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Regional Profiles: Environment - North West, 2012

Released: 31 October 2012 Download PDF

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Annual Rainfall as a Percentage of the 1971 to 2000 Average, 2011

Annual rainfall, compared with long-term average: by region, 2011


  1. The regions of England shown in this table correspond to the original nine English regions of the National Rivers Authority (NRA); the NRA became part of the Environment Agency

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The North West was the wettest region in England 2011. It had the lowest traffic flow on non-motorway major roads in 2010.

The North West region is generally one of the wettest in England, with an average annual rainfall of 1,180 millimetres (mm) during the period 1971 to 2000. An estimated 1,370 mm of rain fell in the region in 2011, 16 per cent above the long-term average, making it the wettest in England.

The North West had the lowest average daily motor vehicle flows on non-motorway major roads, fewer than 10,400 vehicles per day in rural areas and 17,500 per day in urban areas in 2010.

Around 10,000 permanent dwellings were completed in the North West in 2010/11. The proportion of new dwellings built on previously developed land, 86 per cent in 2010, was higher than the England average of 76 per cent.

Between 2001 and 2011, the total stock of dwellings in the region increased by 5.6 per cent (166,000). This is below the England average of 7.6 per cent and one of the smallest increases of the nine English regions.

The North West produced 7.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per resident in 2010, close to the UK average (7.6 tonnes). At local authority level this varied from around 5.0 tonnes in Copeland to 23.1 tonnes in Eden. Since 2005, emissions per person have decreased by 35.2 per cent in Ribble Valley, Lancashire. This is one of the largest subregional reductions in England.

The region has the second largest area of National Parks in England. It also has two large conurbations, Greater Manchester and Merseyside. These are surrounded by Green Belt land, representing 22 per cent of the region’s total land area, a similar proportion to London and the West Midlands.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Notes and sources:

    The North West region of the former National Rivers Authority (NRA) covers the majority of the North West as well as small parts of Yorkshire. Rainfall data are from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology based on Met Office records.

    Average daily motor vehicle flow is annual traffic divided by road length and number of days in the year. Data are from the National Road Traffic Survey, Department for Transport.

    Numbers of dwellings built on previously developed land, including conversions of existing buildings, are from the Department for Communities and Local Government based on Ordnance Survey records. Estimates for 2010 are provisional.

    Total housing stock estimates between 2002 and 2011 will be adjusted once the 2011 Census dwelling count is available. Dwelling stock and house building data are from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are measured according to the point of energy consumption. CO2 emissions data are from the Department for Energy Climate and Change.

    Designated areas data are from Natural England.

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Further information

Regional Trends, No. 43 - Portrait of the North West, 2011 Edition (Pdf 1392Kb) - The Portrait of the North West presents a wide range of data giving an overview of what it is like to live or work in the North West. The article provides a wide range of information covering infrastructure, demographic, environmental and economic statistics for the region. It includes information for districts, unitary and local authorities which allows comparison between the various areas and the rest of the UK.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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