Social aspects of living in Norwich



With a population of just under 122,000 people Norwich is the 149th largest town or city in the United Kingdom. The ratio of males to females is 48% to 52% which is in line with the regional East Anglia figures but differs from the national figures which show a 49% to 51% split. 39% of the population are aged between 20 and 44 years, which is around 5% higher than the regional and national figures. The proportion of the Norwich population in the age group 20 - 44 years is about 5% below regional and national ratios, whilst the proportion of 5 – 15 year olds is also lower, by about 2%, than the regional and national figures. Compared to the East Anglian region and England in general, Norwich is not a very ethnically diverse city, 97% of the residents are classed as white, only 0.5% as black, about 1% as Asian and the rest are either mixed race or other ethnic groups, about 0.8% of whom are Chinese.

From the 2001 census the people of Norwich would appear to be less healthy than the rest of the East Anglia and England in general. Only 65% of Norwich residents described themselves as being in good health compared to 70% regionally and about 68% nationally. The number of people declaring themselves to have a long-term and limiting illness is also above regional and national averages at 19.5%. Life expectancy in Norwich for males is roughly in line with regional and national trends at an average of 77 years, the average life expectancy for females in Norwich is above the national average by one year at 82. Regionally, female life expectancy is also 82 years.

According to the 2001 Census Area Statistics  about 81% of the population were aged over 16. 54% of those people were living as a couple, 33% of them as a married couple. The percentage of Norwich residents living as a couple is significantly less than the East Anglian regional figure – 65% and the national figure – 61%. Conversely the percentages of those living as a single person are higher than regional and national averages, as the figures for those who have never been married, which at 28% is 8% higher than regionally and 5% higher than the national figure. 8% of Norwich residents were widowed and living alone, also 8% of the residents were divorced and living alone. Norwich is not densely populated at around 31 people per hectare. Given the low population density it is surprising that a higher proportion of residents, 31%, live in a flat or maisonette compared to East Anglia as a region, 14%, or the national figure of 19%. This leads to the proportion of residents living in a house or bungalow to be significantly lower at 68%, compared to 85% regionally and 80% nationally. Only 10% of the residents live in a detached property compared to 30% regionally and 23% nationally. Household ownership is also significantly lower than the regional and national figures. In Norwich 49% of the residents own, or are buying, the property they live in compared to 73% regionally and 695 nationally. Of the people that rent accommodation in Norwich 36% are in socially rented accommodation, council owned, which is double the regional and national averages. Socio-economically Norwich is typical of the national trends, as is East Anglia as a region, with 12% of its population being classed as bands A & B, 59% in class C and 29% falling into bands D and E. Whilst 36% of Norwich residents describe themselves as being in full-time employment and 12% as being in part-time employment only 6% are self-employed. The rest of the population are either retired, looking after a dependant relative, students or unemployed.

The residents of Norwich are not great commuters to work with 41% of them working within 2km of where they live, compared to 30% regionally and nationally. A further 33% of them live between 2km and 5km of their place of work. Given the proximity within which most people live compared to their workplace and the flat topology of Norwich, it is not surprising that 9% of the residents go to work by bicycle and 23% walk to work. These figures are more than double the regional and national averages. Although 65% of the households own at least one vehicle, car or van, only 50% use their own vehicle to get to work, with the rest using public transport.

How safe is Norwich to live in or visit? During the period April 2005 to march 2006, the average crime rate in Norwich was 41 offences per 1000 of the population, compared to a national figure of 26 crimes per 1000 of the population. Hence, Norwich would appear a city particularly prone to crime. A break down of those figures shows that burglaries were generally in line with national trends, ‘violence against a person’ was about 3% above the national trend, theft from motor vehicles was about 5% higher than nationally yet robbery was broadly in line with national trends.

Not being a unitary authority Norwich city schools are organised and run by the Norfolk County Local Authority. To read the latest available data for Norwich city schools please click here. To view the 2006 National Curriculum results for Norfolk schools, please click here and select Norfolk.

Norwich has one relatively new university the University of East Anglia. A completely new building, UEA was opened in 1963 in 320 acres of former parkland to the south-west of the city. According to the ‘Good Univerities Guide’ (GUG), UEA is ranked 33rd out of the 100 UK universities.

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