Covering 322 square miles, Wealden is the largest district in East Sussex, and is home to some 160,175 people with a gender split of 48.2% males and 51.8% females (Source: Mid-2018 Population Estimates (MYE), ONS).
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, Wealden has to place a high value on protecting the countryside. This is reflected in the Council’s Planning Policies.
Wealden had 8,510 businesses in 2018. Small and micro businesses form a fundamental part of the Wealden economy with 91.3% of businesses in Wealden employing less than nine people (Source: ONS Inter Departmental Business Register 2018).
The Public Administration, Education and Health sector is the largest (2017) employing 22.6% of the workforce, followed by the Wholesale and Retail trade sector which employs 17% of the workforce (Source: ONS Business Register and Employment Survey 2017).
322 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. There are 33 conservation areas within Wealden District (excluding that part of the District within the South Downs National Park), and over 2,200 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 and other rural district and county areas. East Sussex County Council’s data observatory service East Sussex in Figures can be searched for a very wide range of facts, figures and maps at county, district, ward and parish levels.
Our Facts and Figures web page provides more information about the people and places in Wealden District. The Policy Team have produced profiles for all 41 Wealden District wards.
- Wealden Population in 2018: 160,175 (Source: Mid-2018 Population Estimates (MYE), ONS)
- Population projection for 2030: 173,261 (Source: ESCC, Research and Information Team, May 2017)
- Population density (2017): 494 people per square mile (Source: Mid-2017 Population Estimates (MYE), ONS
The following points are taken from Public Health England Wealden Health Profile 2019
- 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.
- Wealden is one of the 20% least deprived districts in England, however about 10% of children live in low income families.
- Exactly 15% of Year 6 children are classified as obese, better than the average for England.
- Levels of teenage pregnancy, GCSE attainment and breast feeding initiation are better than the England average.
- Estimated levels of adult physical activity are better than the England average.
- The rate of people killed and seriously injured on the roads is worse than the England average.
- Rates of alcohol related harm hospital stays, self-harm hospital stays, sexually transmitted infections, early deaths from cardiovascular diseases and early deaths from cancer are better than the England average.
- Health priorities in Wealden include circulatory diseases, cancers and respiratory diseases in order to address the life expectancy gap between the most and least deprived areas.