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Regional Profiles: Key Statistics - South East, August 2012

Released: 13 August 2012 Download PDF

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Population density: by local or unitary authority, 2010

Map showing range of population density in local or unitary authority areas within the South East region
Source: Office for National Statistics


  1. Mid-year population estimates published on 30 June 2011

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The South East is the third largest region of England, covering more than 19,000 square kilometres (sq km) and constituting almost 8 per cent of the total area of the UK. It surrounds London to the south and west, extending as far north as Milton Keynes.

The South East had a population of 8.5 million in mid-2010, an increase of 6.2 per cent since 2001, compared with an increase of 5.3 per cent for the UK over the same period.

In mid-2010 the population density was 447 people per sq km, the third highest of the English regions and substantially higher than the population density for England (401 people per sq km). Within the region the highest population densities, more than 10 times the average for the region, were found in the urban authorities of Portsmouth and Southampton (5,146 and 4,810 people per sq km respectively). Portsmouth has the highest population density of any unitary/local authority outside of London.

Life expectancy at birth in the South East in the three-year period 2008 to 2010 was 79.7 years for males and 83.5 years for females compared with 78.2 and 82.3 years respectively for the UK.

Almost 10 per cent of adults aged 16 to 64 had disabilities that limited their daily activities or work in the year ending March 2011, the lowest region in England.

The second lowest proportion of children living in workless households in the fourth quarter of 2011 was in the South East at 10.4 per cent, compared with the England average of 15.7 per cent.

The percentage of the region’s adult population that had no qualifications in 2011 was 7.9 per cent, the lowest proportion in the UK.

In the region, 59.6 per cent of pupils achieved five or more grades A*–C at GCSE level or equivalent including English and mathematics in 2010/11, compared with 58.4 per cent for England as a whole. There is an interactive map of GCSE results for unitary authorities in England.

In 2010 the South East was responsible for nearly 15 per cent of the UK’s gross value added (GVA), one of the highest proportions of all the English regions and countries of the UK. Labour productivity (gross value added per hour worked) was 8.2 per cent above the UK average.

Gross disposable household income (GDHI) of South East residents was the second highest in the UK, after London, at £17,600 per head.

The employment rate stood at 74.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, higher than the UK rate of 70.5 per cent.

In April 2011, the median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees on adult rates who were resident in the South East was £554, higher than the UK median of £501.

The rate of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions per resident in the region was joint second lowest of any region of the UK at 6.9 tonnes per head.

There was a 0.4 per cent decrease in house prices in 2011.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Notes and sources:

    All data are published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) unless stated below.

    The data section of this release provides more data.

    Population estimates and population density are for 30 June each year. The mid-2010 population estimates are those published on 30 June 2011.

    Life expectancy figures reflect mortality among those living in the area in each time period, rather than mortality among those born in each area. More information is available in Guide to: Life expectancy in the United Kingdom.

    Definitions of disability used for people (aged 16 to 64) who are DDA disabled.

    Workless households for areas across the UK provides more information about the employment of household and the adults and children living in them.

    Qualification estimates are for residents aged 16 to 64 from the Annual Population Survey. Please note that these estimates, at national or regional level in England, will not agree with National Statistics published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the Post 16 Education and Skills Statistical First Release (Table 12). Qualification data are obtained from the ONS’s Annual Population Survey via Nomis.

    GCSE figures relate to pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 in Local Authority maintained schools only and are taken from revised (but not final) data published on 26 January 2012. GCSE data are from the Department for Education.

    Gross value added (GVA) measures the economic output of an area. The estimates are workplace based, which allocates the incomes of individuals to their place of work.

    GVA per hour worked is one of the preferred measures of labour productivity. The labour productivity webpage provides access to the latest releases.

    Gross disposable household income (GDHI) is a good indicator of the welfare of residents of an area. It covers the income received by households and non profit-making institutions serving households and is net of tax payments.

    Employment rates are seasonally adjusted Labour Force Survey (LFS) headline indicators, for all people aged 16 to 64.

    Median gross weekly earnings are residence-based estimates from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) for full-time employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence.

    Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions are measured according to the point of energy consumption. CO 2 emissions data are from the Department for Energy Climate and Change.

    The House Price Index is based on mix-adjusted house prices, which allow for differences between houses sold (for example type, number of rooms, location). The annual rate of change shown is percentage change between December 2010 and December 2011.

  2. You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email:

  3. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

Further information

Regional Profiles - Population and Migration - South East, October 2011 - Key facts and figures about population and migration statistics for the South East region.
Regional Profiles - Social Indicators - South East - February 2012 - A range of social statistics for the South East region providing key facts and figures about people, lives, income and lifestyles in the area
Regional Profiles: Economy - South East, May 2012 - Key facts and figures about the economy, employment and unemployment for the South East region.
Regional Trends, No. 43 - Portrait of the South East, 2011 Edition (Pdf 2327Kb) - This portrait provides a wide range of data giving an overview of what it is like to live or work in the South East. The article presents a wide range of information covering infrastructure, demographic, environmental and economic statistics for the south east corner of England. It includes information for districts, unitary and local authorities in the South East which allows comparison between the various areas and the rest of the UK.

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