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Demography (June 2017)

Topic titleDemography chapter
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Topic author(s)Nikki Kirk
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Current version19/06/2017
Replaces version01/04/2016
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Demography and Social & Environmental context - Introduction

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This chapter considers Nottingham’s population and how demographic factors impact on the health and wellbeing of its residents and influence the needs and demand for health and social care services. It also considers the impact of estimated population changes in the future. Where these factors relate to specific health and wellbeing issues, they are addressed within the relevant chapters in the body of the JSNA. It is structured under the headings:
  • Current Situation;
  • Influence on Health and Wellbeing
  • Projections Over 3 to 5 and 5 to 10 Years.

Part 1: Demographic context


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  • The latest estimate of the City’s resident population is 318,900, having risen by 4,600 since 2014.
  • The population is projected to rise to 332,700 in 2024 and to 361,300 in 2039. 
  • International migration (recently from Eastern Europe) and natural change (the excess of births over deaths) are the main reasons for the population growth recently.
  • 29% of the population are aged 18 to 29 – full-time university students comprise about 1 in 8 of the population.
  • The number of births has risen slightly in the last year and remains higher than the start of the 2000’s.
  • Compared to some other Local Authority areas, Nottingham is unlikely to show much ageing or population growth in the short term to 2024.
  • The 2011 Census shows 35% of the population as being from BME groups; an increase from 19% in 2001.
  • Despite its young age-structure, Nottingham has a higher than average rate of people with a limiting long-term illness or disability.
  • White ethnic groups have higher rates of long term health problems or disability overall, although this varies with age, with some BME groups having higher rates in the older age-groups.
  • The City gains young adults due to migration, both international and within Britain, whilst losing all other age groups - this includes losing families with children as they move to the surrounding districts.
  • There is a high turnover of population – 21% of people changed address in the year before the 2011 Census.

Current situation

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When looking at the information in this chapter, it is important to bear in mind that the City’s demographic profile is heavily influenced by its being largely the inner urban part of the wider Nottingham Core City Area. 

Total population

The 2015[1] Mid-Year Estimate (MYE) gives a population of 318,900, an increase of 4,600 on the 2014 MYE and a total increase of 15,000 since the 2011 MYE.
Between 2014 and 2015, the City gained people through natural change (the excess of births over deaths), gained people due to international migration, and lost people through internal migration (within the country).
The City Council is responsible for providing services to its residents. Public health (based within the City Council from April 2013) and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are responsible for ensuring provision of services to all of those who are registered with a City GP regardless of where they live (370,854 people at May 2017[2]), but also have a responsibility for the health of City residents at a population level. This chapter has the ONS resident population as its basis, but the limitations of this data should be borne in mind.
The main reasons for the increase in population over the last decade are international migration, and the natural increase in the population[3].  The latter reason is due to both an increase in births (see below) and a reduction in the number of deaths.  These are probably more due to changes in the age-structure rather than an increase in family size or improvements in mortality rates.   Although over 25,000 people move into Nottingham each year from the rest of the country (the majority of whom will be students), a similar, slightly greater number moves out so net internal migration does not actually contribute to population growth.
Figure 1:  Components of change, 2005-2015

Analysis of the revised[1] Mid-Year Estimates suggests that the increase in population between 2014 and 2015 was 1,000 higher than the average for the previous 10 years, mainly due to higher international migration. 
The wards which have had the greatest population increase between 2014 and 2015 are Arboretum, which will be in part due to new student properties near to Nottingham Trent University, and St Ann’s.  In four wards (Bulwell, Radford and Park, and Wollaton East and Lenton Abbey), the population has declined slightly since 2014.
The ONS Mid-Year Estimates only include people staying in the country for longer than twelve months as “migrants”.  Clearly, those staying for shorter lengths of time may also make calls upon health and other services and may register with a GP.  ONS publish estimates of people staying for between three and twelve months for the purposes of employment or study, at local authority level[2], which give an indication of the scale of short term migration.  In the year to mid-2015, there were an estimated 3,220 short term international migrants in Nottingham, higher than 1,890 the previous year.  Of these, the majority (2,540) were estimated to be students, which means that Nottingham has the fourth highest number of short term migrant students in the country outside of London (behind Sheffield, Brighton and Hove and Manchester).  
Note that these figures use the specific UN definition of ‘short term migrant’ and that the estimates do not include ‘visitors’ who stay for less than a month.  Note also that these figures are derived from the International Passenger Survey and as such confidence limits apply – which will be quite large at the local authority level.
As part of the Census 2011 release of data, ONS have also published estimates of non-UK born short term residents – those staying less than 12 months.  In Nottingham there were estimated to be 3,900 non-UK short term residents - the 4th  highest level outside of London, behind Birmingham, Manchester and Oxford.  Of these, 3,100 were students. These people are not included as part of the main outputs of Census data which use ‘usual resident population’ as their base. [3]


See here for Citywide, Ward and Lower Super Output Areas population estimates by age and sex
The latest (2015) MYEs show that the City has a very high proportion (29%) of people aged 18 to 29[4].  This is due largely, but not entirely, to the presence of the two universities; full-time university students account for approximately 1 in 8 of the population. The percentages in other age-groups are lower than the average for England, with the proportions of those between 65 and 79 being particularly low. 
The proportion of children is lower than the England average, although not for under- 4s. This may indicate that birth-rates are comparatively high, but also that a considerable number of children leave the City before starting school (see below).
Of the 81,900 people aged 50+ living in the City, 44,700 (55%) are under 65, 19,400 (24%) aged from 65 to 74, and 17,800 (22%) aged 75 and over.


This “unbalanced” age-structure has become more noticeable in recent years, with growth of the universities and international migrants generally being young adults.  Also, 38% of new housing since 2002 is in the city centre, and nearly three quarters of all new housing across the City (excluding purpose built student properties) are dwellings with 1 or 2 bedrooms.  This type of housing tends to appeal to younger, smaller households.
In age-structure terms[1], the City can broadly be categorised into three area types:

  • Those with a concentration of younger adults, including students – primarily the city centre, Lenton, Dunkirk, Radford, The Arboretum and Hyson Green.
  • Those with a concentration of older people, many of whom have lived in their houses since they were built – primarily Bilborough, Beechdale, Clifton and parts of Wollaton.
  • Other, more mixed areas, although Aspley ward, in particular has notably more children.

Taking older people (aged 50+) as a whole, the highest percentages (of a ward’s total population) are in Bulwell Forest (40%), Wollaton West (39.1%) and Clifton South (37.5%), but the pattern for the age-groups is sometimes very different.
Bulwell Forest, Clifton South and Wollaton West have the highest proportions in their 50s (13.7%, 13.2% and 13.0% respectively).  Bulwell Forest (12.6%) and Wollaton West (11.2%) have the highest percentages in their 60s, and Bulwell Forest has the highest proportion in their 70s (8.9%), followed by Wollaton West (8.2%).  Clifton South (7.8%) is the highest for those aged 80 and over.


See here for Citywide population estimates by age and sex
The gender balance generally follows national patterns. More boys are born than girls (about 106 boys for every 100 girls), but as men tend to die younger, for age-groups aged over 70 there are more women than men; there are twice as many women aged 85 and over as men[2]. However, the percentage of men aged 25 to 39 is unusually high in Nottingham (e.g. 116 men to every 100 women in the 35 to 39 age-group). This is particularly the case in some City Centre and inner city areas, including those with high proportions of students[3] or significant numbers of Houses in Multiple Occupation – which may be favoured by single, and often male, migrant workers.


See here for figures on the numbers of births
The number of births to mothers living in the City has risen in recent years, but from a low base. There were slightly more live births in 2015 (4,308) than in 2014 (4,242), and the number was much higher than at the low-point of 2000, where there were 3,275 live births[4]. The number in 2010 (4,477) was the highest since before 1977 (the earliest date for which information is available).  The only period in the last 35 years when it was close to this was between 1989 and 1991.

Changes to the number of births are affected much more by the number of women of child-bearing age than any changes in family-size. There is no information locally to suggest that the average completed family-size (i.e. the total number of children born to a woman during her lifetime) is increasing.
The Office for National Statistics no longer produce ward level births data, so the most recent figures are from 2014.  These show that Aspley and Berridge were the wards with the greatest number of births (357 and 365 respectively in 2014). Both wards have high numbers of females aged 15-44.  The wards which had the lowest numbers of births were those with higher numbers of students – with Dunkirk & Lenton and Wollaton East & Lenton Abbey having the lowest with 43 and 59 respectively in 2014[1].
In 2015, 37.1% of births were to mothers born outside of the UK, a slight increase on 2014 (36%), and more than double the percentage in 2001 (14.5%)[2].

Ethnic groups

See here for Census profiles including ethnic group populations by Ward (2011 Census)
Note: The only data available on ethnic groups is from the 2011 Census, as the Office for National Statistics no longer produce intercensal estimates of ethnicity.
The large majority of people who live in Nottingham are White British. In some of the outer estates, in 2011, 80% or more of the population were White British – in Clifton South the figure was 89%.
According to the 2011 Census, 34.6% of the City’s population are from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups, which are defined as everyone who is not White British. This is an increase from 19.0% in 2001.
The number of people in the White British and White Irish ethnic groups fell between 2001 and 2011 with the White British group now making up 65.4% of the City’s population compared to 81.1% in 2001. The number of people in every other ethnic group increased. The largest numerical increase was of nearly 21,000 in the Asian ethnic groups and the largest percentage increase was in the number of people from mixed ethnic groups which increased by nearly 12,000 people, 142.1%.
Looking at the detailed ethnic groups, those showing the biggest increases were Other White (2.5% to 5.1%), Mixed - White and Black Caribbean (2% to 4%), Black African (0.5% to 3.2%), and Pakistani (3.6% to 5.5%).  The largest groups other than White British are now Other White (5.1%) – which will include large numbers of people from Poland - and Pakistani (5.5%).

The City’s age structure is generally influenced by the ‘White British’ group, with most other ethnic groups having a younger age profile than the City average. The two exceptions to this are the ‘White Irish’ and ‘Black Caribbean’ groups which have much higher proportions of older people. The youngest age profiles are amongst the mixed ethnic groups where 15-20% of people are aged under 5.[1]
The population of pupils in the City’s educational provision also shows a varied picture, with 53.1% of pupils being members of BME groups (non White-British) in January 2017. This proportion has been rising in recent years from 37% in 2008[2].
Over a quarter (26%) of all pupils have a first language that is not English. This has risen from 18% in 2008.
Analysis of the 2011 Census shows that the main BME groups have quite different geographical distributions[3] and in three Nottingham wards, Berridge, Leen Valley and St Ann’s, the proportion of the population who are from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups is more than 50%.
The Pakistani group was quite highly concentrated in Berridge, Dales and Leen Valley ward; whereas the Indian group was more widely spread, with the greatest numbers being in Radford & Park and Wollaton West. The Black and Black British group was also quite widely spread, but had concentrations in Aspley, St Ann’s and Radford & Park. The Mixed group, taken as a whole, was very widely spread around the City.  
The ‘other’ White group, which includes people from the EU Accession countries, and notably Poland, are concentrated around Berridge, Radford & Park, Dales,  St Ann’s and Bridge wards.
Evidence from a survey of migrants from the EU Accession countries[1] suggests that the main concentrations are in Sneinton/St Ann’s and Hyson Green/Radford.


Three distinct types of migration have a significant effect upon the City:
  • Migration both into and out of the City from elsewhere in the UK, which tends to be young adults, particularly students;
  • Migration from the City to the surrounding districts, including families with children or people likely to start families soon;
  • Migration into the City from outside the UK, often of young adults, particularly recently from Poland.
Taken together, these, and other categories of migration, mean that there is a considerable amount of “churn” in the City’s population.
In the year to mid-2015, Nottingham had a net loss of 900 people due to internal migration (i.e. 25,980 moved into the City and 26,870 moved out to other districts in England)[2].  The only age-group which the City gains, in net terms, from the rest of the country is 16 to 24. It loses all other age-groups.
The City lost 2,730 people in net terms to the other Greater Nottingham Districts (Ashfield, Broxtowe, Erewash, Gedling and Rushcliffe) in 2014-15[3]. Movements were however by no means all one way, with 6,012 people coming into the City from these Districts and 8,740 people leaving. Of particular interest is the net loss of 550 children aged under 16 from the City.
Based on previous MYEs, over the whole period since 2001, the net loss due to internal migration was -19,580, but the net gain due to international migration was 51,350 (including asylum seekers), equivalent to around 15% of the population [4].
The only source of information regarding the origins of these international migrants is National Insurance Registrations (NINos)[5]. This is by no means comprehensive, but it gives a useful guide. Between March 2004 and March 2016, nearly 61,200 people from overseas living in the City were granted NINos, 26,600 (43%) of them from the EU Accession states.  Poland was easily the largest source of these people (17,700), but the next most important countries were the more traditional sources of India (4,630) and Pakistan (3,460).
The number arriving from the EU Accession countries in 2015/16 was 2,950, a decrease on the previous year which saw the highest annual figure (3,330).  The majority of these were from Poland (1,400) but there was a notable number of migrant workers from Romania (970 - up by more than 830 on the previous year).
The number arriving from outside of the EU Accession countries increased to 3,450 in 2015/16 – from a recent low of 2,350 in 2012/13.

Population turnover (“churn”)

In total, according to the ONS, 33,400 people moved into the City in 2014-2015 and 30,500 moved out. This is similar to previous years, and so the City continues to have a high population turnover every year. Internal (within the UK) and International migration in and out of the City is, however, only one component of the “churn” in population within the City. Movements within the City are also important and are particularly marked in some areas.
The 2011 Census shows that, on Census day, 21% of people (over 64,000) in Nottingham had a different address to the previous year, compared with 12% in England as a whole[6]. Of these, just over half had moved within the City and the remainder moved to Nottingham from elsewhere in the UK or abroad. Many of these movers will be students.
The wards with the greatest turnover of population were those where students are concentrated (Wollaton East and Lenton Abbey 56.5%, Dunkirk & Lenton 55.1%, Arboretum 43.3% and Radford & Park 48.6%). Around 30% of the population of Bridge and St. Ann’s wards had moved in the last year although these wards also contain sizeable student populations. Bulwell Forest and Wollaton West have the most stable populations with 7.5% and 9% moving respectively.

[1]   “A Study of A2 and A8 Migrants in Nottingham”, University of Salford (for One Nottingham), April 2009
[2] Office for National Statistics, Internal Migration by local authorities in England and Wales, Mid-2015
[3] ibid.
[6] 2011 Census, Origin and destination of migrants by age and sex
[7] 2011 Census Key Statistics. Table KS301

[1] 2011 Census, Ethnicity Topic Note
[2] Nottingham City Council Children and Families Department School Census data for January 2017.
[3] Office for National Statistics Small area ethnicity data from the 2011 Census

[1] Office for National Statistics Ward vital statistics data (VS4 Tables).
[2] Office for National Statistics Live births by country of birth of mother and area of usual residence 2015:

[1] Office for National Statistics 2015 Mid Year Estimates, June 2016.
[2] Office for National Statistics 2015 Mid-Year Estimates, June 2016.
[3] Office for National Statistics 2015 Mid Year Estimates, June 2016
[4] Office for National Statistics Births data (VS Tables).


[1] The 2001 – 2010 MYEs were revised in 2013 using information from the 2011 Census, so are not comparable with figures in previous JSNAs.
[3] Office for National Statistics Census 2011: Number of non-UK born short-term residents by local authorities in England and Wales
[4] Office for National Statistics Mid-Year Estimates 2015, June 2016

[1] Office for National Statistics Mid-Year Estimates 2015, June 2016.
[2] NHS Digital
[3] Office for National Statistics Mid-Year Estimates & components of change data 2005-15.






Influence on health and wellbeing

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Some differences in demographic factors result in expected inequalities in health and well-being, i.e. older people suffer more from ill-health than younger people.  However, differences in health as a result of geography or ethnicity tend to be in the main the impact of a range of social and environmental factors (wider determinants of health).  These inequalities are considered in the second part of this section and individual chapters within the JSNA.

Total population

The 2011 Census asked two questions about health, although they were phrased in a different way to those asked in the 2001 Census so direct comparisons cannot be made.  In 2011, 9.1% of people said they were limited a lot in their day to day activities by a health problem or disability, with a further 9.1% limited a little, compared with 8.3% and 9.3% nationally.  The difference is greater for working age adults – Nottingham has 14.2% limited a lot or a little, compared to 12.7% nationally.[1]
Nottingham had a higher percentage of people reporting bad or very bad health in 2011 – 6.6% compared to 5.3% nationally, and a slightly lower proportion of people reporting that their health is good or very good – 79.9% compared to 81.4%.   This is despite the City having a comparatively young population.

In 2001, 20.1% of people reported having a limiting long term illness or disability (LLTI) compared with 17.9% for England. The percentage reporting that their health was ‘not good was 11.0% compared with 9.0%.[1]

Age and gender

The 2011 Census shows a clear link between age and ill health, with the percentage with bad health or a long term disability rising with age. [2]
For children aged under 16 just 4.7% are limited a lot or a little in their day to day activities by a long term health problem or disability and just 0.9% report bad or very bad health. Amongst older people, this rises to 62.6% and 20.8% of over 65s. 
With the exception of the student dominated 16-24 age group, health in Nottingham is worse than the national average in each age group. The differences are small for the under 35s but increase for the age groups between 35 and 74. Differences get smaller again for the over 75 groups but the Nottingham figures remain higher than national ones..
Women are more likely to have a long term health problem or disability than men although the differences vary with age. For under 16s a higher percentage of males have a health problem, and between the ages of 16 and 24, men and women are equally as likely to have a health problem. From the age of 25 onwards, the gap increases with age with more women than men having health problems. Between 25 and 65, the biggest increases are in problems which limit daily activities a little but for the over 65s a higher proportion of women experience problems which limit their activities a lot.

Ethnic groups

The proportion of people with a long term health problem increases with age for each ethnic group, but there are large differences in the patterns for different ethnic groups. There is relatively little variation in the 0-15 age group. Variations start to become more pronounced in the 16-49 group with 12.3% of people of mixed ethnicity having some kind of long term health problem compared to just 7.0% of the Asian/Asian British ethnic groups and 9.7% of the White groups. The large numbers of university students from Asian/Asian British ethnic groups may have an influence here as students are much less likely to have a long term health problem than the rest of the population.
The largest variations are in the 50-64 age group. Again the Mixed ethnicity groups have the highest proportion of people with a long term health problem, followed by the Asian/Asian British ethnic groups. The gap between the Mixed ethnicity group and the Black/Black British groups which have the lowest proportion is 12.7 percentage points. The differences between ethnic groups shrink again in the 65 and over age group although for the first time, the Asian/Asian British groups have the highest proportion of people with long term health problems (68.6%) and the White groups have the lowest proportion (62.2%).[3]

[1] 2001 Census
[2] 2011 Census, Topic Note - Disability, Health and Carers
[3] 2011 Census, Topic Note - Disability, Health and Carers


[1] 2011 Census Key Statistics. Table KS301





Projections over 3 to 5 and 5 to 10 years

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Of the demographic factors which are being considered, the total population by age and gender is the only one for which there are statistical projections. For the others, the best that can be given is an indication of the likely direction and scale of change.
For convenience, the 3 to 5 year period is referred to in this section as “the short term” and 5 to 10 years as “the medium term”.

Total population

See here for projections of the future population by age and sex.
As in the recent past, the main determinants of future changes in the total population are house building, natural change (the excess of births over deaths), international migration and the number of university students.
The number of residential properties built in 2006-07 was the highest since the 1970s.  Although the rate of building had slowed down more recently due to the recession, it is still at a higher level than it was in much of the 1990s, particularly if student housing is included.  In the longer term it is anticipated that house building will rise again.  In order to meet house building targets there will need to be a rise in the number of dwellings to about 1,000 per annum.[1]
Migration is addressed below, but it seems likely to continue to make a substantial contribution to the City’s population.  In terms of students, the universities do not expect significant changes in numbers so it is unlikely that the number of students will rise as quickly as in the recent past.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) population projections are trend-based. At a time when there has been substantial population growth, this means that they can give unrealistically high projections for an area with tightly drawn boundaries like Nottingham City. Indeed, the 2010-based projections[2] showed the City’s population as rising to 380,000 in 2035, an increase of 79,000 (26%) from 2010, an unrealistically high increase given the housebuilding which can be accommodated in the City.
The latest population projections were published in May 2016 and take into account information from the Census – as such they should be more accurate and are discussed below. 
The ONS 2014-based population projections show the population of Nottingham rising from 314,300 in 2014 to 332,700 in 2024, an increase of 18,500 (6%), and to 361,300 in 2039, an increase of 47,000 (15%).  While this is still a large increase, it is not dissimilar to the projected figures in projections commissioned for the Aligned  Core Strategy (Adopted September 2014) which controlled the future population to the likely housebuilding in the City.  
The wards showing the greatest population increase in the next few years are likely to be those with the most house-building. These are Bridge, Dales, Leen Valley, Bestwood and Bulwell. In some other wards (e.g. Aspley and Sherwood) the total population is likely to change comparatively little.


The main changes in the age-structure are likely to reflect the current structure aging rather than the effects of migration, although high levels of international migration could further increase the number of young adults.
The number of children (under 15's) is projected to increase by just 1,060, with static growth in the medium term.
The 15-19 age group is projected to see one of the largest numerical increases to 2039, although the 20-24 band is projected to remain the largest group – primarily due to the large student population in the City.  20-24 year olds could account for one in seven of the population by 2039.
Numbers in the mid age groups and particularly people in their 40's are projected to stay relatively static between 2014 and 2039, with the 50-54 group declining by 200.
The greatest numerical increase in Nottingham over the 25 years is projected to be in the 70-74 age group.  In total, the age bands comprising the over 60's account for half of the total numerical increase from 2014-2039.
The age bands comprising the over 70’s are projected to have the greatest percentage increases across the 25 year period, particularly the over 85s age band which is projected to be nearly double the 2014 estimate.  This growth is projected mainly in the later years and reflects increased life expectancy. 
The geographical distribution of those in the older age-groups, in the short to medium term, is likely to be determined by where the relevant “cohorts” are currently living – i.e. those areas with the greatest numbers in the 50s now are likely to have most people in their 60s in ten years’ time. For example, using the 2015 ONS Estimates[3] as a base, it is likely that, at least in the short term, the highest numbers aged 80 and over will be in Bilborough, Wollaton West and the two Clifton wards.  Bilborough, Wollaton West, Clifton South and Bulwell Forest wards are likely to have the highest numbers in their 70s at the same date.
Compared to some other Local Authority areas, Nottingham is projected to show little ageing or population growth in the short term. This is in part due to the large student population, which results in a large amount of internal population churn but little long term effect on the population.


After a couple of years where the number of births declined, this year the number of is slightly higher than last year.  The number is likely to continue to be fairly high, which is reflected by a projected increase in the number of under 5s.

Ethnic groups

Given the changes in ethnic groups between the 2001 and 2011 Census, and the younger age profile of BME groups in the City, the percentage of the population in BME groups is likely to continue to rise. 


Patterns of migration to and from other parts of the UK are likely to remain relatively similar in the short to medium term, apart possibly from in two respects:

  • Although student movements are likely to remain broadly similar, as the numbers are not likely to continue increasing at the same rate as in the recent past the net effect on the total population could be smaller or, as with the last year, be a net loss;
  • The Council’s policy is to encourage families to stay in the City, by providing more family housing, improving schools etc. This could have the effect of reducing migration to the surrounding districts within the period.

Migration flows from Eastern Europe have slowed down in recent years.  In total 26,600 people from the EU Accession countries registered for a National Insurance Number in Nottingham since 2004, but, at the time of the 2011 Census there were only 9,800 people living in the City who were born in the EU Accession countries, suggesting many of those registering to work in the City have now moved elsewhere.  
At the start of 2014, Bulgarians and Romanians gained the same rights to work in the UK as other EU citizens.  National Insurance Number data shows that in 2015/16, 970 Romanian and 132 Bulgarian migrant workers registered for a NiNo in Nottingham which was a large increase on the numbers in 2013/14 - 323 and 80 respectively.  It is impossible to predict how many more will register in Nottingham, but the 2011 Census shows that Nottingham does not currently have large communities of Bulgarians or Romanians however, so Nottingham may not be a destination for large numbers of migrants.    
Beyond that, changes to immigration policy, as will the performance of the British economy relative to other countries, may have more of an effect on the levels of migration from outside of the EU.  Another unknown factor is where refugee populations might arise from as a result of conflicts etc.

[1] The Aligned Core Strategy, adopted in September 2014, has an average net increase of 1,000 dwellings per annum (2011 to 2028).
[2]Office for National Statistics, 2010-based Sub-national population projections,
[3] Office for National Statistics Ward Population Estimates 2013


Part 2: Social and environmental context


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This section outlines some of the factors affecting the social and environmental context within which the population of Nottingham City lives. It focuses on deprivation in the City; the MOSAIC geo-demographic classification of Nottingham; and issues around housing, employment and qualifications.
Some differences in health are unavoidable e.g. older people suffer more from ill-health than younger people, but many are reversible or preventable and the result of unfairness or inequality in circumstance, access to services including NHS provision, lifestyles and behaviours, themselves often determined by a range of social and environmental factors (wider determinants of health). These inequalities are considered in the second part of this section and individual chapters within the JSNA.


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  • Nottingham is ranked 8th most deprived district in England in the 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), a relative decline on 20th in the 2010 IMD.
  • About a third of super output areas in the City are in the worst 10% nationally (IMD 2015).
  • 34% of children and 25% of people aged 60 and over live in areas affected by income deprivation.
  • Health is the Indices of Deprivation domain on which Nottingham does worst, followed by Education, Skills & Training.
  • The dominant Mosaic groups in Nottingham are Groups J, L, M, O and N. 
  • The employment rate is comparatively low (62.6% in 2016) – the number of university students only partially explains this.
  • 7.9% of the population aged 16-64 were claiming Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance in November 2016, compared with 5.8% nationally.
  • 3.3% were unemployed (claiming Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Creidt claimants not in employment) in March 2017, compared with 1.9% nationally. 
  • More than half of jobs in the City are taken by people living elsewhere – people working in higher order occupations are more likely to live outside the City.
  • The median gross household income of full time working City residents was £27,700 in 2016.
  • There are high levels of child poverty in the City. In 2014/15, 42,000 children and young people lived in workless or low income households.
  • 13.4% of people of aged 16 to 64 have no qualifications, compared with 7.8% nationally.
  • Rates of car ownership are low, particularly amongst pensioners living alone and lone parents.

Current situation

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See here for a compendium of the 2015 Indices of Deprivation data for Nottingham City.
In the District level Index of Multiple Deprivation results, Nottingham ranks 8th most deprived out of the 326 districts in England using the Average Score measure and 10th using the Average Rank measure.  This compares with ranks of 20th and 17th in the 2010 index and 13th and 12th in the 2007 index.[1]
In the Lower Super Output Area level results, 61 of the 182 City Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) fall amongst the 10% most deprived in the country for the Index of Multiple Deprivation (the overall measure of deprivation). 110 LSOAs fall in the 20% most deprived.  The lowest ranking LSOA in the City is in Bulwell, which ranks 63rd nationally out of 32,844, and is one of two City LSOAs ranking in the most deprived 100 LSOAs in the country – the other being in Aspley ranking 78th.
Out of the seven separate ‘domains’ that make up the Index of Multiple Deprivation, Health and Disability is the domain in which Nottingham performs worst.  63 LSOAs rank within the 10% most deprived in the country.  St Ann’s ward has all LSOAs in the 20% most deprived in the country.
Nottingham’s LSOAs also rank poorly for Education, Skills and Training deprivation (62 LSOAs, including all of the LSOAs in Aspley, rank in the 10% most deprived in the country) and Crime, (56 of the 182 City LSOAs, including all in Arboretum rank in the 10% most deprived). 


Mosaic Classification[2]

See here for more information about Mosaic in the City
Mosaic tables are included on the next two pages.
Mosaic Public Sector is a geo-demographic dataset produced by Nottingham-based Experian describing the UK population in terms of their typical demographics and their social, economic, cultural and lifestyle behaviour. The analysis below focuses on the latest (2014) version of Mosaic Public Sector – see footnote for more information.
Analysis of the 2014 Mosaic public sector dataset suggests that Nottingham City is a diverse area – with 13 of the 15 Mosaic groups represented.
Over 70% of the City falls into just 5 Mosaic Groups.  In England as a whole, there is more of a spread across the groups, with the top 5 groups accounting for 50% of people.


  • Mosaic Group J - Educated young people privately renting in urban neighbourhoods, are the largest group comprising just under a fifth (19.6%) of the population.  The groups is characterised by young, single students or young professionals, with relatively good incomes and career prospects. 
  • Mosaic Group M - Families with limited resources who have to budget to make ends meet, make up the second largest Mosaic group - just over 18% of people, and are characterised by families with school age children in social housing. They have low incomes, often topped up with state benefits and a squeezed budget.

  • Mosaic Group L - Single people privately renting low cost homes for the short term, comprise a further 18% of Nottingham’s households.  This group are young, single, transient and often in shared housing. The often have low skilled and lower income jobs with some benefits being claimed. 

  • Mosaic Group N - Elderly people reliant on support to meet financial or practical needs, comprise a further 10%.  They are elderly, living alone and requiring support.  They generally have low incomes. 

  • Mosaic Group O - Urban renters of social housing facing an array of challenges, make up 7% of households.  This group are working age social renters on lower incomes.  They have higher levels of unemployment and benefits. 



    The Mosaic groups above are particularly geographically constrained, see ward graph below and the map at Appendix 4, with the Educated young people privately renting in urban neighbourhoods forming a band across the centre of the City; concentrations of disadvantaged families in social housing in and around Aspley ward; lower income workers in urban terraces around the inner city; and concentrations of single young people in social housing seen around the Meadows, St Ann’s and the Arboretum.   Also notable are a concentration of the more affluent Mosaic groups around the Wollaton and Mapperley Park areas and in the City Centre.


    Please see the next two tables for profiles of postcodes in Nottingham compared to England, using Mosaic Groups. Appendix 2 contains a description of the Groups and Types and Appendix 3 shows a profile of the more detailed Mosaic Types. Please note that these are the names and descriptions given by Experian, not the City Council or Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).


Source: Experian Limited (copyright)
See Appendix 2 for a description of the Mosaic Groups, and Appendix 3 for a profile of Nottingham postcodes compared to England Households using Mosaic Public Sector 2014 Types
Pen. % = Penetration (target/base) * 100
High % means a high proportion  i.e. if 100 in target & 500 in base = 20%
Index = (target% / base%) *100
100 is average; <100 shows under-representation; >100 shows over-representation



The latest employment rate for the City is 62.6%[1], compared with 74.3% for England. This figure is deflated by the presence of so many university students, but even if they are excluded the rate is still low (October 2014 to September 2015 estimates: 72.5% compared with 78.1% for England)[2].

Figures for employment rates of working age people by gender for the City show 66.4% for males and 58.6% for females. Data on the employment rates for older people show Nottingham has an employment rate for the 50 to 64 population of 64%.  In this age-group the male rate is considerably higher than the female rate: 72.1% for males and 54.9% for females.

36,413 people aged 16-64 in Nottingham City were claiming one or more Department for Work and Pensions benefits in November 2016[1]
Just under half (17,630 people) were claiming Employment and Support Allowance (including a small number still claiming Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance), equating to 7.9% of the population aged 16-64, compared with 5.8% for England. More than 75% of City claimants who have completed work capability assessments when transferring from IB are placed in the ‘support group’ for people whose condition means they are not expected to return to work. This implies that more than 13,400 claimants in Nottingham will not be expected to return to work.
There were 3,760 Lone Parents claiming Income Support in Nottingham in November 2016, continuing the decrease in numbers over recent years primarily due to changes in eligibility. Changes were made in October 2010 so only parents with a child aged under 7 were eligible for Income Support and in December 2011 only those lone parents with a child aged under 5 were eligible.  Plans to further restrict Income Support for Lone Parents to those parents whose youngest child is 3 years old were announced in the July 2015 budget so further reductions in claimants are likely in the future.   A high proportion of Lone Parents who are no longer eligible for Income Support have instead transferred to a different benefit, with most transferring to JSA[2].
More recent unemployment data are available. There were 7,370 unemployed people (claimants of Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit claimants not in employment) in March 2017.  This is a small increase on the previous month and previous year[3], although Nottingham has seen large falls in unemployment in recent years.  Claimants now amount to 3.3% of the working age population compared with 1.9% nationally. (Please note that the national figure is not strictly comparable due to Universal Credit being implemented in some areas earlier than others, and not yet seen in large numbers locally).
The annual increase in Nottingham is due to an increase in female unemployment while male unemployment is broadly unchanged. Female unemployment rates remain much higher than in previous years due mostly to restrictions imposed on people’s eligibility for Income Support for Lone Parents which caused large numbers of women to transfer to JSA – see above.
It is not currently possible to obtain data on the duration of unemployment due to figures not yet being available for Universal Credit claimants.  However, previous data for JSA before Universal Credit was introduced in 2013, suggests that the proportion of people claiming for more than 6 months and for more than 2 years remains high, largely as a result of welfare reforms which caused people to transfer from other benefits.  The proportion of people claiming for more than 6 months was significantly higher than the pre-recession level (37.7% in June 2008) and the proportion of people claiming for more than 2 years was nearly 3 times higher than the 2008 rate of 6.4%.
The highest unemployment rates are in Aspley (5.6%), Bulwell (5.4%), Bestwood (4.8%) and Berridge (4.6%).  Unemployment increased in 11 City wards during the past year.  
Based upon the 2011 Census, about 53% of jobs in the City will have been taken by people living outside of the City boundary. On the other hand, about 31% of City residents who are in employment work outside the City. This makes it difficult to ensure that health initiatives aimed at employers in the City are reaching City residents. To illustrate this, in 2015 46.4% of City Council employees lived outside the City[4].
People working in the City (including those who live there as well) are more likely to be in higher order occupations rather than those living there, but not by as much as one might expect. 30% of people working in the City are in managerial and professional occupations, compared with 23% of City residents[5]. At the other end of the scale, 12% of those working in the City are in elementary occupations, compared with 17% of those living there. However, when looking at this comparison, it is important to realise that the figures only include people who are in employment and a high percentage of City residents are not in employment (see the employment rate above).



The median gross annual earnings for residents who were in full-time employment in 2015 was about £23,300, compared with £26,100 for people working (but not necessarily living) in the City[6]. 20% of residents who work full time earned below £16,600 and a further 10% earn less than £20,000.
There are high levels of child poverty in the City. In 2014/15, 41,900 Nottingham City children live in families where no adults work or where the household income is low. This is equivalent to 63% of children compared to 42% in England. 



Figures from the Annual Population Survey[7] suggest 13.4% of the 16-64 age-group have no qualifications, higher than the national percentage (England 7.8%). The difference is most evident in the 50-64 age band, where some 27.5% have no qualifications compared to 11.4% nationally. 29.6% of 16 to 64 year olds have qualifications at NVQ4 level – degree level or above, compared with 37.9% in England.


The JSNA has separate chapters on Housing and Homelessness.
See here for Housing
See here for Homelessness


Geographical accessibility

As in most urban areas, levels of geographical accessibility to services are generally high, but clearly in reality some groups will have much better levels of accessibility than others. Average car ownership levels are low (56.3% of all households had at least one car in 2011 compared with 74.2% in England)[8], but some groups have much lower rates – particularly pensioners living alone (25.7%) and lone parent households with dependent children (41%). Ward car ownership rates vary from 80.7% in Wollaton West to 35.3% in St Ann’s [9].
The figures above represent an upward trend in car ownership levels from figures derived from the 2001 census data and shows that car ownership rates have increased at a slightly higher rate in Nottingham than when compared with the national average.


Access to hospitals and GPs by public transport

Hospital services are very accessible for City residents. The latest data provided by the Department for Transport from December 2015 shows that for 2014, 51% of households are within 30 minutes travel time and 98% are within 60 minutes travel time of a Nottingham University Hospital (either the Queens Medical Centre or the City Hospital site) by public transport[10]

Please note these performance indicators relate to the percentage of households within specified travel times by public transport to the nearest Nottingham University Hospital site. However not all medical services will be available at both sites and patients may need to access a specific site for the treatment they require. Indicators are also available for travel specifically to either the Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) or the Nottingham City Hospital.

Access to hospital services provided by Nottingham University Hospital Trust at the QMC and City Hospital campuses and the link between the two sites was improved further in April 2016 following the increase in frequency of the Medilink, a free shuttle bus service running every 10 minutes between 06:30 and 19:00 during the week (and every 5 minutes during the morning peak between 8am and 9.30am), linking the two sites and with connections to other bus and tram services at Queens Drive and Wilkinson Street Park and Ride sites.
Geographical access to local GP services by public transport is also very good for residents of Nottingham. National Core Indicator data provided by DfT in 2015 showed that in 2014, 95% of all households are within 15 minutes travel time of a GP surgery by public transport[11].
Note on the data: Connectivity Data for 2015 was withdrawn by DfT recently due to a processing error. As a result the data for 2015 (which would be the latest available figures within the dataset) are currently unavailable.


[1] Figures adjusted by Nottingham City Council – see the monthly Benefits Bulletin for further information.
[4] Nottingham City Council Resources (2015 Data)
[5] 2011 Census
[6] Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2016, ONS.
[7] Annual Population Survey, January 2016 to December 2016, ONS.
[8] Office for National Statistics 2011 Census
[11] Ibid.

[1] Proportion of people aged 16-64 who are in employment, Annual Population Survey, January 2016 – December 2016, ONS.
[2] Unofficial figures estimated by Nottingham City Council using APS data.




[1] Department of Communities and Local Government 2015 Indices of Deprivation. The results of Nottingham can be found at:

[2] The 2014 version of Mosaic classifies the population into 66 ‘Types’ that identify groups of individuals or households that are as similar as possible to each other and as different as possible from any other group. These ‘Types’ group together hierarchically into 15 ‘Groups’. The 2014 version superseded the previous (2009) version of Mosaic which had 69 Types and 15 Groups.



Influence on health and wellbeing

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The link between individual factors and health outcomes is strongly mediated by an individual’s socio-economic environment, their lifestyle, and their access to health and social care[1],[2],[3]. This is illustrated in Figure 10. Nottingham's high levels of deprivation, low educational attainment and unhealthy lifestyle (high smoking, poor diet, low physical activity) are all interrelated determinants of its poor health outcomes and high level of health inequalities.


Social Gradient
There is a social gradient in health.  A recent review of health inequalities in England[1] found that the lower a person’s social position, the more likelihood that his/her health would be poorer.  The addressing of the social gradient of children’s access to positive experiences is of particular importance in reducing health inequalities.  This links directly to the early intervention agenda.
Income level has been found to have a correlation with a broad spectrum of health and wellbeing factors. Poverty is generally regarded as the most important determinant of health, and also one of the most difficult areas in which to achieve change. However, evidence[2] suggests that the less well-off fare better if they live in an affluent area, presumably because of access to better amenities, to cleaner, safer neighbourhoods and to recreational facilities. ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’ has identified the need for a minimum level of income to be set in order to achieve good health.

Education plays a number of roles in influencing inequalities in health when health is viewed in its widest sense. It has an important role in influencing inequalities in one’s socio-economic position, as educational qualifications are a determinant of an individual's labour market position and future social standing. Early education has a role in preparing children for life, in particular in ensuring that they have the practical, social and emotional knowledge and skills to achieve a full and healthy life.  Development of good parenting skills is key to supporting the early intervention agenda.  The Marmot Review has highlighted the need for access to good quality lifelong learning in order to reduce health inequalities.
Poor housing environments contribute to ill health through poor amenities, shared facilities and overcrowding, inadequate heating or energy inefficiency. The highest risks to health in housing are related to cold and damp conditions, particularly for those people experiencing fuel poverty. In addition, those in very poor housing, such as homeless hostels and bedsits, are more likely to suffer from poor mental and physical health than those whose housing is of higher quality.

Crime is associated with relative social deprivation and health inequalities. The same social and environmental factors that predict geographic variation in crime rates may also be relevant to explaining community variations in health and wellbeing. Crime can result in physical hurt such as injury, rape or abuse, but can also affect mental health leading to fear, depression, substance misuse and self-harm.
Unemployment is both a cause and a result of ill health. The effects of unemployment on health can be linked to poverty and low income amongst the unemployed. There are also significant psychological consequences from being out of work, especially for the long-term unemployed. There is also the effect that people with poorer health are more likely to be unemployed; this is particularly true for people with long-term disabilities.

Transport and Access
Access to health and social services tend to vary inversely with the need for the population served. A concerted effort needs to be made to reverse the effects of the inverse care law whereby those with the greatest need receive the poorest services. Unequal access to services is not restricted to social class and geography. People in some minority ethnic communities are less likely to receive the services they need. Improving access to services is not just dependent on capacity, geographic location and transport planning, but also necessitates ensuring information and services account for the cultural and language profile of local communities, and providing services at different times and in different ways. Other barriers affecting access to services are limited travel horizons and the affordability and perceived safety of different transport options, all of which will vary depending on the individual’s gender, age and cultural and socio-economic background.

[1] ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’, The Marmot Review – Strategic Review of Heath Inequalities in England post-2010
[2] World Health Organisation ‘Closing the Gap in a Generation’

[1] Acheson (1998) Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health Report
[3] Local Government Improvement and Development Healthy Communities Resource

Projections over 3 to 5 and 5 to 10 years

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Future deprivation levels in the city will largely depend upon the performance of the national economy and the success of national and local initiatives.  It is unlikely, however, that the geographical distribution of deprived people and households within the City will change very much. 

Mosaic Classification

It is unlikely that the Mosaic groups and types will change much in the short to medium term, although there could be changes in local areas as regeneration schemes progress.


Changes to the employment rate will depend upon the availability of jobs, although initiatives to improve the skill levels of City residents could also make them more competitive in the local labour market.  The performance of the national economy will, however, be the most important determinant of future trends.


Improved educational attainment of city children will start to work its way through the adult population, improving education levels amongst young adults. Increased graduate-retention would do likewise in slightly older age-groups. Anecdotal evidence says that EU migrants have higher qualification levels than the indigenous population, so, if they stay they could have an effect.



Key contacts

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Nicola Kirk, Information and Research Officer, Development Department, Nottingham City Council,
Connectivity / accessibility analysis:
Robert Smith, Senior Transport Planner, Development Department, Nottingham City Council,

Appendix 1: Ward map

Appendix 2: Mosaic classification

Appendix 3: Profile of Nottingham households compared to England households, using Mosaic Public Sector 2014 types

Mosaic map

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An interactive Mosaic map is available on Nottingham Insight.