Initial census figures reveal Slough to be a diverse community with a vibrant economy

The increased diversity of London revealed in the initial set of Census 2011 figures released on Tuesday gained a lot of media coverage. But the emerging picture of the updated statistics for Slough is perhaps more interesting.

Slough Borough Council’s analysis is currently a work in progress, but here’s our initial take on the figures.

  • Slough’s population increased from 85,617 in 1941 to its present 140,205, and was among the top 10 UK destinations for immigrants in 1961-70, 19701-80, 2001-2003, and 2004-2006. According to the figures provided there was an influx of nearly 30,000 in the ten years leading up to the census. Strangely, the 2001 census put Slough’s population at 119,070 – so the maths don’t add up (go figure?!).
  • It is currently the 9th most populous location in the UK for immigrants from the EU 2001-2011 accession countries (i.e. Poland), with 7% of the local population; and 12th most populous location for those from outside the EU at 28.7%. 61% of Slough was born in the UK, making it fairly unique outside the London boroughs for diversity.

  • Slough has the 2nd lowest number of households in the country with nobody working and no dependent kids. Only Wandsworth has lower. 43.4% were full time employed compared to 38.5% in England and Wales, Just 7.5% declared themselves to be retired compared with 13.8% nationally.
  • On the downside 5.4% were unemployed (against 4.4%). 1.0% had never worked (0.7%) and 2.1% were long-term unemployed (1.7%).
  • Of those in employment the week before the census, 64% worked between 31 and 48 hours (57.7%) putting Slough third in this quartile among all other areas. However fewer of us (10.8% compared to 13.2%) were working more than 49 hours suggesting a better work/life balance.
  • Substantially fewer Slough workers were employed in managerial, and administrative and professional occupations (34.4 % compared to 41.4% for England and Wales). However, slightly more were employed in supervisory or technical occupations (7.3% to 6.9%) and routine or semi-routine occupations (26.7 to 25.2%)
  • Slough employment is much more diverse than you may think with the constant talk about the dependence on the airport, with a healthy share of employment being in the manufacturing, construction, food service, motor and information & communications sectors.

While the usual faces will point to the increased diversity with a “tut-tut, the country’s going to the dogs”, most of the figures above show Slough to be something of an economic success story. What do YOU think?

The figures by ward come out on January 30th, so THAT will be very interesting!!!

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