The following profile summarises selected information relating to Blackburn with Darwen borough council area and provides links to some of the most up to date information.
In addition to this summary, a range of documents provide more detailed analyses. These include the Integrated Strategic Needs Assessment and Story of Place and themed reports and ward profiles from the 2011 Census.
Links to sources of small area statistics for wards and parishes in Blackburn with Darwen are also available.
Blackburn with Darwen Borough
The Borough continues to experience investment in regeneration and development. Projects currently underway include:
The Borough is well located. It has good value for money properties and sees continued investment in health and education. There is easy access to the countryside and developments in Blackburn town centre have strengthened the retail and entertainment options for residents. Furthermore private investment within Darwen, supported by the Council, sees the town offer a vibrant night time economy.
Blackburn with Darwen is a unitary authority located in the East of Lancashire. In 2015 the population was 146,800, making it the largest borough in Lancashire. The majority of the boroughs residents live in the towns of Blackburn (113,000) and Darwen (27,500). With 6,200 living in rural villages in the East Rural and North Turton with Tockholes wards.
The borough as a whole has a relatively young age profile. It has a higher than average proportion of young people (0-19) compared to the national figure and conversely, a smaller proportion of older people (65 and over).
Blackburn with Darwen has areas of predominantly terraced properties and over half the housing stock falls into the lowest council tax band A. Such housing is mainly found in the urban towns of Blackburn and Darwen. In contrast, areas to the north of the borough and the villages located in the countryside to the south are significantly more affluent providing a variety of more exclusive rural accommodation.
Data showing the prices of houses sold in the authority demonstrates that on average, house prices are below regional and national averages. But there is significant variation in price, from terraced properties sold at an average of £84,000 to detached properties sold at an average of £176,500 (June 2016).
With around 4,300 businesses in the borough, making up about 9% of the Lancashire business base, Blackburn with Darwen has businesses operating in a range of sectors. The five main sectors making up over half of businesses in the borough are: ‘professional scientific and technical’; ‘retail’; ‘production’; ‘construction’ and ‘business administration and support services’.
Blackburn with Darwen is home to around 65,000 jobs. Of the workplace based employment in the borough, the four main sectors making up over three fifths of employment are ‘health and social care’; ‘manufacturing’; ‘wholesale and retail’ and ‘education’. Despite a national decline in the manufacturing sector, this remains one of the largest employment sectors in the borough.
Although the majority of employee jobs in the borough are in the private sector, public sector employment is above regional and national averages.
The borough has an entrepreneurial culture, with a business start-up rate higher than Lancashire as a whole and a greater proportion of high turnover business than the Lancashire average..
The labour market characteristics of working age residents in the borough show proportions greater than the national average of people classed as economically inactive. Of these, the borough has a larger proportion described as ‘looking after home and family’.
For people classed as economically active, employment levels for both males and females are below the national and regional averages.
Overall unemployment rates are higher in the borough, as is the proportion claiming out of work benefits (including job seekers allowance).
Earnings levels are available as workplace and resident based figures. Workplace based wages for the borough are at a higher level than resident based wages. Commuters coming to the borough to work, have on average, higher earnings than those who live in the borough. There appears to be a trend of people commuting in for better paid jobs, rather than these being taken by local people.
Resident qualification levels at degree level or higher (NVQ4 and above) remain below the national and regional averages, despite showing a gradual increase over time. The proportion of residents with no qualifications is above regional and national averages.
Crime and community safety
Police recorded crime statistics show that ‘criminal damage and arson’ and ‘other thefts’ are the two largest categories of offences in the borough.
Overall the recorded crime rate in the borough tends to be higher than the Lancashire average, but lower than other areas like Preston, Blackpool and Burnley. There is significant variation within the borough itself, with the lowest crime levels tending to be found in the rural area of North Turton with Tockholes and some of the highest levels in central Blackburn, Shear Brow ward.
Health and wellbeing
Blackburn with Darwen is a relatively deprived borough, and the health of people in Blackburn with Darwen lags behind the England average on a range of indicators. Death rates have fallen over the past ten years, but are still generally higher than average in Blackburn with Darwen.
The borough’s Standardised Mortality Ratio in 2015 was 121, meaning that there were over 20% more deaths than there would have been if it had experienced the same mortality rates as England and Wales in general.
The rate of deaths under age 75 from heart disease and stroke is significantly higher than the England average, and this gap shows no sign of narrowing. However, in the case of premature deaths from cancer, the gap between Blackburn with Darwen and England has virtually disappeared.
Life expectancy for both men and women is lower than the England average. Within Blackburn with Darwen itself, there are considerable differences in life expectancy between the most and least deprived areas of the borough.