is falling.
“On our roads the number of people killed or seriously injured has fallen by four per cent, and has more than halved in the last 12 years.
“I’m concerned that the levels of inequality in Warwickshire are growing. The more prosperous parts of the county have dealt well with recession and downturns in the economy. This is clearly demonstrated using unemployment as an indicator, where the proportion of long-term unemployed in the county is more skewed than ever, with Nuneaton and Bedworth suffering the most.
“The Quality of Life report certainly gives an insight into what is happening in the county and guidance on where we might want to start focussing our energies.”
There are other interesting anecdotes in the report revealing that in 2010 around 20 per cent of the population had smart phones, this figure is now more than 60 per cent. This coupled with improved broadband is seen as ways to engage with residents and deliver services in cost effective ways.
To see the report visit http://www.warwickshireobservatory.org/quality-of-life-in-warwickshire-201415/