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Devon (Local Profiles 2012)

  • Key Facts
  • People & Governance
  • Economy & Skills
  • Social
  • Infrastructure & Environment
Key Facts

> Life expectancy in Devon for both men (79.7 years) and women (83.6 years) was higher than both the South West and England averages.

> The rate of teenage conception in Devon (31.9 per 1,000 women aged 15-17) was lower than the rate for the South West (34.5 per 1,000) and England (40.2).

> The crime rate in Devon (23.5 per 1,000 population) was lower than the rate for the South West (33.8 per 1,000) and England and Wales (41.3 per 1,000).

> Median gross annual pay in Devon was £22,570 (South West £24,922, England £26,165)

> The latest unemployment rate for Devon is 5.7% (South West 6.0%, England 7.6%)

58.0% of Devon pupils achieved 5+ GCSEs grades A*-C or equivalent, including Maths and English (South West 57.5%, England 58.3%).

> Devon’s lowest quartile affordability ratio (house price to earnings ratio: a higher ratio means less affordable housing) was 9.2 (South West 8.2, England 6.7).

> There were 342 road casualties per 100,000 population in Devon (South West 310, England 355).


Population by Local Authority
  • Devon is the largest county in the South West, with 27.5% of the region’s total land area.
  • It also has the largest population of any South West county or unitary authority and is home to 14.2% of the region’s total population.
  • However, Devon has the lowest population density of any county or unitary authority in the South West. West Devon, is the most sparsely populated district in the South West, while Exeter has the second highest density for a district.

  Pop. (1000s) Area  Persons per sq km
Sq Km
Devon 749.9 6564 114
East Devon 132.9 814 163
Exeter 119.6 47 2545
Mid Devon 76.1 913 83
North Devon 91.5 1086 84
South hams 83.7 886 94
Teignbridge 127.3 674 189
Torridge 65.8 984 67
West Devon 53.1 1160 46
Heart of the South West LEP 1,668.10 10,158 164
South West 5,273.70 23,837 221
England 52,234.00 130,281 401

ONS Mid Year Estimates 2010 / ONS Census 2001 Urban Area data

Population Change Since the 2001 Census
  • Since the 2001 census, Devon’s population has increased by 6.4%, a smaller percentage than the South West (7.0%) but about the same as England (6.3%).
  • Population increases over the same period ranged from 2.3% in South Hams to 11.6% in Torridge.

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Devon Local Profile Population Change since 2001 Census
Devon Local Profile Population Change since 2001 Census
Census 2001 and ONS Mid-Year Estimate 2010

Population by Age
  • Devon has the fourth highest percentage of older people among the 16 South West county and unitary authorities. It also has the fifth lowest % of both children and working age population respectively.

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Devon Local Profile Population Percentage by Age
Devon Local Profile Population Percentage by Age
  • At only 1.1% of the population, Devon had a considerably smaller proportion of ethnic minorities than the South West (2.3%) and England (9.1%) in 2001.
  • Of the districts, only Exeter had a significant non-white population (2.4%).

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Devon Local Profile Non White Ethnicity (% of total population)
Devon Local Profile Non White Ethnicity (% of total population)
ONS 2001 Census

Local Authority

Political Representation
  • Devon County has 9 MPs, 7 of whom are Conservative MPs (Devon Central, Devon East, Devon South West, Devon West & Torridge, Newton Abbot, Tiverton & Honiton, and Totnes). 1 has Liberal Democrat MP (Devon North), and 1 has a Labour MP (Exeter).
  • The Conservatives currently have a majority of seats on Devon County Council.
  • 5 of the 8 District Councils – East Devon, South Hams, Mid Devon, Teignbridge and West Devon – also have Conservative majorities; the other 3 have no overall majority.

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Devon Local Profile Councillors by Party
Devon Local Profile Councillors by Party
Council Tax 2010/11
  • Across Devon, the average council tax per dwelling is ranged from £1,158 in Exeter to £1,404 in South Hams (South West £1,272, England £1,196).
  • Average Band D council tax ranged from £1,470 in Exeter to £1584 in West Devon (South West £1,500, England £1,439).
  • Due to the Government freeze on Council Tax these figures are almost identical to those for 2010/11.

CLG Local Government Finance Council Taxes 2011/12

Earnings & Economy

Gross Annual Pay
  • Median gross full-time annual pay for Devon residents is £22,570, an increase of 1.1% from 2010. This is lower than both the median for the South West (£24,922) or England (£26,615).
  • The equivalent pay figure for those working in Devon is £22,208, illustrating a slight tendency for residents to commute to other areas for higher paid work.
  • Median gross full-time annual pay for Devon resident men is 23% higher than women. In the South West men’s pay is 29% higher and in England 25% higher.
  • At district level, median earning range from £19,799 in Torridge (the lowest for any district or unitary authority in the South West) to £25,307 in South Hams.

ONS Annual Survey of Hours & Earnings (ASHE) 2011

Local Enterprise Zones (LEPs)
  • Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are locally-owned partnerships between local authorities and businesses and play a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and the creation of local jobs.
  • Devon County is in the Heart of the South West LEP with Somerset County and Plymouth and Torbay Unitary Authorities. The table below compares some key facts across local authorities within this LEP:

* % scoring 5+ GCSEs at grade A*-C, including Maths and English
** ratio of lowest quartile earnings to lowest quartile house prices

Productivity (GVA)
  • For 2009, Devon’s Gross Value Added (GVA) per head was £16,279. The value for the South West was £18,184 and England £20,498).
  • Between 2008 and 2009 there was a decrease in Devon’s GVA per head, of -2.4% (South West -2.3%, England -2.2%).
  • Over the last 10 years Devon’s GVA per head has increased by 54.7% (South West 43.2%, England 44.3%), the 2nd biggest increase of any of the 12 NUTS3 areas in the South West.

ONS Gross Value Added 1997-2009 (ONS Dec 11)

Enterprise Survival Rate
  • At the end of 2010, there were 61,460 VAT/PAYE registered businesses in the Heart of the South West LEP area, of which 30,495 were in Devon.
  • During 2010, there was a fall in the number of VAT registered businesses in Devon, of -2.8% (South West -2.1, England -1.9%).
  • The 3-year survival rate of enterprises that started in 2007 in Devon is 66.7% (South West 65.9%, England 62.9%). This rate has decreased from 70.9% in 2006.
  • Devon had 2,295 new businesses in 2010, a fall of -5.9% from 2009 (South West -0.6%, England  0.7%).

ONS Business Demography 2010
Data Limitations: Business Demography statistics exclude Agriculture


Unemployment and Claimant Rate
  • The latest employment rate for Devon has decreased in the year to Dec 09 and is lower than the rate for the South West, but is higher than the rate for England.

% of working age population Jan 08 – Dec 08 Jan 09 – Dec 09 % point change
Devon 75.6 72.8 -2.8
South West 74.2 74.2 -0.6
England 70.9 70.4 -0.5
  • The latest unemployment rate for Devon is 5.7% of the economically active 16+ population (South West 6.0%, England: 7.6%).
  • Devon’s claimant count rate is higher than a year earlier but is still below both the South West and England rates.

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Devon Local Profile Total Claimants as Percentage of Work Age Population
Devon Local Profile Total Claimants as Percentage of Work Age Population
ONS Claimant Count, Dec 2011

Employment by Sector
  • The largest proportion of jobs in Devon is in public administration (including defence), education and health (37.8%), closely followed by manufacturing, wholesale and retail.

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Devon Local Profile Employment by Sector
Devon Local Profile Employment by Sector
Business Register and Employment Survey 2010 (available via NOMIS)

Education and Skills

School Qualifications
  • Results for 2010/11 show 58.0% of pupils in the Devon Local Education Authority (LEA) achieved 5+ GCSEs or equivalent at Grade A*-C including English & Maths by the end of Key Stage 4. This was higher than the rate for the South West (57.5%), but lower than the England rate (58.3%).
  • Devon LEA’s latest Key Stage 2 pass rates for Maths and English are slightly higher than the South West and England averages.

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Devon Local Profile School Qualifications
Devon Local Profile School Qualifications
DfE GCSE & KS2 2010/11 (prov)
NB: provisional figures are based on data provided by Awarding Bodies, subject to checking by schools, and so should be treated with caution. Figures may be different in future revised releases

School Absenteeism
  • The percentage of half days missed due to unauthorised absence by pupils in primary schools for all of Devon’s Districts are lower than the average for the South West and England. The rates for Mid Devon, east Devon and West Devon are the lowest three for any district or unitary authority in the South West.
  • In secondary schools the unauthorised absence rate varies from 0.49% in East Devon to 1.49 in Torridge (above the rates for the South West and England). The rate for East Devon was the lowest for any district or unitary authority in the South West while that for Torridge was the second highest (after Bristol).

% half days missed, Maintained Maintained
unauthorised absence primary schools secondary schools
East Devon 0.19 0.49
Exeter 0.43 1.23
Mid Devon 0.17 1.21
North Devon 0.26 0.85
South Hams 0.28 0.87
Teignbridge 0.25 0.75
Torridge 0.27 1.49
West Devon 0.22 1.06
South West 0.49 1.1
England 0.67 1.3

DfE Pupil Absence in Schools in England 2009/10

Workforce Qualifications
  • 7.1% of Devon’s workforce hold no qualifications, lower than both the South West (11.1%) and England (8.4%).
  • Nearly 33.2% of Devon’s workforce are qualified to NVQ4 or above (South West 31.5%, England 31.1%).

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Devon Local Profile Highest Qualification (% aged 16-64)
Devon Local Profile Highest Qualification (% aged 16-64)


Life Expectancy
  • Male life expectancy in Devon is 79.7 years (South West 79.2, England 78.3). This ranged from 78.0 years in North Devon to 80.7 years in East Devon.
  • Female life expectancy in Devon is 83.6 years (South West 83.3, England 82.3). This ranged from 83.1 in Torridge to 84.3 in West Devon.
  • Devon had the 6th (for men) and 5th (for women) longest life expectancies out of 34 county level authorities in England.

ONS Life Expectancy at Birth 3-yr rolling average 2007-09 (NB: No figures for IoS)

Infant Mortality
  • Devon has an infant mortality rate which is lower than the rate for both the South West and England.
  • In recent years the trend has been for a fall in the rate of infant mortality in Devon. The South West and England rates have also consistently fallen over recent years.
  • Devon has the fourth lowest infant mortality rate amongst the 15* unitary and county authorities in the South West.

Mortality all causes – Infants < 1 year
Deaths/1000 live births 2004-06 2005-07 2006-08 2007-09
Devon 4.8 4.5 3.9 3.6
South West 4.4 4.2 4.1 4
England 5 4.9 4.8 4.7

National Centre for Health Outcomes Development 3-yr rolling average 2007-09. * excluding the Isles of Scilly.

Teenage Conceptions
  • Devon’s teenage conception rate is lower than the rate for both the South West and England.
  • The rate has increased slightly since 2004-06, as has the rate in the South West, although the England rate has declined steadily since 2001-03.
  • At the district level, there is a wide variety of teenage pregnancy rates, from 21.6 in West Devon to 47.4 in Exeter.

Conception rates per 1000 women aged 15-17
3-year rolling averages 2001-03 2004-06 2007-09
Devon 31.8 31.2 31.9
South West 35.5 34.3 34.5
England  42.4 41.1 40.2

ONS 3-year rolling average 2007-09

NHS Trust Performance Indicators
  • The Care Quality Commission’s new Annual Health Check gives all NHS organisations a two-part annual performance rating.

Healthcare organisation Overall quality of services* Financial managem’t score*
Northern Devon healthcare NHS Trust Fair Good
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation trust Good Excellent
Devon Partnership NHS Trust (mental health) Fair Good
Devon PCT Good Fair
South Western Ambulance Services NHS Trust Good Good

  *excellent, good, fair, or weak

  • Of the 12 Ambulance Services in England in 2010/11, South Western had the 3rd highest 8 minute response rate and the 6th lowest 19 minute response rate. Both rates have improved from the previous year.

Ambulance response South Western England target
time target – Category A
Arrive within 8 minutes 76.90% >75%
Arrive within 19 minutes 96.10% >95%

Care Quality Commission Annual Health Check 2008/09 / DH Ambulance Services, England 2010-11


Key Offences
  • In Devon in 2010/11, the overall crime rate was 23.5 per 1,000 population, the 2nd lowest for any unitary or county authority in the South West (the lowest was the Isles of Scilly).
  • This was a lower overall crime rate than 2009/10 (26.6). The key categories of violence against the person and sexual offences were slightly higher than in 2009/10, however.
  • Among Devon districts, the biggest drop in overall crime from 2009/10 was in West Devon (-23.8%), while the smallest drop was in South Hams (-3.0%).
  • In 2010/11 Devon and Cornwall Police ranked 6th highest out of all 38 English force areas for local people having confidence in the police and local councils dealing with issues (55.9% strongly agree/tend to agree, significantly higher than the average for England and Wales of 52.7%).

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Devon Local Profile Offences per 1,000 population
Devon Local Profile Offences per 1,000 population
* Burglary: Offences per 1,000 households
# Aggregates theft of a vehicle and theft from a vehicle
Home Office Crime in England & Wales 20010/11/British Crime Survey 2010/11

Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2010

  • In the IMD 2010, 20 (less than 5%) of Devon’s 457 Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) ranked among the most deprived 20% in England.
  • Eight of these LSOAs are in Exeter, six in North Devon (three in Ilfracombe, three in Barnstaple), two in Teignbridge (one in Newton Abbot, one in Teignmouth) and one in each of Mid Devon (Tiverton), South Hams (Dartmouth), Torridge (Bideford) and East Devon (Exmouth).
  • Four LSOAs rank within the most deprived 10% in England (2 in Exeter and 2 in North Devon: 1 each in Ilfracombe and Barnstaple).

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Devon Local Profile IMD
Devon Local Profile IMD
SWO IMD 2010 Profiles


House Prices
  • In Q1 of 2011 the median house price in Devon was £195,000, 7% more than the SW 181,500) and over 11% above England’s median (£175,000).
  • Devon’s median is almost 3% lower than the previous quarter and 5% lower than in Q1 of 2009.
  • Among the districts, median house prices varied: from £179,000 in North Devon to £243,500 in South Hams.

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Devon Local Profile Median House Prices
Devon Local Profile Median House Prices
House Prices: DCLG Table 582

  • Affordability ratios are calculated as house price divided by annual workplace-based earnings.
  • Using median house prices and earnings (2010 data) gives a median affordability ratio in Devon of 9.1 (South West: 7.9, England: 7.0).  Amongst Devon districts this ratio ranges from 7.3 in Exeter to 11.9 in South Hams, the latter being the 2nd highest ratio among South West districts.
  • The lower quartile (LQ) ratio based on lower quartile house prices and earnings better reflects the first time buyers’ market.  Devon’s LQ ratio is 9.2 (South West 8.2, England 6.7). Amongst the districts this ratio ranges from 7.8 in Mid Devon to 11.2 in South Hams (4th highest among South West districts).

DCLG Tables 576 and 577

Homelessness and Temporary Accommodation
  • In the financial year of 2010/11, Devon accepted 348 households (1.1 per 1,000) as being homeless and in priority need (South West 1.5, England 2.0). Cornwall had 265 households in temporary accommodation, 48 of which were in bed and breakfast accommodation.
  • Among Devon Districts, the rates of accepted homelessness ranged from 0.5 per 1,000 households in East Devon and West Devon to 2.2 in Exeter.
  • In the same year in Devon there were a total of 2,490 households where positive action was successful in preventing or relieving homelessness (7.7 per 1,000 households, South West 7.2, England 8.7).

DCLG Tables 784 and 792. For more information on homelessness prevention and relief data see:  http://bit.ly/pRGark

Second Homes
  • In the Census 2001, 3.5% of dwellings in Devon were recorded as a second residence or holiday accommodation (South West 1.8%, England 0.6%). In the South West, only Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly recorded a higher proportion than this (4.6%).
  • At a district level, the percentage ranged from 0.4% in Exeter to 11.1% in South Hams. The latter recorded the 2nd highest (after the Isles of Scilly) [proportion of second residences/holiday accommodation of all Local Authorities in England.

ONS Census 2001

Planning and Land Use

Planning Decisions
  • In the year ending March 2011, the district planning authorities within Devon (not including Dartmoor) had 10,250 planning applications, 257 of which were for major developments.
  • The largest number of major decisions and of all decisions within Devon was made by East Devon (56 and 1,995 respectively).
  • Time taken to decide applications by different development type are shown in the table below:

Speed of decision by development type
  % major within 13 weeks % minor within 8 weeks % other within 8 weeks
East Devon 29 58 80
Exeter 72 78 85
Mid Devon 77 75 88
North Devon 56 70 81
South Hams 46 48 66
Teignbridge 70 76 91
Torridge 70 89 95
West Devon 64 72 82
Dartmoor NP 50 66 81
South West 64 72 84
England 66 75 86
CLG Statistics of Planning Applications  to year ending 2011

Land Use
  • In 2007-10, the percentage of new dwellings built on previously developed land ranged from 38% in Torridge (the lowest of any unitary or district authority in the South West) to 86% in Exeter (South West 66%, England 77%).
  • All districts have higher percentages than 2003-06, apart from Torridge which was unchanged.
  • In 2007-10, the density of new dwellings built per hectare ranged from 21 in East Devon to 56 in Exeter (South West 38, England 43).
  • All Devon’s districts except Exeter and East Devon have higher densities of new dwellings built than in 2001-04.


Environmental Designations
  • Devon contains Dartmoor National Park and a large part of Exmoor National Park.
  • There are 8 National Nature Reserves covering over 1,300 Hectares.
  • Lundy is the only Marine Nature Reserve in England.
  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) cover 51,479 Hectares, or about 7.6% of the area of Devon.

Devon County Council Website


Road Casualties
  • In 2010, there were 342 road casualties per 100,000 people in Cornwall, higher than the rate for the South West (310) but lower than England (355).
  • 11.4% of these casualties resulted in death or serious injury, about the same as the South West and England rates (both 11.5%).

DfT Road Casualties Great Britain 2010

Exeter International Airport
  • Exeter International Airport is situated to the east of Exeter, within the bounds of East Devon District Council.
  • Exeter is the region’s 3rd busiest airport (after Bristol and Bournemouth), England’s 23rd busiest.
  • In 2010, Exeter handled 736,680 passengers, a 6.7% decrease on 2009 (South West -1.9%, England -3.4%).

Civil Aviation Authority – UK Airport Statistics 2010

Travel to Work
  • More people in Devon work at home, walk or cycle to work than in either England or the South West.

Census 2001

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Devon Local Profile Travel to Work
Devon Local Profile Travel to Work