Britain’s coastal communities are poorer, unhealthier and worse educated, new report shows
Think tank identifies coastal communities amongst worst performing areas for earnings, jobs, health and education.
Many coastal communities are poorly connected to major employment centres in the UK, creating a lack of local job opportunities and making it more difficult to travel elsewhere for work.
Britain’s coastal communities are among the worst ranked parts of the country across a range of economic and social indicators.
That’s according the Social Market Foundation think tank which has published a new analysis of economic and social data at a local authority level.
The findings have shown that Britain’s coastal communities are among the worst ranked parts of the country across a range of economic and social indicators, including earnings, employment, health and education. The report also found that the economic gap between coastal and non-coastal communities has grown.
The report identified that five of the ten local authorities in Great Britain with the lowest average employee pay are in coastal communities. Last year, average employee pay was about £3,600 per year lower in coastal communities that in other part of Great Britain.
Health problems are also more prevalent in coastal communities, according to the report. Ten of the twenty local authorities in England & Wales with the highest proportion of individuals in poor health are coastal communities – Neath Port Talbot, Blackpool, Bridgend, Sunderland, Barrow-in-Furness, Carmarthenshire, East Lindsey, South Tyneside, County Durham and Hartlepool.
Speaking after the release of the report, it’s author, SMF chief economist Scott Corfe said: “The economies of many coastal towns have performed poorly relative to the rest of the country, with a lack of well-paid job opportunities for people in these areas.
“Many coastal communities are poorly connected to major employment centres in the UK, which compounds the difficulties faced by residents in these areas. Not only do they lack local job opportunities, but travelling elsewhere for work is also relatively difficult.
“Despite the evident social and economic problems which these places face, there is currently no official definition of a ‘coastal community’. The government needs to do more to track – and address – economic problems in our coastal towns.”
“Particularly in the South East, some coastal communities are pockets of significant deprivation surrounded by affluence – meaning their problems are often overlooked by policymakers.”
For this analysis, the SMF defined a coastal community as a local authority area with a coastal border. There is currently no official definition of a ‘coastal community’.