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Video Summary: Rural-Urban Classification

Released: 22 November 2013

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Slide 1 – Front Page

This is a short video looking at the rural-urban classification using the 2011 Census.


Slide 2 – What is the Rural-Urban Classification?

To begin with, the built-up areas of England and Wales were defined. A built-up area is one that can be described as:

Any continuous settlement that might include villages, towns and cities

An area of at least 20 hectares or 200,000 square metres

Areas with less than 200 metres between them are joined to form a single built-up area.

From this, built-up areas with a population of 10,000 or more usual residents are defined as urban.

Built-up areas with a population of fewer than 10,000 usual residents are defined as rural, along with the non built-up areas.


Slide 3 – 2011 Census Population

In 2011, there were 56.1 million usual residents, of which 45.7 million lived in urban areas within England and Wales. This is equivalent to 81.5% of the population. The rural population was 10.3 million or 18.5% of the population.

Moving this pie chart to one side and beginning with the urban population, 18.8 million lived in major conurbations including London, Birmingham and Manchester. A further 1.9 million people lived in the minor conurbations of South Yorkshire and Greater Nottingham, while 25 million people lived in other cities and towns.

Looking at the rural population, 5.1 million people lived in the town and fringe category, 3.2 million lived in villages and 2 million lived in hamlets and isolated dwellings.


Slide 4 – English Regions and Wales

Next we will look at the English Regions and Wales and the percentage of the population within each that live in urban and rural areas using this chart.

At 99.8% almost all of London’s population lived in an urban area in 2011. Outside of London, the region with the largest proportion of its population living in urban areas was the North West at 89.4%.

Wales had the smallest percentage of its population living in urban areas in 2011, at 67.2%.


Slide 5 – Age Structure in Urban and Rural Areas

Next we will look at the age structure in urban and rural areas and compare 2001 to 2011 using this population pyramid.

In 2001, 23% of the urban population was aged 30 to 44. The corresponding figure for rural areas was 21%. Bringing on the population pyramid for 2011, the proportion of residents aged 30 to 44 had fallen to 21% in urban areas and 18% in rural areas.

Urban areas experienced a slight growth in the proportion of residents aged 15 to 29 from 20% in 2001 to 21% in 2011.

Rural areas, on the other hand experienced a growth in the proportion of residents aged 60 to 74 from 15% in 2001 to 20% in 2011.


Slide 6 – Median Age and Health in Urban and Rural Areas

Now we will look at the median age and reported health of usual residents in urban and rural areas in the English Regions and Wales, using this chart.

London had the lowest rural median age for the nine English regions and Wales in 2011, at 42. The South West had the highest rural median age at 47.
The urban population had a lower median age than the rural population in each of the nine English regions and Wales. At 33, London had the lowest urban median age. At 40, the North East and South West had the highest median age.

Bring up the bars to show the proportion of rural residents reporting to be of good health, we can see that the lowest level was 76.9% in the North East with the highest at 84.4% in the South East.

Despite having an older population, rural areas had a greater proportion of residents reporting to have good health than the urban populations. Only in London and the North East did a larger proportion of urban residents report to be of good health compared with the rural population.

At 77.4% the North East and Wales had the lowest proportion of urban residents reporting to have good health. London, at 83.8%, had the highest proportion.


Slide 7 – Housing Tenure

Lastly we will look at housing tenure in urban and rural areas using this chart.

Of households in rural areas with at least one usual resident, 41% were owned outright. This compares with 29% of such households in urban areas.

The proportion of urban households that are classified as social rented was 19% in 2011. This compares with 11% in rural areas.

 

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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