There is a perception that the economies of English towns and cities which once thrived on seaside resort tourism have declined and are enduring high levels of deprivation as a result of people going abroad for their holidays. Such is the perceived extent of this decline that during the 2010 election campaign all three major political parties discussed the problems facing British seaside and coastal settlements. In this article the Office for National Statistics defines the 57 largest English seaside destinations in terms of resident population. These destinations are then analysed, put into the context of the national picture, using the English Indices of Deprivation for 2007 and 2010 to ascertain whether this widely held belief holds true. In particular, are the larger seaside destinations more deprived than the rest of England and if so how does that deprivation vary across destinations. Further analysis on seaside destinations is in development for expected publication in 2014.
The Office for National Statistics would like to thank colleagues in the Department for Communities and Local Government for their support for this publication.
For the first time ONS has defined the 57 largest seaside destinations in England in terms of the resident population of constituent LSOAs and conducted analysis on them using the Indices of Deprivation.
The three most deprived seaside destinations of the 57 analysed in this article were Skegness and Ingoldmells, Blackpool and Clacton.
Larger seaside destinations generally had greater levels of deprivation than the rest of England in 2007 and 2010 (with the exceptions of Christchurch, Lytham St Annes, Poole, Worthing, Southport and Bognor Regis).
Mid-sized seaside destinations tended to have lower levels of deprivation than larger seaside destinations and a wider range of deprivation levels; the mid-sized seaside destinations featured the most deprived seaside destination (Skegness and Ingoldmells) and least deprived seaside destination (Formby) found in the analysis.
There were large differences in the levels of deprivation faced by seaside destinations which are adjacent to each other: Blackpool was the most deprived larger English seaside destination and borders Lytham St Annes which had the second lowest deprivation level of the larger seaside destinations.
The patterns of deprivation faced by seaside destinations in 2010 were similar to those in 2007.
This article defines the 57 largest seaside destinations in England based on resident populations of constituent Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs). It examines the levels of deprivation experienced by seaside destinations compared with England as a whole and to each other. It specifically looks at the 31 largest seaside destinations and the 26 mid-sized seaside destinations which the Office for National Statistics has defined based on resident population. The seaside destinations defined as part of this article do not encompass all seaside destinations. Other coastal areas , which may or may not experience similar levels of deprivation, are not included in the analysis. For example, New Brighton in the Wirral is considered to be a seaside destination but does not meet the resident population threshold for either a larger or mid-sized seaside destination; while Plymouth does not have a beach, so is not considered to be a seaside destination.
Comparisons of deprivation patterns for the larger seaside destinations with England as a whole are drawn for both 2007 and 2010. The seaside destinations are compared with each other both in terms of overall Indices of Deprivation (ID) and using the individual ID domains. The variation between the seaside destinations is then explored. Mid-sized seaside destinations are compared with England, the larger seaside destinations and each other, to see if there are any differences in the patterns of deprivation.
This article will be of interest to local authorities with seaside destinations, and MPs representing constituencies with seaside destinations, to examine the levels of deprivation in their areas. The article will also appeal to special interest groups such as the British Destinations and Coastal Communities Alliance, who look at issues affecting seaside resorts and destinations. Policy makers may find this article of use in understanding the levels of deprivation in seaside destinations and identifying the most and least deprived of the areas analysed. This article is purely for statistical investigation and has no funding linked to it.
ONS has defined a seaside destination as any seaside settlement to which people travel for the beach and associated activities. There is a degree of subjectivity in this as, for example, Southampton is not included as it is not a settlement people tend to travel to for the beach or associated activities, despite having a publically accessible beach at Weston Shore.
LSOA is the abbreviated name for Lower Layer Super Output Areas. LSOAs are a small area level of geography which can be aggregated to form the local authority level, that is, a local authority will have a number of LSOAs, but a LSOA will only belong to one local authority. There is no standard for the number of LSOAs within a local authority and as such the number of LSOAs within a local authority and indeed a seaside destination will vary.
Each seaside destination has been defined using its constituent LSOAs. LSOAs have been used as local authorities often cover wide areas and may contain several significant settlements and as such using local authority data as a proxy may not provide a suitable measure. For example, Southsea comprises just over a quarter of the population attributable to the local authority of Portsmouth and as such an overall statistic for Portsmouth may be unrepresentative of Southsea.
Within this article analysis is undertaken for the 57 largest seaside destinations in England split between the 31 larger seaside destinations and 26 mid-sized seaside destinations. This split has been determined based on the resident population of the LSOAs which comprise the seaside destinations. Using the 2011 Census-based mid-year population estimates for 2011, the larger English seaside destinations are those destinations with a population greater than or equal to 40,000; the mid-sized English seaside destinations are defined as those which have a population between 15,000 and 39,999.
The size of the resident population does not necessarily reflect the likely size of the tourist population on a sunny, summer weekend, nor the impact that seaside tourism plays in the local economy.
Table 1 shows the seaside destinations which have been determined as the 31 most populous in England and the population size of those destinations.
|Map reference||Seaside destination||Population||Area (sq km)||Area as a percentage of local authority area (%)|
|30||Lytham St Annes||42,400||21.9||13|
Map 1 shows how the larger seaside destinations are distributed around the coastline. The references in Map 1 relate to the map reference in Table 1.
Table 2 shows the seaside destinations which have been determined as mid-sized seaside destinations in England and the population size of those destinations.
|Map reference||Seaside destination||Population||Area (sq km)||Area as a percentage of local authority area (%)|
|16||Shoreham by sea||22,100||9.4||22|
|17||Skegness and Ingoldmells||22,000||32.4||2|
Map 2 shows how the larger seaside destinations are distributed around the coastline. The references in Map 2 relate to the map reference in Table 2.
The English Indices of Deprivation (ID) were produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the most recent of which relate to 2007 and 2010. The ID has not been updated with information from the 2011 Census. The Indices provide an overall rank for each Lower Layer Super Output Area (LSOA) based on seven groups of indicators (called domains) as well as separate ranks for the domains themselves. The overall rank for ID is also known as the index of multiple deprivation. The most deprived LSOA is given the rank of one with higher ranks given to less deprived areas. The seven domains1 are:
Health deprivation and disability
Education, skills and training deprivation
Barriers to housing and services
Living environment deprivation
ID is a measure of spatial deprivation: not all deprived people live in deprived areas and not everyone living in the most deprived LSOA is necessarily deprived. The indicators in the ID reflect characteristics that are associated with deprivation.
Due to each UK country having its own set of indicators for deprivation, only seaside destinations in England have been selected for this article. Deprivation is not just a seaside phenomenon.
When looking at the rankings for the ID it is important to bear in mind that we are only looking at those LSOAs which make up the 57 largest seaside destinations. When making comparisons between the ranks for those LSOAs comprising the 57 largest seaside destinations and the ranks for all of England, the ranks for all of England will include those LSOAs which comprise seaside destinations of all sizes; that is the ranks for all of England will include the LSOAs for the larger and mid-sized seaside destinations to ensure accuracy as otherwise the England average may change and be unrepresentative of the country as a whole.
When comparing ID 2007 with ID 2010 it is important to bear in mind that a change in the ranking for a LSOA does not necessarily mean a change in the level of deprivation in that LSOA. A change in rank position between IDs simply reflects that relatively there has been an improvement or deterioration in the relative level of deprivation in that LSOA compared with all other LSOAs: the LSOA rank can improve despite there being more deprivation or worsen despite there being less deprivation, depending on what has happened in other areas.
It should be noted that when looking at seaside destinations, or indeed any sort of coastal settlement analysis, two regions: the West Midlands and London; do not have any coastline. The LSOAs for these regions are included when looking at England as a whole.
Given the large number of Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in England (32,482), for analysis purposes the LSOA data will be looked at in quintile groups, to determine how the levels of deprivation in seaside destinations are distributed compared with those for England. It can be seen that the overall spread of deprivation for seaside destinations and how this compares with England by looking at the quintile distribution of LSOAs for the Indices of Deprivation (ID).
Figure 1 shows the quintile distribution of LSOAs across the larger English seaside destinations and England for ID and its respective domains for 2007. In the quintile distribution, for England as a whole there will be 20% of LSOAs in each quintile. If the seaside destinations are reflective of England as a whole they will have a similar proportion of LSOAs in each quintile. If there are more than 20% of LSOAs in the most deprived quintile then the larger English seaside destinations are likely to be more deprived than England as a whole. If there are less than 20% of LSOAs in the most deprived quintile then the larger English seaside destinations are likely to be less deprived than England as a whole. However, it is the overall pattern in the quintile distribution that will determine whether the larger English seaside destinations have similar or different levels of deprivation than England in general.
Figure 1 shows that for the index of multiple deprivation the larger English seaside destinations had higher proportions of LSOAs in the most deprived quintile than England overall, with the darker shades on the left being more spread out than the lighter shades to the right of the figure. There was a greater proportion of LSOAs in the most deprived quintile (26.0% in 2007), compared with the two least deprived quintiles (22.9%).
That said the overall deprivation pattern for the larger English seaside destinations was not consistent across all domains. The ‘Health deprivation and disability’ and ‘Employment deprivation’ domains had more than 80% of LSOAs in the first three quintiles in 2007. This means that the two least deprived quintiles made up less than 20% of LSOAs for the larger English seaside destinations, compared with 40% for England. Conversely, the ‘Barriers to housing and services’ domain had 33.1% of LSOAs in the two most deprived quintiles, meaning that deprivation levels for this domain were generally lower than for England as a whole. The pattern for 2010 can be seen in Figure 2.
When comparing Figure 1 with Figure 2 it can be seen that the levels of deprivation in the larger seaside destinations were broadly similar. In Figure 2 the overall ID distribution of LSOAs was a little more widely spread than in Figure 1, with a greater proportion of LSOAs in the most deprived quintile (26.0% in 2007 compared with 26.9% in 2010) and the least deprived quintile (7.5% in 2007 compared with 8.7% in 2010).
The domains which had the highest proportion of LSOAs in the most deprived quintiles in both 2007 and 2010 were the ‘Health deprivation and disability’ domain and the ‘Employment deprivation’ domain. The ‘Employment deprivation’ domain had the greatest proportion of all domains in 2007: 31.4% compared with 30.8% for the ‘Health deprivation and disability’ domain; while the reverse was true in 2010: with the ‘Employment deprivation’ domain rising to 32.2% compared with 34.9% for the ‘Health deprivation and disability’ domain.
The proportion of LSOAs which fell within the most deprived quintile in the ‘Health deprivation and disability’ domain increased from 30.8% in 2007 to 34.9% in 2010. Although this looks like a big change, a large number of those LSOAs which have moved into the most deprived quintile were close to being in that quintile in 2007.
The ‘Barriers to housing and services’ domain became less evenly distributed when comparing 2007 with 2010, with the percentage of LSOAs falling within the most deprived quintile and the least deprived quintile increasing in size. At the same time, the proportion of LSOAs which fell within each of the middle three quintiles decreased.
The ‘Crime’ domain became more evenly distributed when comparing 2007 with 2010, with the percentage of LSOAs in the three most deprived quintiles falling from 68.3% in 2007 to 60.5% in 2010.
Having identified that the levels of deprivation faced by those living in the larger English seaside destinations was broadly similar in 2007 and 2010, it now needs to be ascertained whether the levels of deprivation were similar between the settlements. Figure 3 shows the quintile distribution of Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) for a selection of seaside destinations chosen to show the overall pattern; all larger English seaside destinations have been charted in Figure 3a in the data file linked to below Figure 3.
Figure 3 shows that there was no consistent pattern of deprivation among the larger English seaside destinations in 2010 for the Indices of Deprivation (ID) as a whole, in terms of the proportion of LSOAs within each settlement. This holds true when each domain is looked at separately. A single measure to readily compare the larger English seaside destinations needs to be used to enable further investigation.
One way to compare seaside destinations in terms of deprivation is to use the average LSOA rank for each domain and then rank the destinations by this average. To calculate this average the methodology used is the same as the methodology used by the Department for Communities and Local Government when calculating the ranks for local authorities. The proportion of the population for a destination within an LSOA is multiplied by the rank of that LSOA and then the results are added together for all LSOAs in that destination. In other words, if a seaside destination has two LSOAs, with ranks of 500 and 1,200 and populations of 1,500 and 1,800 respectively then the calculation would be as follows, where R is the seaside destination average rank:
For ID the most deprived LSOA has a rank of 1; the derived rank of average LSOA ranks allocates a rank of 1 to the most deprived seaside destination.
Table 3 shows the average LSOA rank for each of the larger English seaside destinations. The lower the average LSOA rank, the more deprived the destination. The above methodology was also applied to calculate the average rank for England, when doing so the results for each domain differ due to the LSOAs being weighted by population. For ID as a whole in England in 2010, any average LSOA rank for a seaside destination above 16,320 should be seen as a less deprived place than average.
|Rank||Seaside destination||Average LSOA rank|
|ENGLAND average rank||16,320|
|30||Lytham St Annes||21,401|
Table 3 shows that while for ID as a whole the larger English seaside destinations were more susceptible to deprivation when compared with the England average, this was not always the case. Six of the destinations: Christchurch, Lytham St Annes, Poole, Worthing, Southport and Bognor Regis had average LSOA ranks above the English average, meaning that they were less deprived than the England average.
The domains that particularly stand out when this analysis is extended across all domains are ‘Barriers to housing and services’ and ‘Living environment deprivation’ as they do not follow the pattern for ID rankings for larger English seaside destinations. Figure 4 shows the rankings for the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) and the ‘Barriers to housing and services’ and ‘Living environment deprivation’ domains for the 31 larger seaside destinations.
Figure 4 is a radar chart with each spine representing a different seaside destination. The ranks of average LSOA ranks for each seaside destination are displayed for IMD, the ‘Barriers to housing and services’ domain and the ‘Living environment deprivation’ domain. The seaside destinations have been ordered by IMD rank, so that IMD line on the radar chart appears to spiral outwards. If the individual domains follow the pattern for IMD then they too will spiral out, meaning that the more deprived the seaside destination is overall, the more deprived it is for that domain. If the rank for a domain is inside the spiral then the seaside destination is ranked relatively better for that domain than for IMD, if it is outside the spiral then it is ranked relatively worse for that domain than for IMD. It should be noted that these rankings are for the larger English seaside destinations and how they relate to one another and are not representative of how a seaside destination relates to England.
Figure 4 shows that these two domains were quite different from IMD in terms of rankings for the larger seaside destinations. On the left of the figure it is apparent that a number of seaside destinations with relatively good rankings of IMD have relatively poor rankings for ‘Barriers to housing and services’ and the ‘Living environment deprivation’. The right of the chart shows the reverse situation. The other domains, whilst displaying some variation, were more in line with IMD with poorly ranked destinations being generally poorly ranked across the other five domains and relatively well ranked destinations being generally well ranked.
Having established that the rankings for the domains do not always follow the Indices of Deprivation (ID) as a whole, a selection of the larger seaside destinations can be looked at to see whether there is anything within the domains that could explain it. Four seaside destinations have been selected to investigate the variation in domain rankings; this selection has been made to demonstrate the variety in deprivation within the rankings data. The rankings for the selected seaside destinations can be seen in Figure 5.
Figure 5 shows a disparity in the ranks of Blackpool and Lytham St Annes, which is particularly interesting as the two are located next to one another. Lytham St Annes is less deprived than Blackpool, while still benefiting from the seaside location. Looking at the small area income estimates for 2007/08, it is apparent that income in Lytham St Annes is higher than in Blackpool, as supported by the ‘Income deprivation’ domain. Out of work benefits data at LSOA level for 2010 also show that there were a greater proportion of claimants in Blackpool than in Lytham St Annes. Those living in Blackpool may be employed in lower skill work (as suggested by the ‘Education, skills and training deprivation’ domain) and if low paid then these workers may need to live closer to where they work to offset transport costs and higher housing costs outside of Blackpool.
Figure 5 shows that Hartlepool, which had relatively poor ID ranks overall for the larger English seaside destinations, had relatively good ranks for the ‘Barriers to housing and services’ and ‘Living environment deprivation’ domains. The domains with the lowest weighting in the calculation of the overall ID in 2010 were the ’Barriers to housing and services’, ‘Crime’ and ‘Living environment deprivation’ domains, which all have a weighting of 9.3% meaning that any change in one of these domains will have a lesser effect on the overall ID than the same change in other domains.
As before, the Indices of Deprivation (ID) data are arranged into quintile groups. The distribution of deprivation for the mid-sized seaside destination and England can be seen in Figure 6.
By comparing larger seaside destinations with mid-sized seaside destinations, it can be seen that the mid-sized seaside destinations have lower levels of deprivation compared with larger seaside destinations as shown by a smaller percentage of Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in the most deprived quintile. For ID as a whole, mid-sized seaside destinations were more similar to England as a whole than the larger seaside destinations. The patterns shown in Figure 6 for 2010 were broadly similar to those for mid-sized seaside destinations in 2007.
When looking at the data for the domains, the ones which stand out for the mid-sized seaside destinations were those with the lowest weighting: ‘Barriers to housing and services’, ‘Crime’ and ‘Living environment deprivation’ which had more than 20% of LSOAs in the least deprived quintile.
Having established that mid-sized seaside destinations were different from larger seaside destinations in terms of deprivation, consideration was given to whether the mid-sized seaside destinations followed the same pattern in terms of ID distribution as the larger seaside destinations. This can be seen in Figure 7.
Figure 7 shows that as with the larger English seaside destinations, there was variation in the levels of deprivation in the mid-sized English seaside destinations. As can be seen in Figure 7, Clevedon had low levels of deprivation in 2010, with no constituent LSOAs being in the two most deprived quintiles. Conversely, Ryde had high levels of deprivation in 2010, with no LSOAs in the two least deprived quintiles.
Figure 7 shows that Skegness and Ingoldmells had high levels of deprivation, with 7.7% of LSOAs in the three least deprived quintiles compared with 60% for England. Skegness and Ingoldmells had 61.5% of LSOAs in the most deprived quintile, compared with just 20% for England.
For the larger seaside destinations, six of the 31 destinations had lower levels of deprivation than England average when using the average LSOA rank. The situation for the mid-sized seaside destinations can be seen in Table 4. The average LSOA rank for England was 16,320, so any destination with a higher derived average LSOA rank than England had a lower level of deprivation than England as a whole in 2010.
|Rank||Seaside destination||Average LSOA rank|
|1||Skegness and Ingoldmells||6,491|
|ENGLAND average rank||16,320|
|21||Shoreham by sea||18,763|
Table 4 shows that there were 11 (out of 26) mid-sized seaside destinations which had lower levels of deprivation in 2010 than England, more than double the proportion of larger seaside destinations that year.
When comparing Table 4 with Table 3, it can be seen that one mid-sized seaside destination (Skegness and Ingoldmells) had more deprivation than any of the larger seaside destinations. There are three mid-sized seaside destinations (Formby, Whitley Bay and Clevedon) which had less deprivation than any of the larger seaside destinations. This shows greater variation in the levels of deprivation in mid-sized seaside destinations. It is interesting to note that two of the least deprived larger seaside destinations (Lytham St Annes and Christchurch) had a population of fewer than 45,000 in 2011, which is just above the threshold of mid-sized seaside destinations (40,000).
This article has used the Indices of Deprivation (ID) for 2007 and 2010 alongside ONS defined seaside destinations to establish that:
Overall larger seaside destinations in England were more deprived than the England average in 2007 and 2010; however, some seaside destinations were less deprived than average.
Of the larger seaside destinations, Blackpool had the highest average deprivation levels. Lytham St Annes which borders Blackpool was the seaside destination with the second lowest average deprivation levels of the 31 larger English seaside destinations. Christchurch had the lowest average deprivation levels.
Mid-sized seaside destinations had lower levels of deprivation than larger seaside destinations and were more similar to England than the larger seaside destinations in terms of deprivation patterns. However, Skegness and Ingoldmells, a mid-sized seaside destination, had the highest average deprivation levels.
The distribution of deprivation in the larger seaside destinations was broadly similar for 2007 and 2010.
The patterns for the domains differ, particularly the ‘Barriers to housing and services’ and ‘Living environment deprivation’ domains with some of the most deprived seaside destinations having relatively low levels of deprivation for these domains.
Further articles looking at the characteristics of seaside destinations using results from the 2011 Census are planned for 2014. Other potential ideas for further research include:
Comparing the larger seaside destinations with their regions, rather than England, assessing whether there were any regional patterns to the ID data.
Investigating the cause of the disparity between Blackpool and Lytham St Annes.
Comparing seaside destinations with other areas associated with deprivation such as inner cities and coalfield areas.
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