Skip to content

East of England had one of the lowest regional crime rates in 2012/13

The 2013 ONS regional characteristics analysis for the East of England

The latest ONS Region and Country Profiles analysis takes a look at the regional characteristics of the nine regions within England and countries of the UK, exploring aspects such as population, age, employment, crime and house prices. The profile of the East of England shows it to be one of the largest and most rural regions in England. The region contributes 9% to the UK’s economic output; life expectancy is high and the incidence of crimes in the region is among the lowest in England.

East of England has one of the highest rural populations in the UK

The East of England is the second largest English region by area at 19,100 square kilometres (sq km) and covers 8% of the total area of the UK. The East of England had a population of 5.9 million at mid-2012, 9% of the total UK population. The population increased by 0.8% between mid-2011 and mid-2012, compared with an increase of 0.7% for the UK over the same period.

Population density in the East of England in mid-2012 was 309 people per sq km, below the England average of 411 but above the UK average of 263. The region has a diverse urban and rural make-up combining predominantly built-up areas in Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire with the scattered towns in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk and a predominantly rural area in northern Norfolk. Of its 5.9 million residents, 28.9% lived in rural areas, one of the highest regional proportions, and compared with 17.6% for England in 2011.

Life expectancy for people in the East is among the highest in the UK

In mid-2012, the median age of the region’s residents was 41.0 years, above the UK figure of 39.7 years. Life expectancy at birth in the East of England in 2009 to 2011 was 79.9 years for males and 83.6 years for females. These figures are similar to those in the South East and South West regions and higher than the England averages (78.9 and 82.9 years respectively).

The total police-recorded crime rate in 2012/13 was one of the lowest at 53 per 1,000 population compared with the England average of 64 per 1,000 population. The household crime rate was 201 offences per 1,000 households compared with 217 per 1,000 households for England as a whole.

The regional unemployment rate was one of the lowest in the UK

The region generated nearly 9% of the UK’s economic output (gross value added or GVA) in 2011. The unemployment rate in the East of England was 6.5% in Q2 2013, compared with 7.8% for the UK. The employment rate for the same period stood at 75.5% and was among the highest in the UK, compared with 71.5% for the UK.

In April 2012, median gross weekly earnings for full-time adult employees were £531, slightly higher than the UK median of £506. Gross disposable household income (GDHI) of residents in the East of England, at £16,600 per head in 2011, was similar to the UK average (£16,000).

While house prices in the East of England were slightly above the England average in June 2013, the annual increase was lower than the England average, £256,000 compared with £251,000. The increase over the year was 2.2% compared with 3.3% for England. On the region’s major roads there was a 4.3% increase in traffic between 2002 and 2012, higher than the England increase of 2.0%.

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, Crime and Justice, Economy, Labour Market, Housing and Households, Housing Market, Population, Travel and Transport
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.