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North East had the highest regional unemployment rate in mid-2013

The 2013 ONS regional characteristics analysis for the North East

The latest ONS Region and Country Profiles analysis takes a look at the characteristics of the nine regions within England and the countries of the UK, exploring aspects such as population, age, employment, crime and house prices. The profile of the North East shows it to be the smallest in the UK in area outside London and it had the lowest growth in population. The North East contributed 3% to the UK’s economic output. The population was relatively old with a median age of 41.5 years, and the incidence of crimes in the region was among the lowest in England.

The North East makes up 4% of the total UK population

As a region, the North East is the smallest in England outside London in terms of area. The North East covers 4% of the total area of the UK at 8,600 square kilometres (sq km). The urban south and east of the region is surrounded by a sparsely populated rural landscape including the Pennines and the Cheviot Hills.

The region had a population of 2.6 million at mid-2012 which was 4% of the total UK population. The increase from mid-2011 was one of the lowest increases of all the English regions at 0.2%, compared with an increase of 0.7% for the UK. Population density in the North East in mid-2012 was 304 people per sq km, below the England average of 411 but above the UK average of 263.

Region had the joint lowest police-recorded crime rate in England

The population of the North East is relatively old with a median age of 41.5 years in mid-2012, which was the same as Scotland and above the UK median age of 39.7 years. Life expectancy at birth in the region in 2009 to 2011 was one of the two lowest in England at 77.5 years for males and 81.5 years for females. This compares with 78.9 and 82.9 years respectively for England.

Crime rates for the North East were among the lowest in England in 2012/13. There were 53 police-recorded crimes per 1,000 population compared with 64 per 1,000 population across England in 2012/13. The estimated rate of crimes against households reported to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) was 187 per 1,000 households, lower than the England average (217 incidents per 1,000 households).

The North East produced 3% of the UK’s economic output

The North East produced 3% of the UK’s economic output (gross value added) in 2011, only Northern Ireland was lower at 2%. The region produced 8.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per resident in 2011, the highest of all the English regions, compared with 6.7 tonnes per resident for England.

The unemployment rate in the region was the highest in the UK at 10.3% in Q2 2013, compared with 7.8% for the UK. The employment rate stood at 66.5%, lower than the UK rate of 71.5% for the same period. Almost a fifth of children in the North East lived in workless households in Q2 2013, at 18.7% this was the highest proportion in the regions, compared with an average of 13.6% for England. In April 2012, median gross weekly earnings for full-time adult employees in the North East were £455, joint lowest with Wales and lower than the UK median of £506.

The average house price in the North East in June 2013 was £145,000, the lowest of all the English regions. Only Northern Ireland was lower, compared with the average for the UK (£242,000).

Where can I find out more about ONS regional statistics?

These statistics were analysed by the Sub-national Reporting team at the ONS using data from a range of official statistics. If you’d like to find out more about the latest regional statistics, please see our Notes on Sources, latest tables (260.5 Kb Excel sheet) and interactive mapping and charting tool or visit our Directory of Tables page. If you have any comments or suggestions, we’d like to hear them! Please email us at

Categories: People and Places, Communities, Neighbourhoods and Communities, Agriculture and Environment, Crime and Justice, Economy, Labour Market, Housing and Households, Housing Market, Population
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