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Population And Growth



More than half of the Borough's population is resident in the three principal settlements of Fleetwood, and Thornton Cleveleys. The latter has very early origins and is referred to in the Domesday Survey


The main rural settlements are Knott End, immediately east of the Wyre estuary, and the old market town of Garstang/Catterall which is strategically located on the A6, towards the east of the Borough in the north-south communications corridor which also accommodates the M6 motorway, the Lancaster Canal and the main west coast railway line. Poulton-le-Fylde is the Borough's other market town which is located on the peninsula near to the aforementioned principal settlements.


The balance of Wyre's population is dispersed amongst numerous smaller settlements including Pilling, Stalmine, Scorton and throughout the countryside generally.


Table 1. Population Change in Wyre
Year Total population at Census Percentage Intercensal change per year
1921 42,189 2.3
1931 52,026 2.6
1951 65,452 1.9
1961 77,807 2.2
1971 94,802 0.3
1981 97,512 0.4
1991 101,818 0.4
2001 105,618 -

Source: OPCS National Census


From Table 1 above it is evident that there was substantial and increasing population growth in Wyre during the period 1921-71, since when the scale of increase has dropped back considerably.


In the period 1971-2001, a period overall of much more modest increase (11.4%), Fleetwood's population actually reduced by about six percent. Increases were experienced in Preesall ward (33%) Garstang ward (30%), Thornton Cleveleys (16%) and Poulton (11%).


Table 2. Projected Population Changes
Year Total Population 5yr change % Change per year
2001 104,149 + 927 + 0.19
2006 105,116 -162 -0.3
2011 104,954 -202 -0.4
2016 104,752 -  

Source: Joint Lancashire Structure Plan Deposit Edition, 2002 Series Projections
*Note - baseline figure compares with 105,618 at 2001 census


The projections illustrated in Table 2 mark the end of the increases experienced over recent decades and show a levelling out of population figures. It is expected that there will continue to be an excess of deaths over births but that inward migration will be at a much more modest level.


Inward migration is expected to continue - a factor attributed particularly to the attractiveness of the area for retirement reasons. In the urban part of the Borough, where the major part of the growth will be accommodated, the housing market is clearly not confined to administrative boundaries and the situation in Blackpool will have some bearing.


Table 3. Population-Projected Structural Change.
Year 0-4 yrs 5-14 yrs 15-29 yrs 30-44 yrs 45-Retirement Retirement
2001 5034 12512 15815 21055 23530 26203
2006 4954 11379 17963 20133 24443 26244
2011 4752 10908 17967 19211 25262 26854
2016 4857 10534 17265 18842 25815 27439

Source: Joint Lancashire Structure Plan Deposit Edition, 2002 Series Projections


The most significant characteristic of the projected change is the reduction of more than 15% in the numbers of 5-14 year olds over the plan period. One consequence of this, when associated with an 4% reduction in 0-4 year olds, will be a lesser demand for school places.


Other characteristics of the projected changes are increases of about 9-10% in both the number of 15-29 year olds and the 45 - retirement age group. The number of retired people also shows a modest increase of about 5%.


In contrast to the increases in the majority of the adult population, there is one reduction of around 10% in the 30-44 year category.


Such changes will clearly generate service planning implications particularly for social and medical support services to cater for those of retirement age who would comprise around 25% of the total population in the period 2001-2016. That point is perhaps particularly significant when one appreciates that there are around 11,000 people over 75 years of age, as identified in the 2001 Census, that is about 10% of the total population of the Borough.


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