Characteristics of National Parks

The ONS has just released a report [PDF] on the national parks in England and Wales based on the 2011 census. Residents of the South Downs National Park (SDNP) should find some of the content to be of interest:

  • The population of the national parks taken as a whole has increased by 7,400 since 2001. Of this, the SDNP is responsible for 7,200.
  • The population density of the SDNP is the highest of any national park and 36 times greater than that of the Northumberland park.
  • The SDNP had the lowest median age at 46 (compare the Broads and Exmoor, both at 53).
  • National park residents are older than the general population but consider themselves healthier: 82% describe their health as good or very good. The SDNP has the highest proportion who describe their health as very good.
  • Among the parks, the SDNP has the lowest proportion of UK born residents at 91% (the figure is 87% for the population as a whole and 97% in Snowdonia).
  • 40% of SDNP households occupy detached houses or bungalows (the figure is 23% for the population as a whole and 66% for the New Forest).
  • The SDNP has the lowest proportion of homes with “no usual residents” at 6% which is a bit higher than the national average but much lower than the national park average (14%) and the Pembrokeshire Coast (28%).