West Lancashire is one of 12 districts in Lancashire and stretches from the outskirts of Liverpool to the south of the River Ribble, with Southport to the West and Wigan and Chorley to the east. In 2012, the district had a population of 110,600 and is made up of a number of small towns, villages and rural farmland.
West Lancashire has a diverse population in terms of age with some communities having a markedly older population (Aughton, Parbold/Newburgh, Tarleton) with others being the home to households with younger children (Skelmersdale). The borough is also home to Edge Hill University which has more than 22,350 students most of whom live in the area – the population of Ormskirk has a high level of 18-24 year olds. The 2011 census has shown that West Lancashire has a generally ageing population – a 23% rise in those over 65 in a ten year period.
The ethnicity of residents is almost entirely White British – around 5% of the population in Skelmersdale declared themselves to be White Other which could reflect the Eastern European community living and working in the area. There are very small numbers of residents who have other ethnicities (less than one half of one percent) and these live across the borough. Less than 1% of residents have a mixed ethnicity (866). In the most recent census, 76% of residents declared themselves to be Christian with 17% stating that they do not follow a religion. The remaining 7% of the population have beliefs that include Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism.
The gender of the borough is relatively balanced overall with 52% of the population identifying as female. Data on the numbers of our population that are transgender is not available to us but, based on a national estimate of 20 per 100,000 head of population, we might expect to have around 20 residents who had a different gender at birth.
More than 20% of the population of West Lancashire consider that their day-to-day activities are limited by health which is significantly higher than the national average. Almost 12,000 residents have a hearing impairment and just short of 2,000 adults have a visual impairment. More than 2,000 resident adults have a learning disability. 12% of the population (12,682) are found to have a common mental health disorder including depression and anxiety.
Data on the sexual orientation of the residents of West Lancashire is not available. Estimates at a national level vary from 1.5% to 5% which would mean between 1,700 and 5,600 residents of our borough are lesbian, gay or bisexual.