Courtesy of Watford Borough Council’s Performance Plan 2007-2012, we are able to present the current latest key demographic data relating to the town of Watford.
The borough of Watford is located in west Hertfordshire and is the most diverse as well as
liveliest district in the county. As the only free standing town within the M25, it is the centre of a sub region, serving around 500,000 people who live within 20 minutes travelling time.
The borough is predominantly urban with pockets of open spaces in the Gade and Colne valleys and Cassiobury Park. There is limited land available for development, which means that pressures on existing buildings and land uses can be high. It is a compact borough with 79,300 people living in an area of just 21 square kilometres. With around 3,770 people per square kilometre we are the most densely populated district in the country (only 12 cities and towns in England are more densely populated). In comparison the Eastern region average is just 284 people per square kilometre.
The town enjoys excellent transport links and is the fifth best connected district in the country. This is a reflection of our proximity to the M25 and M1, rail connections and easy access to airports.
Our strong connectivity means we are a net importer of labour with over 58% of jobs taken by non residents (well over the national average), while 50% of local residents work elsewhere (compared to 39.62% nationally). As a result there are high levels of traffic congestion – the borough is 14th nationally on this measure.
Watford’s population is diverse – we rank 44th out of 408 districts in Britain for ethnic diversity, with just under 21% of our residents classifying themselves as an ethnic group other than White British compared with 12.5% nationally and a Hertfordshire average of 11.2%. 14.1% of the population are classified as non-white compared to 8.1% nationally. This is also higher than the county and regional figures of 6.3% and 4.8% respectively. The four largest groups other than White British are Pakistani (4.7%), other white (3.9%), Irish (2.9%) and Indian (2.4%).
We have a young population with an average age of 36.7 years and our demographic profile is heavily skewed towards the 0-14 and 25-44 age groups, with a lower than average proportion of residents aged 15-24. The proportion of the population of retirement age is also below the regional and national averages.