On 1 April 2019 Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council will be replaced by a single district council called West Suffolk Council. It will entirely replace the borough and district councils but will continue to deliver the same services while finding improved ways of supporting communities, businesses and the local economy. Over the next few weeks you may notice changes to the website, forms, letters and emails as we prepare for the creation of the new council.
The statistics on this page provide key information relating to West Suffolk. Detailed statistical reports about each of the 45 existing (pre May 2019) wards in West Suffolk can be found on our Ward reports page. These are being updated to reflect the post May 2019 wards in due course.
For more specific information about an area, use our 'Find my nearest' mapping tool which provides a wealth of information such as local councillors, nearest schools and NHS services as well as bin collection days.
The area of West Suffolk is a predominantly rural district in the heart of East Anglia. Well-connected with London, the rest of East Anglia and the Midlands, West Suffolk is a safe and comparatively prosperous place in which to live. It also has some beautiful and accessible countryside areas, including grassland, heath and forest.
West Suffolk has five main market towns, Newmarket, Mildenhall, Brandon, Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill.
Bury St Edmunds, the largest settlement in West Suffolk, has been a prosperous town for centuries. People are drawn to its market and Georgian architecture, shops, leisure and cultural facilities.
Newmarket is known as the 'home of horseracing'. It has more racehorses, trainers, stable staff, stud farms and racing organisations in and around the town than anywhere else in the world. Racing accounts for a significant number of local jobs.
Haverhill, Mildenhall and Brandon expanded significantly in the 1970s due to the construction of new housing to accommodate families moving as part of the Greater London Council's expansion programme.
Today, West Suffolk has a thriving, diverse economy, embracing a number of business sectors. These include tourism, food and drink, life sciences and advanced manufacturing, including a number of businesses trading with the two major US Air Force bases in West Suffolk. In all of West Suffolk's towns and rural areas, many of our residents benefit from a good quality of life. However, some areas have suffered more than others from the impact of the economic downturn. Others are facing issues such as: rural isolation, a lack of skills or qualifications amongst young people, an ageing population with some in need of more specialist housing or care, poverty, or health deprivation.
Where data are not yet available for West Suffolk then figures for Forest Heath District Council (FHDC) and St Edmundsbury Borough Council (SEBC) are shown:
|Total population||179,248||55,619,430||ONS MYE 2017|
|Between 2016 and 2017 the population grew by||1.45%||0.64%||ONS MYE 2016 AND 2017|
|West Suffolk has an ageing population: % of the population aged over 65||20.6%||18%||ONS MYE 2017|
|Ethnic diversity. Percentage of White (Eng/Welsh/Scot/NI/British) people
||86.3%||79.80%||Nomis Census 2011|
|Percentage of people who considered themselves to be in very good health||47.6%%||47.20%||Nomis Census 2011|
West Suffolk's population is spread across a large rural area, plus five main settlements.
The distribution of the population is: villages and outlying areas 40.8%, Bury St Edmunds 23.4%, Haverhill 15.5%, Newmarket 9.6%, Brandon 5.5%, and Mildenhall 5.2%.
|Percentage of 16-64 year olds who were economically active||82.90%||78.70%||Nomis APS Oct 17 - Sept 18|
Sectors of employment. Percentage of employees working in:
Business administration & support services
Accommodation & food services
Nomis Business Register and Employment Survey 2017 (BRES) : open access
|Percentage of residents aged over 16 with at least NVQ Level 1 or equivalent qualifications||87.5%||85.50%||Nomis APS Jan - Dec 2017|
|Between 2016-17, the proportion of young people achieving a 9-4 pass in both English and Maths GCSE||62.10%||64.20%||DfE SFR 01/2018, data published Jan 2018 for 2016/17|
|Average household size||2.4 people||2.4 people||ONS MYE 2016 and 2016 based household projections|
|Between 2006 and 2016, the number of households||increased by 9.60%||increased by 8.60%||ONS 2016 based household projections|
|Ratio of lower quartile earnings to lower quartile house prices (Ratios are calculated by dividing house price by annual earnings; the higher the ratio the more expensive it is to buy a house)||
FHDC 9.48 times
SEBC 9.55 times
|7.26 times||ONS ratio of house price to resident based earnings. Year ending Sept 2017|
|Average cost of renting a home (3 bedroomed)||
FHDC £1,000 per month
SEBC £932 per month
|£881 per month||Gov.uk Private rental market summary statistics April 17 - March 18|
|Rate of homelessness||3.21households per 1,000||2.41 households per 1,000||Table 784 Local authorities' action under the homelessness provision year April 2017 to March 18|
Further information about the districts and the rest of Suffolk can be found at: www.suffolkobservatory.info