Social aspects of living in Coventry

With a population just exceeding 300,000 Coventry is the third largest city or town in the West Midlands and is in the top 20 cities in England by size of population. The ratio of males to females is approximately 50% to 50%, which is against the regional and national trends which are 49% to 51%. Coventry is more ethnically diverse than many other cities, having more than double the national average number of Asian and British Asian families and significantly more than the average regional figure. Black and Chinese ethnic groups are in line with regional and national trends.

According to the 2001 National Census 84% of the population as being white, 2% of mixed ethnicity, over 11% Asian, 2% Black and 1% as being of either Chinese or another ethnicity. Life expectancy for those living in Coventry is just 75 years for a male and 81 years for a female. Whilst the figure for females is in line with regional and national trends that for men is slightly lower than the regional one and almost two years lower than the national average. Health wise the people of Coventry are again in line with national trends. Just over 67% of the resident considered themselves to be in good health, which is the same as the regional value and 1% lower than the national one.

Coventry has a mixed housing stock of a little under 126,000 dwellings. Whilst 83% of these dwellings are houses only 9% are detached houses or bungalows, which is significantly below the regional and national averages at around 23%. Even the proportion of semi-detached properties is significantly lower than regional and national averages at just 27%. Conversely the proportion of terraced houses is high at 47%, which is getting on for double the regional and national averages. The figure for those living in a flat is 16%, which is broadly in line with regional and national trends. Approximately 56% of all households are occupied by either married or cohabiting couples - slightly lower that regional and national averages, 27% are occupied by single people - slightly higher than regionally and nationally, with the rest being occupied by people who are either divorced or widowed.

Socially 44% of the population of Coventry are said to be ‘middle-class’ falling into the C1 and C2 bands. 38% fall into bands D and E and as such are defined as ‘working-class’ with the remaining 18% being labelled as being in band A and B. 47% of the population in Coventry are currently married, which is about 5% fewer than the regional and 3% fewer than the national averages. 27% of the residents are single, having never been married, which is 4% higher than the regional figure but only 3% higher than the national one. Whilst 37% of the population is aged between 20 and 44 years, 22% of the population are aged between 45 to 64 years old. Both of those figures are within 2% of the regional and national figures. The proportion of people aged 65 and over is 15%, which is in line with the regional and national figures.

How safe is Coventry to live in or visit? Crime figures for the city, on a ‘per 1000 of the population basis, show that in Coventry there were 34 offences committed compared to a national figure of 25 offences per 1000 of population. The type of crime that is proportionally at most variance with the national figure is ‘violence against the person’, which has an occurrence of over 6 in every thousand, compared to a national figure of below 5 in every one thousand of population and a West Midland regional figure almost two points lower. The offence of criminal damage shows a similar trend at 6 occurrences per 1000 of population, again about one higher than nationally.
For an urban unitary authority Coventry city’s schools, according to the 2006 Achievement and Attainment tables, overall performed better at Key Stage 2 than Key Stage 4. For Primary schools at Key Stage 2, attainment in the three core subjects at Level 4 or above was English 78%, Mathematics 73% and Science 86%. These Local Authority figures are 1% below the national average in English and Science and 3% below the Mathematics national average. At Key Stage 4 (Secondary schools) the percentage of pupils scoring at least 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and Mathematics, was 38% for the Local Authority compared to a national average of 46%. However, for both sets of statistics, some schools returned excellent results, as can be seen in their ‘value-added’ scores.

Coventry has two modern universities; Coventry University and Warwick University. The older of the two is Warwick University which was built on the south east edge of the city. It had its first intake of undergraduates in 1964 and now has a student population exceeding 15,000. It is ranked 8th by the ‘Good Universities Guide’ (GUG). Warwick University is the home of two National Centres of Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Coventry University is just outside the city centre and not far from the cathedral. This university also has about 15,000 students and was one of the universities formed from a polytechnic in the 1990s. Coventry University is ranked 81st in the ‘Good Universities Guide’.

UK National Statistics data reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence.

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