Social aspects of living in Liverpool

According to the 2001 National Census, the population of Liverpool was approximately 440,000, making it the fifth largest city in the United Kingdom. The ratio of males to females is 48% to 52%, which is in line with the regional averages but differs slightly to the national ones which are 49% to 51%. The dominant age profile in Liverpool is between the ages of 20 and 44 which accounts for 37% of the population, this is 2% higher than the regional average and 3% higher than nationally. Similarly, the percentage of adults in the age range 45 to 64, 37%, is 3% higher than the regional and 1% higher than the national average. Perhaps surprisingly for a city that is also a major sea port in England, Liverpool is not widely ethnically diverse. 94% of its residents are classed as white, which is in line with the region in general whereas the national figure is 91%. With 2% of its residents classed as being of mixed race the city has double the regional and national averages of mixed race residents, an indicator of the degree of community integration and cohesion within the city. The proportion of ethnic Asians in Liverpool is very low at 1% compared to a regional average of 3% and a national one approaching 5%. Black people in Liverpool make up about 1% of the population, double the regional average, but one half of the national average. 2% of the population are ethnic Chinese, which are roughly double the regional and national averages.

Health wise the residents of Liverpool do not generally consider themselves to be very healthy. Whilst the percentage of people saying they were “fairly healthy” is the same as the regional and national one at 22%, the percentage of people claiming to be “not in good health” is 14%, which is 3% higher than the regional average and 5% higher than nationally. This apparent ill-health is further reflected in the number of Liverpool residents with a “Limiting long term illness”, 25% of Liverpool residents suffer from such a condition compared to 21% regionally and just 18% nationally. These figures would seem to be borne out by the life expectancy of Liverpool residents. A male can expect to live 74 years, compared to 77 years nationally and a female can expect to live 79 years compared to the national average of 81 years. Both the male and female life expectancy figures for Liverpool residents are about 2 years below the regional averages.

About 80% of the population of Liverpool is aged over 16. A high proportion of those residents, 53%, are classed as being single. This figure is 8% higher than the regional one and 9% higher than nationally. Conversely the percentage of people in their first marriage, 27%, is 7% and 8% lower than regionally and nationally. Whilst the regional and national percentages for the proportion of re-married residents double that of Liverpool’s 3%, the proportion of separated, divorced and widowed residents are the same as the regional and national ones.

With a population density of about 40 people per hectare, the city is fairly typical of large cities and urban areas in England. Housing trends in Liverpool are at variance with regional and national trends. Whilst the proportion of residents living in a house or bungalow is only 1% above the national average at 81%, regionally the figure is 5% higher at 86%. The proportion of those houses or bungalows that are detached properties is significantly below regional and national averages at 7% compared to 18% regionally and 23% nationally. A similar trend is evident for semi-detached properties; the proportion of Liverpool residents in such properties is 28% compared to 37% regionally and 32% nationally. The main type of housing occupied in Liverpool is terraced housing which accounts for 46% of the households, 20% higher than the national figure and 14% higher than regionally. The rest of Liverpool’s population live in flats or maisonettes and reflect the national trend for such occupancy.

Socio-economically around 16% of Liverpool residents are classed as being in bands A and B, 51% would be classed as band C and the remaining  33% in bands D and E. 31% of residents describe themselves as being in full-time employment, 10% in part-time and 95 as being self-employed. Liverpool does have a significantly higher number of people who are unemployed at 6%, compared to 4% regionally and 3% nationally. Whilst 21% of the residents use the bus to get to work, the use or personal cars is the most popular method at 48%. Despite the excellent urban railway infrastructure only3% of Liverpool residents use it to get to work.  A highly commendable 10% walk to work whilst only 2% use their bicycle. 69% of the residents work within 10km, about 6 miles, of where they live, which includes 7% who work mainly from home.

Crime rates in the North West and Liverpool in particular have something of a reputation for being poor. For 2005-2006, on a per 1000 head of population their were 12 burglaries in Liverpool compared to a national average of 5 and 7 motor vehicle thefts compared to 3 nationally.

As a large city Liverpool city’s schools performed well at Key Stage 2 (age 11) compared to other city unitary authorities of a similar size.  The benchmark for pupils to attain is at least Level 4 in English, Mathematics and Science. Nationally the figures are 79%, 76% and 87%. Liverpool school pupils recorded 77%, 74% and 85% respectively The national average at Key Stage 4 (age 16) for school pupils attaining 5 or more good (grade A* to C) GCSEs, including Mathematics and English Language, is 45.8%. In Liverpool 35.5% of the pupils matched that level of performance.

Whilst the Academy of Performing Arts and Liverpool Hope University both offer degree courses neither of them yet features in the Good University Guide. The two main universities in Liverpool are; Liverpool University, opened as one of the first civic universities in 1882 and Liverpool John Moores University, which grew out of the old Liverpool polytechnic. According to the ‘Good Univerities Guide’ (GUG), Liverpool is ranked 41st and John Moores is 83rd, out of the top 100 UK universities.

UK National Statistics data reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence.

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