East Devon District Council

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Guide Council plan 2016-2020 text only version

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7. Context

Our Knowing East Devon publication outlines key demographic, economic and health information about our district.

The population of East Devon has an older age profile with the average age of its residents being 46.9 years (national average is 39.4 years). The over-65 age range looks set to grow more than any other over the next ten years growing from 29.9 per cent of the population in 2014 to 33.1 per cent of the population in 2024.

An ageing population will have an impact on the provision of health care, housing requirements, the labour market and economic growth. The average household size in the district is 2.2 residents. Predominantly East Devon residents are from a White British background, with just 1.59 per cent of the district’s population coming from an ethnic background.

It is important to consider what provisions need to be made in order to meet the demand of an ageing population by looking at employment trends. The proportion of the resident working age population who are in employment in East Devon is about average, with the area ranking in the top 40 per cent of districts nationally. In East Devon, 72.6 per cent of the resident working age population are in employment, compared with 76.1 per cent in Exeter and 70.5 per cent nationally. Currently the main types of employment are in the service industry which accounts for 85.7 per cent of the employment in East Devon with a large section of this being in the retail, hospitality and health sectors all of which are predominantly lower paid sectors.

Continued diverse development in the district is essential in order to attract a labour market which will fulfil the future demands of the district and provide quality job opportunities particularly for the young people of East Devon.

In the community of Cranbrook, we can already see the much younger demographic profile. To reflect the higher proportion of the town’s population being of working age, the requirement for new jobs which are well-paid and less reliant on traditional sectors will be vital to support this thriving community. Elsewhere in the district, we will supportopportunities to encourage new and diverse business and jobs growth alongside traditional sectors.