About the Wealden Area

Introducing Wealden

Covering 323 square miles, Wealden is the largest district in East Sussex, and is home to some 148,900 people.

Half the population live in five main towns: Crowborough, Hailsham, Heathfield, Polegate and Uckfield. The rest live in villages and hamlets in some of the most attractive countryside in the South of England.

With two-thirds of the district covered by the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the South Downs National Park, as well as 34 conservation areas and over 2,500 listed buildings, Wealden has to place a high value on protecting the countryside. This is reflected in the Council's Planning Policies and Sustainability Strategy.

Wealden had 7,390 businesses in 2012. Small and micro businesses form a fundamental part of the Wealden economy with 76% of businesses in Wealden employing less than four people.

The Public Administration, Education and Health sector is the largest (2011) employing 26% of the workforce, followed by the Wholesale and retail trade (repair of motor vehicles) with 18.4%.

Area

323 square miles (837 square kilometres)

Wealden is classified as one of the most rural districts in England. Wealden places a high value on protecting the countryside, with two-thirds of the district covered by the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the South Downs National Park, as well as 34 conservation areas, over 2,500 listed buildings and the largest amount of ancient woodland of any district in the country.

The Council is a member of SPARSE Rural and the Rural Services Network. They have comprehensively profiled facts and figures about Wealden (external link) and other rural district and county areas. East Sussex County Council's data observatory service East Sussex in Figures (external link) can be searched for a very wide range of facts, figures and maps at county, district, ward and parish levels.

Wealden District Council Location and Boundary


Wealden District Location Map (pdf)

Population (2011 Census data)

Wealden Population in 2011: 148,900

Population projection for 2033: 165,400

Largest settlements (2011 estimates):

  • Crowborough - 20,951
  • Hailsham - 20,436
  • Heathfield - 11,913
  • Polegate - 7,655
  • Uckfield - 14,493

Population density (2011): 1.78 people per hectare (South East average 4.5 people per hectare)

Gender and Age (2011)

Males by age group

  • Percent of population who are male aged 0-14: 17.6%
  • Male aged 15-29: 15.3%
  • Male aged 30-44: 16.3%
  • Male aged 45-64: 29.7%
  • Male aged 65+: 21.1%

Females by age group

  • Percent of population who are female aged 0-14: 15.5%
  • Female aged 15-29: 13.4%
  • Female aged 30-44: 17.2%
  • Female aged 45-64: 29.3%
  • Female aged 65+: 24.6%

Ethnicity (2011):

  • White - 97.5%
  • Mixed - 1.0%
  • Asian - 1.2%
  • Black - 0.2%
  • Chinese and other minority ethnic - 0.2%

Health

The following points are taken from Public Health England Health Profile for Wealden 2013 (pdf)

  • The health of people in Wealden is generally better than the England average.
  • Life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average.
  • Over the last 10 years, all cause mortality rates have fallen. The early death rate from heart disease and stroke has fallen and is better than the England average.
  • About 14.4% of Year 6 children are classified as obese, better than the average for England.
  • Levels of teenage pregnancy and GCSE attainment are better than the England average.
  • Estimated levels of adult 'healthy eating' and physical activity are better than the England average.
  • The rate of road injuries and deaths is worse than the England average.
  • Rates of sexually transmitted infections, smoking related deaths and hospital stays for alcohol related harm are better than the England average.

Wealden Facts and Figures

Our Facts and Figures webpage provides more information about the people and places in Wealden District.

Visit the Parish Councils webpage for a list of the rural parishes and links to Parish Council contacts and the Wealden's neighbouring areas webpage to link through to other local authorities' webpages.

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