Local Insight

The Good

  • The Population of the District is 330,000 and growing
  • Our Economy is 30th largest in the UK
  • Wakefield’s growth has added 15.2% value in five years
  • The District ranks 19th in the country for growth
  • The District is becoming “‘the’ place to do business in the region.” - Peter Box (Council Leader)
  • A growing economy has put Wakefield ahead of Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester

The Challenges

  • Wakefield District Council has seen it’s budget cut by £144m in 5 years
  • Average wages are 14th from bottom out Of 64 UK cities
  • 26,000 Adults have no formal qualification resulting in low pay
  • We are the 65th most deprived District out of 326
  • The value of all benefits paid in Wakefield is £1,152M
  • 27% of children in the district are living In poverty
  • Life expectancy is below the national average
  • Skills shortages are impacting on further growth
  • Aspirational expectations are holding people back

The Community Foundation and Nova have worked in partnership ever since Nova was established in 2013. We fully support the Foundations ambition to raise funds for local community groups and to raise awareness amongst local businesses and citizens about the fantastic work that charities and voluntary organisations do in our district.

Alison Haskins FRSA
Chief Executive Officer

Explore the Facts

The State of the District report provides a snapshot and trend analysis of the current social, economic, health and well-being of our district. We have listed some of the key facts below, a full PDF of the report can be downloaded from the JSNA website.


Current Population Size of the district.


9905 active enterprises in the district.


Around 12.4% of working age residents in Wakefield claiming out of work benefit.


Over the past five years WDC have saved £144m in budget cuts.


27% of children are living in child poverty.


The Wakefield district economy is the 30th largest in the UK.


Wakefield is now the 65th most deprived district in England.


26,000 Adults have no formal qualification Resulting in low pay.


Only 25% of Wakefield 18 year old took an A Level, national average is 35%.


The population is expected to grow by 4.5% over the next 10 years.


The economic output from Wakefield’s service industries has risen to 75.1% of GVA.


The district’s ethnic population represents only 7.2% compared to the UK average of 20.2%.


The Yorkshire Sculpture Park received 429,000 visitors.


The total value of tourism activity in Wakefield in 2013 is estimated to have been around £359 million.


In 2016/17, 22% of children in Reception year were obese, as were 18.7% of children in Year 6.


Across all the council-run libraries there were 750,000 books issued during 2013/14.


79.1% are satisfied with their local area.


47,400 people live in neighbourhoods among the top-10% most deprived in England.


22% of adults in Wakefield smoke.


70.1% of Wakefield residents aged 16-64 are in employment (2015).


The value of all benefits paid in Wakefield is £1,152M.


Wakefield ESA ( Earnings support allowance) claims is 4th highest in the region.


23% of working age people were qualified to NVQ4+.


A further £42m of budget savings to be achieved by 2019/20.


20.9% of the population are under 18 years old (2014).


14,600 Wakefield households are in Fuel Poverty.


The crime rate is 30% higher than the national average.

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