Coventry is a diverse and cohesive city. It has a young population, with a median age of 32 years compared to the UK average of 40 years.
In recent years, the city's population grew faster than the region or the nation. Coventry's population grew from 316,915 in 2011 to 345,300 in 2021.
If Coventry was a village of 100 people, 22 of them will be children and young people aged under 18.
65 people will be of working aged, from 18-65.
The remaining 13 will be older people aged 65 and over.
The city has seen a large increase in younger adults. They are attracted by the city's two universities as well as graduate jobs in the city.
Coventry is becoming more diverse. In 2021, half of our school-aged population is from an ethnic minority background. This is up from around one-third of the city's population in 2011.
Fewer Coventry neighbourhoods are amongst the most deprived in England. Coventry has seen an improvement relative to other places.
Following Brexit and COVID, the economic outlook for the city remains challenging and uncertain. While spending bounced back in 2021-2022, employment has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.
69% of the city's five-year-olds achieve a good level of development at age 5. But there remains a wide inequality gap of 38% between all pupils and the lowest attaining 20%.
In March 2022, 93% of primary, 86% of secondary and special school students attend a school rated good or outstanding by Ofsted.
Our housing is small and old. As of March 2022, 70% of properties are in Council Tax bands A to B. And two-thirds were built before 1954.
Many of our houses are not up to modern standards. This means that too many residents live in damp and poorly insulated homes, and pay too much to stay warm.
Last October 12% of households in Coventry spent 10% of their income to stay warm. This rose to 24% in April this year; and now, 36%, even with the energy price guarantee.
In Coventry, the life expectancy at birth is 78 years for men and 82 for women. But there are significant health inequalities. Residents in the more deprived parts of the city die up to 11 years younger. They also spent a greater part of their lives in poor health.
Inequalities in health arise out of inequalities in society. Reducing these inequalities improve wellbeing, social cohesion, and educational outcomes. As a Marmot city, we are tackling the causes of inequality by resourcing services proportionate to the degree of need. For example, in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Communities are best placed to address health challenges. This is because they have the networks, understanding, and legitimacy. Our role is to enable communities by building capacity and pooling resources in line with our One Coventry approach.
Words and music by Si Chun Lam. October 2022.
Copyright © 2022 Si Chun Lam. All rights reserved.