About Coventry

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  1. About Coventry
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Coventry is a diverse and cohesive city with a relatively young population. The city has experienced a high rate of population growth in recent years, particularly amongst 18-29 year olds. In the 2011 Census, 33% of the population identified as people of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) background, compared to 22% in 2001 [10]. Strengths of Coventry’s economy include increasing rates of employment and decreasing rates of unemployment. Sectors where Coventry has a competitive advantage include advanced manufacturing and engineering; energy and low carbon; connected autonomous vehicles; business, professional and financial services; and digital, creative and gaming [11]. The city has the second highest rate of published patent applications out of 63 UK city clusters [12].

Education standards have improved, with 94% of primary and 74% of secondary students attending a good/outstanding school; and fewer young people not in education, employment or training [10]. Coventry is home to two universities and the proportion of students coming from outside the European Union is growing [11]. An estimated 35% of the city’s residents are qualified to level 4 or above, while 10% of the population have no qualifications at all.

The percentage of Coventry neighbourhoods that are amongst the 10% most deprived in England reduced from 18.5% to 14.4% between 2015 and 2019. Based on this measure, Coventry ranked 64th nationally in 2019 (with 1st being the most deprived), an improvement in ranking from 46th in 2015 [10].

Coventry faces the challenge of reducing health inequalities for residents. Life expectancy at birth in Coventry for 2016-18 was 82.3 years for females and 78.5 years for males [15], both of which were notably lower than England average. In 2018/19, 22.6% of the city’s children in year 6 were measured as ‘obese’, against 10.2% children in reception. Since becoming a Marmot City in 2013, Coventry has worked along partner organisations to act on the recommendations of the Marmot Review [16].

Coventry designated 2019 as the Year of Wellbeing. Investment into sport and physical activities led to the opening of The Wave water park [13]. It coincided with Coventry being European City of Sport and the host for Europe Corporate Games. It is set to be one of the host cities for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

The city was named the UK City of Culture 2021 [14]. To prepare for it, the city centre is currently undergoing major redevelopment – several older buildings are demolished, a new walkway and car park are introduced, and an extension to the railway station is under construction.


Coventry has a population of 371,521 residents in mid-2019. It is the ninth largest city in England by population. The city has seen a sustained increase in its population over the past ten years. This is due to natural change (more births than deaths) and international migration. Indeed, in recent years, Coventry’s population is thought to have grown by 1.75%, putting the city in third place of all local authority areas, after Tower Hamlets and Barking and Dagenham. [1].

Just over one-fifth of Coventry’s population, or 79,765 (21.5%) are children and young people under the age of 18 years. This is slightly higher than the national (England) rate (21.4%) but lower than the regional (West Midlands) rate (21.9%) and the metro area (West Midlands Combined Authority) rate (23.8%). It is, however, higher than the sub-regional (Coventry and Warwickshire) rate (20.8%).

Of Coventry’s children and young people population, 22,757 are under-five; 28,844 are around primary school aged (ages 5-10); 20,684 are around secondary school aged (ages 11-15); and 7,480 are around sixth-form/college aged (ages 16-17).

In terms of the adult population, Coventry is home to 241,525 (65%) adults of prime working age (18-64), plus 50,231 people (13.5%) over the age of 65. This is partly because of the city’s high number of students – 32% of the city’s economically inactive population is explained by students (18,900 of 59,500), compared to a regional average of 28%.


Coventry is an ethnically diverse city, with around one-third (33%) of the population from minority ethnic groups [3] compared to 20% for England as a whole. The largest minority ethnic group are Asian/Asian British communities, making up 16.3% of the city’s population; including 8.8% with an Indian background. The next largest minority group are people with a White Other background, who make up 4.9% of the population. Coventry’s population with a Black African background has grown to 4%, which is now more than double the English average (1.8%). The largest numbers of new communities are from Polish, Nigerian, Somali, Cameroonian, Chinese and Roma communities.

The city’s population is expected to become more diverse: among schoolchildren, 48.7% of pupils are from ethnic backgrounds other than White British, including 9.3% Black African, 8.9% Asian Indian and 7.5% White Other. In addition, 50 first languages are spoken in Coventry schools by 50 or more children. The most common first languages spoken are English (67.1%), followed by Panjabi (3.9%); Polish (3.9%); Urdu (3.1%); Romanian (1.7%); and Bengali (1.6%) [4].


Coventry’s relative deprivation, as measured by the English indices of multiple deprivation (IMD) 2019 has generally improved compared to the previous release in 2015. According to the extent measure, which measures the proportion of the local authority district’s population living in the most deprived lower-layer super output areas (LSOA)[5] in the country, Coventry is ranked 81st out of 317 local authorities (with 1 being the most deprived), compared to 59th in 2015.

28 of the city’s 195 LSOAs are among the country’s 10% most deprived, that is, 14.4% of LSOAs compared to 10% across England overall (fewer neighbourhoods compared to 18.5% of LSOAs in 2015) [6].

Over one-third (37%) of Coventry children live in low-income families[7] (after housing costs) in 2017/18, according to figures from the Child Poverty Action Group published May 2019. [8]

This however masks significant differences between wards, for instance, 58% of children in Foleshill live in low-income families (after housing costs) compared to 18% in Wainbody.

Coventry’s life expectancy at birth is 82.4 years for females and 78.3 years for males. Life expectancy in Coventry is lower than the national average, but it is at the level expected given the city’s level of deprivation. However there remains a wide inequality gap: a man from the most deprived area can expect to die 11.1 years younger than one from the least deprived area; and for a woman, the difference is 9.5 years [9]. Premature mortality (deaths under the age of 75) is higher in Coventry because of higher rates of premature mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory disease. Compared to other places, the premature mortality rate amongst Coventry men due to cardiovascular disease is particularly high. 

[1] ONS 2016-based subnational population projections

[2] Nomis Labour Market Profile for Coventry, accessed 8 July 2019 

[3] Coventry people and race & ethnicity (equality factsheet 6), published January 2015; data from the 2011 Census (Table KS201EW).

[4] DfE School Census January 2017, published June 2017  (accessed via DataWatch, Coventry City Council).

[5] Lower-layer super output area, or LSOA, is a statistical area of approximately 1,700 residents used by the Office for National Statistics.

[6] English indices of multiple deprivation – Coventry summary reports.

[7] Children in low income families are families in receipt of out of work benefits or in receipt of in-work tax credits where their reported family income is less than 60 per cent of median income.

[8] Child Poverty Action Group May 2019 and Facts About Coventry – population and demographics – deprivation.

[9] Life expectancy at birth – Public Health England 'Fingertips' Facts About Coventry. Life expectancy inequality calculated using the difference between the MSOAs in Coventry with the lowest and highest life expectancy at birth.


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Coventry City Council
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