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Regional Profiles: Environment - South West, 2012

Released: 31 October 2012 Download PDF

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Increase in Housing Stock, 2001 to 2011

Percentage increase in number of dwellings: by region, 2001 to 2011
Source: Communities and Local Government


  1. At 31 March each year

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Over the past 10 years the South West had the greatest increase in housing stock. It has the lowest traffic flow on major roads.

In the 10 years to 2011, the region’s stock of dwellings increased by just over 10 per cent, the largest percentage change in England. In the region, 66 per cent of new dwellings were built on previously developed land in 2010, one of the lowest of all English regions and compared with the England average of 76 per cent.

The South West had the lowest average daily vehicle flow on major roads, at 15,900 vehicles per day. This was mostly accounted for by one of the lowest traffic flows on rural major roads at 11,000, similar to North West and West Midlands.

Of the 7,600 miles per year travelled in 2009 to 2010 by the average South West resident, 9 per cent was on public transport, one of the two lowest proportions in Great Britain. The highest was London at 40 per cent.

The region had an average annual rainfall of 1,210 millimetres during the period 1971 to 2000. Estimated rainfall in 2011 was 14 per cent below that average.

The South West produced 7.0 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per resident in 2010, below the UK average of 7.6 tonnes. Industrial and commercial users were responsible for 35 per cent of emissions, a smaller proportion than nationally (44 per cent). It had one of the largest regional reductions in CO2 emissions per resident since 2005, at 14.3 per cent, after the North East (28.3) and Yorkshire and The Humber (15.6).

The South West had the second highest household recycling and composting rate, 46.6 per cent in 2010/11. The percentage of local authority collected waste sent to landfill was the second highest at 49.6 per cent.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Notes and sources:

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

    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.

    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.

    Distance travelled by mode of transport figures relate to region of residence of the traveller and include trips undertaken outside this region. Data are from the National Travel Survey, Department for Transport, for combined survey years 2009 and 2010.

    Rainfall data are from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology based on Met Office records.

    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.

    Waste and recycling data are from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.  

  2. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

Further information

Regional Trends, No. 42, 2010 Edition - Portrait of the South West (Pdf 1468Kb) - The Portrait of the South West presents a wide range of information covering infrastructure, demographic, environmental and economic statistics for the region.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.