West Lothian: A Demographic Profile and Key Populations in Need

West Lothian is a county in Scotland with a population of around 180,000 people. In this blog post, we will discuss the key statistical and demographic trends and needs in West Lothian, as well as the value of this data for your organization.

Demographic Profile

West Lothian has a young population, with 2% more young people and 2% less people of retirement age compared to the national average. The main employment sectors in the area are the retail industry, health, and construction, with 19% of people working for the public sector and 79% working for the private sector. However, unemployment rates are high among young people aged 18-24, with 4.6% receiving unemployment benefits, above the national average of 4.1%.

West Lothian has lower job density than other areas, resulting in a higher need to commute. However, the area offers more affordable housing than other parts of Scotland, with 18% of housing rented from the Council and 9% from Housing Associations and Social landlords. In addition, plans have been put in place to build 2,800 new council houses over the next decade. The majority of dwellings in West Lothian are in Council Tax Bands A and B, with 53% of dwellings falling into these categories.

Housing conditions are generally good in West Lothian, with low housing deprivation and only 4% of areas locally in the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland. None of the areas in West Lothian are in the most deprived 10%. Furthermore, only 1% of dwellings lack central heating, and 7% of dwellings are overcrowded, both of which are below the national average. The average energy rating is also 2 SAP points above the national average.

Key Populations in Need

Despite the generally positive demographic profile of West Lothian, there are still key populations in need within the area. For instance, 19% of people in West Lothian have a limiting long-term illness, with 15% of them aged 16-64 years old. In addition, 1,500 people are full-time carers for a disabled person. The area also has a relatively high number of pensioners, with 31,000 people aged over 65 years old.

There are also low-income families in the area, with 6,500 children living in families in relative low income, and 5,350 children living in families with absolute low income. Of these families, 50% are lone parent families, and 41% are out of work families.

Accessing Further Data for Your Organisation

The data presented in this blog post comes from a request from members of WLSEN, the West Lothian Social Enterprise Network. You can use this data in multiple ways, such as developing new programs, identifying priorities, and supporting funding applications.

If you would like to access further data, we recommend checking out the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, Census 2011 data, and Community Insights Scotland. However, please note that Community Insights Scotland is not a free resource.

In conclusion, West Lothian has a young population and a thriving private sector, but also has key populations in need, such as those with long-term illnesses, pensioners, and low-income families. By utilizing the data presented in this blog post, you can develop new programs and identify priorities to support these populations and make a positive impact in West Lothian.

Finally, a big thank you to Mathilde Roze from Community Enterprise for her support in gathering this demographic data.