Demography - what does "Gwent" look like?


Greater ‘Gwent’ is a term used to reflect the five local authority areas: Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen. Gwent benefits from following the same geographic footprint as the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. Demographics of Gwent are varied and include rural countryside areas, urban centres and the most easterly of the south Wales valleys.

Blaenau Gwent is situated in the valleys of south east Wales and covers approximately 10,900 hectares with a population of 69,713. The area has accessible green spaces and close community working but it is an area with high levels of unemployment and a high percentage of people who are dependent on benefits.

Caerphilly has the largest population in Gwent of 181,019. People are widely dispersed amongst fifty small towns and villages with the main settlements largely reflecting the area’s rich coal mining heritage. Caerphilly has an expanding economy and benefits through good transport links to Cardiff but there are significant levels of unemployment and poor health.

Monmouthshire is classed as a ‘semi-rural accessible area’. There are four major towns, with a total population of 94,412. Monmouthshire has the lowest level of unemployment in Gwent: however there are pockets of deprivation as evidenced in north Abergavenny.

Newport City is the third largest urban centre in Wales with a population of 153,302. The city has the second largest number of people from minority ethnic communities of all the Welsh counties (after Cardiff) and has continued to increase since 2009 when the figure was estimated at 6.6% of the population.

Torfaen is the most easterly of the south Wales urbanised valleys with a population of 93,049. There are three urban centres: Pontypool, Blaenavon, and Cwmbran. The largest number of traveller caravans was recorded in Torfaen during the January 2016 Bi-annual Gypsy and Traveller count with a total of sixty-one, which was 41% of the Gwent total.

Key points:

  • The population is projected to increase by 4.1% from around 577,100 in 2011 to 601,000 in 2036. The greatest increase will be seen in Newport with an estimated 17.3% increase (145,800 to 170,900), Caerphilly 2%, Torfaen 1.1%. Blaenau Gwent will have an estimated population decrease of - 6.6% and Monmouthshire -1.3%. The Blaenau Gwent decrease is the largest estimated decrease across the population in Wales.
  • There are significant increases projected for the over 65 years of age population when an estimated 1 in 4 people (26%) will be aged 65 or older - which is broadly similar to Wales.
  • By 2036, it is estimated that the number of people aged 85 and over will increase by 147% (from around 13,000 in 2011 to 32,000 in 2036).

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board population - key data

  • In 2014, around 1 in 5 residents were aged over 65 years (19%), 6 in every 10 (62%) were of working age (16 to 64 years) and nearly 1 in 5 (19%) were aged under 16.
  • The population aged under 16 has decreased by 2,700 (1%) between 2005 and 2014, from 114,100 to 108,300.
  • There has been a significant decrease in the under 75 mortality rate of 17.1% and 17.4% for males and females respectively (a greater improvement than Wales). This demonstrates the positive impacts and significant improvements that a range of services, activities and targeted programmes have made to reduce mortality rates.
  • The general fertility rate is broadly similar to that of Wales - but there are differences in the general fertility rates across ABUHB which will impact on the planning of maternity and child services - particularly for Newport and Monmouthshire.

Welsh Language

The Welsh language strategic framework ‘More than just words’ aims to improve frontline health and social services provision for Welsh speakers, their families and carers. In keeping with the principles in the framework, the regional planning systems will include reference to the linguistic profile of local communities and ensure this is reflected in service delivery.

A detailed Welsh language community profile has been completed by local Public Service Boards (PSBs) for inclusion in the local Well-being Assessment in each area, and this PNA does not duplicate the information. This PNA will use the profile to effectively identify the actions required to deliver the range and level of services identified as necessary through the medium of Welsh.

The development of the joint Area Plan will set out the key actions required to ensure people needing care and support services can access support through the medium of Welsh. We have already taken steps by ensuring assessments - proportionate and/or care and support planning - include the ‘active offer’ to converse through the medium of Welsh.  The active offer is made at the first point of contact within local authorities (this extends to social services Information Advice and Assessment (IAA) front doors and during integrated assessment (IA) stages). We will also work with workforce development colleagues to ensure sufficient welsh language support is available across health and social care.