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Part 2: A brief profile of South Gloucestershire

South Gloucestershire is in the West of England, located between Gloucester and Bristol, the Severn Estuary and the Cotswolds. The first and second crossings of the River Severn lie within South Gloucestershire and the area is well served by motorway and rail links.

The district covers 536.6 sq km with a population of 269,1005 and 112,4676 households.

It is a mixed urban and rural area of great diversity with long-established urban communities, market towns, small villages and substantial new development. 62% of the population live in built up areas immediately adjoining Bristol. 18% live in the towns of Yate, Chipping Sodbury and Thornbury, and the remaining 20% live in the more rural areas of South Gloucestershire.

Our residents have a high quality local environment which they greatly value. South Gloucestershire is mainly an affluent area, with vibrant towns and parishes and a good range of community infrastructure making it a safe and strong place to live. In 2014/15, 81% of respondents to the Viewpoint survey said they are satisfied with their area as a place to live7. Crime levels are low – 45 recorded crime incidents per 1,000 residents compared to 61 per 1,000 across England and Wales8 – and getting lower year on year.

South Gloucestershire has a diverse economy including world leading companies from key high growth sectors such as advanced engineering, aerospace and defence, microelectronics and silicon design. It also includes large local economic drivers such as the Mall at Cribbs Causeway and the University of West of England which attract investment and create opportunities as well as being major employers. We host the new Science Park a world class environment for businesses in science and advanced technology; and the new National Composite Centre which leads nationally on research and design of new composites technologies.


In South Gloucestershire, 50.5% of the population are female (135,700 persons) and 49.5% (133,400 persons) are male, as reported in the 2011 Census.


South Gloucestershire has a small but growing number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) residents. The 2011 Census reported that 5% of the population is BAME (compared to the average of 14% for England and Wales). In addition 2.5% of the population is classified as ‘White Other’. This is broken down as follows:

South Gloucestershire 2011 Census data

Group South Glos number South Glos percentage
Asian/Asian British – Bangladeshi 238 0.1
Asian/Asian British – Indian 2,699 1
Asian/Asian British – Pakistani 698 0.3
Asian/Asian British – Chinese 1,312 0.5
Asian/Asian British – Other 1,493 0.6
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British – African 987 0.4
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British – Caribbean 980 0.4
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British – Other 251 0.1
Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Groups – White & Asian 1,016 0.4
Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Groups – White & Black African 396 0.2
Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Groups – White & Black Caribbean 1,516 0.6
Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Groups – Other 739 0.3
White – English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British 241,611 91.9
White – Irish 1,223 0.5
White – Gypsy or Irish Traveller 271 0.1
White – Other 6,469 2.5
Other Ethnic Group – Arab 366 0.1
Any Other ethnic group 502 0.2

Note: Totals may not sum because of rounding

South Gloucestershire Council is supporting the development of a race equality network. South Gloucestershire Race Equality Network (SG DEN) currently meets three times a year to discuss topics affecting the BAME community in the district and advise the statutory bodies of their concerns about the issue.


The 2011 Census provided the following information in regard to disability:

Disability/Day-to-day activities limited to some extent
Number 40,914
Percentage of population 15.60%

This compares with 17.9% across England and Wales.

South Gloucestershire Council supports SG DEN, a group of disabled people and organisations representing disabled people in the district. SG DEN is becoming an increasingly valuable source of advice to the council on how best to serve disabled residents and an influential voice for the disabled community.

There is a Learning Difficulties Partnership Board to act as a voice for people with learning difficulties and to bring issues to the attention of statutory organisations.


The age structure in South Gloucestershire is broadly similar to the national picture as follows:

  • Children age (0-15 years): 50,100 (18.6% of total population)
  • Working age (16-64 years): 170,800 (63.5% of total population)
  • Pensionable age (65+) 48,200 (17.9% of total population)

The total population is predicted to grow broadly in line with national averages. This growth is expected to see a significant increase in the number of people aged 65+

Religion or belief

In respect of religion or belief, the 2011 Census reported the following:

South Gloucestershire 2011 Census data

Religion/belief Christian Buddhist Hindu Jewish Muslim Sikh Other
Number 156,504 708 1,681 145 2,176 623 888 80,607 19,435
Percentage of population 59.6% 0.3% 0.6% 0.1% 0.8% 0.2% 0.3% 30.7% 7.4%
  • 59.6% of the population were Christian – considerably lower than the proportion recorded in the 2001 Census (73.9%)
  • 30.7% of the population stated that they do not have a religion – nearly double the proportion recorded in the 2001 Census (17.5%) and higher than the national average (25.1%)

At present most followers of non-Christian faiths need to travel into Bristol to worship.

Sexual orientation and gender reassignment

There is no hard data on the number of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people in the UK. However, the Government is using the figure of 5-7% of the population and Stonewall9 agree that this is a reasonable estimate. This means that across the area, we have approximately 15,000 residents who identify as being LGBT – the largest minority group in South Gloucestershire.

Equality information about South Gloucestershire Council workforce

South Gloucestershire Council workforce data of March 2015 shows (excluding schools), that 70.1% of employees are female and 29.9% are male. Of all part-time workers within the council, 66.6% are female.

In March 2015, 7.7% of South Gloucestershire Council employees identified as being from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) group
A corporate BAME employee network has been in place historically contributing to a wide range of relevant issues within the authority. However, over the last two years this group, particularly due to workforce change, has ceased to be active. As such, a key action identified by EDAT for 2015/16 will be to reinvigorate this group as well as identify the need for any other specific employee equalities groups.

In March 2015 the number of disabled people employed by South Gloucestershire council was reported as 4%.

South Gloucestershire Council has an active disabled employees group which provides support for council employees and the council itself. Council workforce data from March 2015 shows the following in terms of council employees:

(0.4%) (8.8%) (20%) (29.9%) (30.1%) (7.6%) (3.2%)

Further information

A range of information concerning the South Gloucestershire population can be found at our webpage entitled “Statistics about the area”:

A range of information concerning council workforce demographics can be found on our webpage: Workforce equalities monitoring

In respect of key issues experienced by groups across the UK and South Gloucestershire, the council’s website contains a wealth of information: In addition, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) website contains information pertaining to all protected characteristic groups.



5 Office for National Statistics mid-year estimates, 2013
6 Valuation Office Agency, August 2014
7 South Gloucestershire Quality of Life Report – 2014
8 South Gloucestershire Quality of Life Report – 2014
9 For further information, visit: