State of the County 2022

Focus on East Sussex

Version number 1

Publication date TBC 2022





Population. 3

Housing. 11

Deprivation. 17

Environment 19

Economy. 29

Civil Society. 42

Community Safety. 43

Schools 47

Children. 53

Health. 58

Adults 66

Data. 76




Age and sex

The population of East Sussex was estimated to be nearly 558,900 in mid-2020. East Sussex has a much older age profile compared to England and the South East. 26% of the county’s population is aged 65 or over, compared to 19% in England and 20% regionally. The median age of the county is 48.4, compared to the national average of 40.2.

Pyramid chart showing the age breakdown in East Sussex in 2010 and 2020

Source: ONS mid-year estimates, 2020

52% of the county’s population was estimated to be female and 48% male, similar to the national split. However, for those aged 65 and over it was estimated that 55% of the population was female and 45% male.

Gender identity

It is estimated that nationally around 1 per cent of the population might identify as trans or non-binary. For East Sussex this would be approximately 5,600 people.

Source: Stonewall


In the 2011 Census (2021 Census data has yet to be released) 60% of the population in East Sussex stated their religion was Christian. 0.8% of the population stated their religion was Islam, 0.4% Buddhism and 0.3% Hinduism. 30% of the population stated they had no religion.

Chart showing the stated religion of people in East Sussex in the 2011 Census, 60% Christian, 2.4% other religion, 29.6% no religion, 8.1% religion not stated

Source: 2011 Census

Marital status

The latest data for marital status is from the 2011 Census. 29.1% of respondents were single, 48.7% were married or in a civil partnership. 2.7% of respondents were separated from their partners, 10.7% were divorced or had been in a civil partnership which was dissolved. The remaining 8.7% of respondents were widowed.


The latest ethnicity data for the county is from the 2011 Census. At the time 91.7% of the county’s population identified as White British, compared to the regional average of 85.2% and the national average of 80.5%.

Chart showing the percentage of the East Sussex population from each ethnic group

Source: 2011 Census

We have more recent data on pupils in state funded schools in East Sussex. 14.3% of East Sussex pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds (January 2022), compared to 35.2% nationally (January 2021). There has been a 1.7% increase in the proportion of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds since 2014.

The percentage of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds varies across the county. 22% of pupils in Eastbourne are from minority ethnic backgrounds, in Wealden this figure is 9%.

Chart showing the percentage of Black and Minority Ethnic pupils in districts and boroughs in 2022 Eastbourne 22% Hastings 17% Lewes 13% Rother 13% Wealden 9%


We have little information on the languages spoken by people across East Sussex. However, we have some information on the first language of pupils in our state-maintained schools. 6.4% of pupils were recorded as having English as an additional language in the latest School Census. This is where the pupil has been exposed to a language other than English during early development and continues to be exposed to this language in the home or in the community.

Polish is the most recorded first language, other than English, across the county.

Chart showing the number of pupils in East Sussex with a first language other than English, by the most common responses. Polish 609 Arabic 253 Portuguese 238 Romanian 223 Russian 176

Source: School Census.


The 2011 Census is the latest comprehensive data we have on the number of people with a disability in the county. Our local projections suggest that by 2033 there will be over 119,000 people with a disability in East Sussex.

Protected characteristic:


East Sussex






Limiting long-term illness (LLTI) - 2011







Projected LLTI - 2019







Projected LLTI - 2033







Projected disability - 2019







Projected disability - 2033







Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP) (All claimants, February 2021)







Sources: LLTI data: 2011 Census; Disability and limited long-term illness projection: 2019 based East Sussex County Council Projections, DLA and PIP claimants: DWP StatXplore.

Pregnancy and maternity

The ONS births data provides an indication of the number of women in East Sussex who may be pregnant or on maternity.

Protected characteristic:

Pregnancy and maternity

East Sussex






Live births - 2020







Births per 1,000 females – 2020







Source: ONS

Population change

When the 2021 Census data is released we will have a better indication of how our population has changed over time, which we can use to inform our projections of future population growth. Based on the information currently available we estimate that around 563,200 people currently live in the county. We expect that to increase to around 581,300 people in 2026, an increase of just over 3%.

Our increase in population is driven by people moving into the county from elsewhere in the UK. Many of the people who choose to come to East Sussex are older adults, as a result the over 65 age group is growing faster than younger age groups. In 2026 we expect that just over half of our population will be aged 18-64, with over a quarter aged 65 and over.

Between 2022 and 2026 we are expecting that there will be around 19,000 births in the county and around 26,800 deaths. This reflects the fact that we have a larger population of older adults in East Sussex. Over the same period we are expecting around 133,600 people to move into the county, offset by around 107,700 people moving out of the county.

Overall these changes mean that compared to 2022, by 2026 there will be:

·         An increase of 0.2% (nearly 300 people) in the number of children and young people.

·         An increase of 1.5% (4,700 people) in the working age population.

·         8.7% more people aged 65 and over (13,200 people).

·         In East Sussex 4.3% of people will be aged 85+, a greater proportion than the England average of 2.5%. We currently have the highest percentage of people aged 85 and over of any local authority area in England, (ONS estimate 2020).

Projected population in 2026

Age Range

East Sussex














Chart showing the projected population growth in East Sussex between 2022 and 2026, broken down by age brackets. 0-17 up 0.2%, 18-64 up 1.5%, 65-84 up 8.8%, 85+ up 8.3%.

Age Range




















All people




Source: ESCC data, ESCC population projections (dwelling led) April 2022. National Data, ONS. All figures rounded to the nearest 100 and therefore may not sum.

District population change

We expect that how our population changes will be different in different parts of the county. By 2026 there will be:

·         an increase of 11% (700) more people aged 85+ in Wealden; the smallest increase will be in Eastbourne, 5% (200).

·         10% (4,000) more people aged 65-84 in Wealden, and 9% (1,500) more people in Hastings, Lewes will see a 7% (1,700) increase.

·         Wealden will also see the largest increase in the working age population (18-64), of 4.0% (3,600).

·         Eastbourne will see a 1% (400) fall in the working age population.

District population change 2022 - 2026

Chart showing the projected change in the population in each district and borough in East Sussex between 2022 and 2026

Source: East Sussex in Figures – Population projections by age and gender (dwelling-led) districts

Older people moving into and out of East Sussex 2016 – 2020

10,250 people aged 65+ moved into East Sussex from elsewhere in England between 2016 - 2020. 7,320 moved out of the county, making the net increase 2,930. The largest net inflow of people arrived from Kent, Brighton and Hove, Surrey and Croydon.

The largest net outflow of people aged 65+ was to Devon, with 90 more people moving there than coming to East Sussex; second was Gloucestershire with a total of 50.

The changes in population for this age group has an impact on our local economy as households of people aged 60+ have the highest average levels of disposable income, when compared to all other households.

The average life expectancy at 65 for people in East Sussex is a further 20.8 years.

Between 2016 – 2020 there was a net increase of 8,790 people of all ages moving into East Sussex; 3,350 aged 0-18; 2,520 aged 18-64; and 2,930 aged 65+. 5,500 of these people were from Brighton and Hove with more young people moving into East Sussex from Brighton and Hove than moving out

Please note, figures may not sum due to rounding.

Sources: ONS ‘Internal migration: detailed estimates by origin and destination local authorities


Housing affordability

East Sussex is an attractive area to live, however this means that house prices are higher than the national average. In 2021 in East Sussex the average (median) house price was £330,000, 10.7 times the average annual earnings of residents, which were £30,949. In comparison the average house price in England was £285,000, 9 times average annual earnings, which were £31,490.

The average ratio of median house prices to median earnings in East Sussex is higher than for England and continues to be similar to the South East average. The ratio of house prices to earnings rose sharply in 2021.

Chart showing the ratio of median house prices to median earning for England, the South East and East Sussex between 2010 and 2021. 2021 figures, England: 9.05, South East: 10.74, and East Sussex: 10.66
Source: ONS

Chart showing ratio of median house prices to median earnings 2021 by district and borough: Eastbourne 9.60 Hastings 10.21 Lewes 10.88 Rother 11.48 Wealden 11.97

The median average house prices were over 10 times the average annual earnings of residents in all East Sussex districts and boroughs except for Eastbourne where the ratio was 9.6.

Source: ONS

The same pattern can be seen when comparing the cost of some of the less expensive houses to the earnings of those on lower incomes. Lower quartile (25% least expensive) house prices were over 10 times lower quartile earnings in all districts and boroughs except Hastings where the ratio was 9.4.

Chart showing the ratio of lower quartile house prices to lower quartile earnings 2021 by district and borough: Eastbourne 10.41 Hastings 9.36 Lewes 11.49 Rother 11.13 Wealden 12.24

Source: ONS

Chart showing the percentage of housing which is rented by district and borough in 2011 Eastbourne 36.5% Hastings 43.3% Lewes 25.4% Rother 24.4% Wealden 18.8%

Rented housing is a significant sector in East Sussex, making up 18.8% of housing in Wealden and 43.3% in Hastings.

Source: Census 2011

Average rent for social rented housing in 2020/21 ranged from £80 to £104 per week. Private rented housing is significantly more expensive than social housing and the cost rose by up to 27% between 2017/18 to 2021/22. Average private rents range from £161 to £224 a week across districts.

Chart showing the median private rent per week by district and borough between 2017/18 and 2021/22 2021/22 rates: Eastbourne £190 Hastings £161 Lewes £224 Rother £190 Wealden £224

Source: ONS/Valuation Office Agency

Cost of living

Housing costs have a significant impact on the overall cost of living. Nationally 8 out of 10 adults reported an increase in their cost of living in March 2022, with an increase in the cost of food, utility bills and the cost of fuel were the most common reasons given (ONS Opinions and Lifestyle Survey).

This increase in the cost of living is affecting some groups disproportionately more than others, with older adults more likely to report an increase in their cost of living than younger adults. The ONS asked survey respondents whether they could afford an unexpected but necessary expense of £850. A third of adults on an income of £10,000 or less per year said they could not afford this, compared to 7% earning £50,000 or more per year.


Relative odds of not being able to afford an unexpected expense by income, compared to those earning £50,000 or more per year

Chart showing the relative odds of people not being able to afford an unexpected expense by their income

Households and housing delivery

The number of households in East Sussex is expected to grow from around 251,400 in 2022 to 262,000 in 2026 based on the latest data on planned housing growth, an increase of 4.2% (ESCC household projections by type, dwelling led). The number of households with children is expected to grow by 0.4%, from 58,500 to almost 58,800.

Chart showing the number of completed dwellings, with the number of these which were affordable, in East Sussex betweem 2015/16 and 2020/21. 2020/21 numbers: 1,259 dwellings completed, 290 of which were affordable

In 2020/21 1,549 new dwellings were completed, of these 290 (18.7%) were classed as affordable.

Source: ESCC Housing Monitoring Database, Lewes District Council housing monitoring system

In the past three years, a total of 5,055 homes have been delivered in East Sussex an equivalent of 1,685 per annum, which is below the target figures set by Government.

The Benefit Cap

The Benefit Cap is a limit on the total amount of benefit most people aged 16-64 can get, it is applied through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

Households in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit who were subject to the Benefit Cap, totalled 1,100 in November 2021, the majority of whom were single people with dependent children.

Chart showing the number of households subject to the Benefits Cap in November 2021 by district and borough Eastbourne: Single with child dependents 226, Couple with child dependents 42, Single no child dependents 14 Hastings: Single with child dependents 157, Couple with child dependents 50, Single no child dependents 5 Lewes: Single with child dependents 181, Couple with child dependents 34, Single no child dependents 48 Rother: Single with child dependents 100, Couple with child dependents 30 Wealden: Single with child dependents 172, Couple with child dependents 40, Single no child dependents 7
Source: Department for Works and Pensions

Where a family is considered intentionally homeless by a local housing authority (district or borough council) Children’s Social Care must ensure that a child is not destitute. This may require provision of temporary housing. These families cannot claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to help with their housing costs, so the full cost is met by the County Council. East Sussex Children’s Services spent £0.2m on such families in 2021/22.


The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2019 measures relative deprivation for small areas in England. It takes into account a number of factors including health, access to services, environment and housing, however income and employment have the greatest effect on the deprivation score given to an area. The map shows how deprived individual parts of the county are compared to the national average. Map of East Sussex showing LSOA deciles of deprivation


The IMD is calculated for small areas called LSOAs, as shown on the map, each of which have approximately 1,500 residents. In East Sussex there are 329 LSOAs, 22 are in the most deprived 10% nationally. 16 of these are in Hastings, four in Eastbourne, and two in Rother. 21 LSOAs are in the least deprived 10%, 13 are in Wealden, six in Lewes, and two in Eastbourne.

Chart showing correlation of greater deprivation with rented housing tenures

Areas of high deprivation correlate with some areas of predominately rented housing. This includes concentrations of social rented properties (up to 70%) and private rented properties (up to 68%), and both (up to 81%). Measures of deprivation include the indoor living environment, and in these areas, more properties (excluding social housing) may be in poor condition or without central heating, leading to higher heating costs and other negative outcomes.

People that are more deprived may produce higher demand for Council and other public services. People living in deprived LSOAs are more likely to have poorer health and/or a disability and lower skills. Deprived areas can also have higher rates of crime and drug misuse. However, it is important to note that the IMD is based on averages across an area, so it is possible to have people with low levels of deprivation in an area classified as being more deprived and vice versa.

The relationship between multiple deprivation, low income and poor-quality housing means it can be hard to change relative deprivation for people living in an area of predominantly low-cost housing without addressing housing quality.


The Cumulative CO2e emissions budget

Carbon dioxide (CO2e) emissions in East Sussex fell by about 34% between 2005 and 2019, while the population grew by about 8%. This excludes emissions that occur outside the area due to demand for goods and services that are consumed in the county. This reduction is similar to the national decrease, and driven by the same changes (e.g., the switch from coal to gas and renewables to generate electricity).

For East Sussex to contribute to keeping the increase in global average temperature below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels requires cutting emissions across the county by an average of about 13% per year, which roughly equates to halving total emissions every 5 years.

Chart showing the Recommended Carbon Budget for East Sussex

Source: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, 2022.

Emissions from domestic properties and transport are the greatest contributors to overall emissions across the county. There has been a decrease in domestic emissions over the last ten years.

Chart showing the CO2 emissions in East Sussex by sector between 2005 and 2019. 2019 figures: Transport 821.6 Domestic 805.8 Industry 239.3 Commercial 146.8 Public Sector 63.5

Source: BEIS 2021

East Sussex had the lowest emissions of carbon dioxide per person of any County Council area in England in 2018.

Chart showing CO2 emissions by sector in 2019 by district and borough

Source: BEIS 2021

The two urban areas in the county, Eastbourne and Hastings, have a higher percentage of domestic sector emissions and lower transport sector emissions than the three more rural areas, Lewes, Rother and Wealden, as they have a higher population density and lower levels of car ownership. This is also reflected in higher emissions per capita in the rural areas, because there are fewer transport options and therefore higher private car ownership, as well as many properties that are not on the gas grid.

Climate adaptation

Even if global warming can be limited to 1.5ºC significant additional investment will be needed in measures to adapt to the effects of climate change that are already locked in due to past emissions of greenhouse gases.

National risks from different levels of climate change

Chart showing the effects of global temperature rise on the UK 2 degree rise: Water Stress: 15% of water resource zones in deficit Heat Waves: More heat-related deaths Flood risk (river and coastal): 2.6m people Food security: Risks to production and supply chains 4 degree rise: Water stress: 25% Heat waves: Three-fold rise in deaths Flood risk (river and coastal): 3.3m Food security: 70% of agricultural land classes as 'poor'

Source: Met Office, 2020

UK Met Office predictions of the effects of climate change in East Sussex include hotter and drier summers, milder and wetter winters, more droughts, more flooding, and more intense and frequent storms. This is predicted to lead to an increase in heat-related deaths, particularly amongst the elderly, damage to essential infrastructure, increased cost of food, disruption to supply chains and service provision, greater coastal erosion, and impact on coastal habitats.

Water quality

Water pollution is mostly caused by land management practices (e.g., agricultural run-off), wastewater treatment plants, and urban and highway run-off. The quality of waterbodies in East Sussex has deteriorated slightly in recent years. The number of groundwater bodies in East Sussex rated as good reduced from three to two between 2016 and 2019. The quality of some ground waters, which provide about 70% of drinking water, have deteriorated due to rising nitrate levels, mostly due to historic farming practices.

Chart showing the overall ecological status of groundwater bodies in East Sussex, in 2019 two were good and four were poor

Source: Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs

The quality of bathing waters has also decreased in recent years. Data on monitored beaches shows that fewer were in excellent condition in 2021 compared to 2017.

Chart showing the condition of the ten monitored beaches in East Sussex, in 2021 four were excellent, five were good and one was sufficient

Source: Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs

Designated sites and reserves

East Sussex has a rich natural environment, with over two thirds of the county being covered by one or more environmental designations. The table shows how much of the county is covered by which type of designation.

Designated sites and reserves

% of East Sussex




Special Area of Conservation (SAC)


Special Protection Area (SPA)


Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)



National Nature Reserve (NNR)


National Park


Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)


Country Park


Local Geological Site (LGS)



Local Nature Reserve (LNR)


Local Wildlife Site (LWS)


Notable Road Verge


Environmental Stewardship Agreement


National Trust


Reserve/ Property

RSPB Reserve


Sussex Wildlife Trust Reserve


Woodland Trust



The key habitats in East Sussex are grassland, arable farmland and woodland.


% of East Sussex

Water bodies












Built up Areas and Gardens







Protected Areas

Over half of the county is designated for its landscape value, either as part of a National Park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are 65 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), covering about 8% of the county, which recognises and protects their biological and or geological value. About half of these SSSIs are additionally designated as being internationally important for biodiversity, either as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the Habitats Directive, a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the Birds Directive, or a Ramsar site (an internally important wetland site).

There are 26 Local Nature Reserves (LNRs), four National Nature Reserves (NNRs) – considered to be the “jewel in the crown” of SSSIs, and 285 Local Wildlife Sites (LWS).

About a third of the county supports priority habitats, which are identified as being of principal importance for conservation.


About three quarters of the SSSIs are in favourable or favourable recovering condition and the rest have either been partially destroyed or are in unfavourable condition.  About half of the LWS are currently known to be in positive conservation management.

Assets at Risk

Sussex Nature Partnership Natural Capital Investment Strategy 2019 identifies priority habitats as being at high risk, because they:

a)  Are not adequately protected under existing mechanisms.

b)  Are fragile or vulnerable and/or already highly fragmented.

c)  May be of particular significance in a Sussex context.

d)  Are irreplaceable or not easily recreated (either on-site or elsewhere) if destroyed.

The priority habitats are:

·         Lowland heath – particularly significant in East Sussex, notably at Ashdown Forest, due to small amounts present in the south of England, the fragmentation of the habitat type (especially outside Ashdown Forest) and provides a range of benefits, notably clean water.

·         Mudflats and saltmarsh – these habitats provide a range of benefits yet are under increasing pressure from climate change, development, and construction of hard sea defences. The national picture is one of medium risk, but the East Sussex context (with high levels of coastal squeeze) increases the risk to these habitats and the benefits they provide. There are small amounts at Newhaven Tide Mills, Cuckmere Estuary and Rye Harbour.

·         Vegetated shingle – a globally restricted and internationally important habitat, for which East Sussex is a stronghold in the UK, mostly at Rye Harbour.

·         Reedbed, fen and grazing marsh – small and highly fragmented areas remain in East Sussex, notably at Pevensey, yet they have the potential to provide a wide range of benefits, particularly flood risk mitigation in flood plains and provision of clean water.

·         Floodplain woodlands – a fragmentated habitat type which plays a very important role in floodplain function.

·         Species rich grassland – highly fragmented and those areas outside formal designated areas have little/no protection from further loss. These areas are a priority for loss to development.

Marine Conservation Zones

There are two Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) off East Sussex, with two other offshore sites under consideration. Designated under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, MCZs protect areas that are important to conserve the diversity of national rare, threatened, and representative habitats and species. These are Beachy Head West which stretches along coastline from Brighton Marina to Beachy Head, with a gap at Newhaven and Beachy Head East which contains two marine Sites of Nature Conservation Importance: the Royal Sovereign Shoals and the Horse of Willingdon Reef. This large inshore area runs to Hastings, out to just beyond six nautical miles from the coast at its furthest points.

Nature Recovery Network Mapping

The map below shows the fragmented state of the most important species rich S41 Habitats that are to be conserved under section 41 of the NERC Act.

Map showing the S41 habitats in East Sussex and that they are fragmented


Due to the impact of the pandemic on waste and recycling services and the need to adapt services to make them COVID-19 secure the recycling rate in East Sussex dropped from 43% to 42% during the pandemic. We also saw an increase in both the volume of recycling and general waste collected, this is thought to be due to changes to the working patterns of the population, with more people working from home.

Managing our waste

Work continues to increase rates of recycling and reuse across the County. Eastbourne Borough Council recently implemented fortnightly rubbish collections which saw recycling rates in the borough increase by 3%. More can be done as recycling materials still go into the rubbish bin, including paper and card, plastics, and garden waste. Recycling bins have just over 6% of waste that should not be there on average, and this can mean entire truckloads of potential recycling get rejected.

In 2020/21 East Sussex sent 1.3% of waste to landfill, fourth lowest amongst authorities who operate similar services as us. 42% of waste was recycled or reused, whilst 57% was sent for energy recovery. Our Energy Recovery Facility supplies power for over 25,000 homes.

Chart showing the waste disposal schemes in East Sussex in 2020/21, 41.5% recycled/reused, 57.2% used as energy from waste, and 1.3% to landfill

Source: East Sussex County Council Waste Team

89% of the waste produced in East Sussex is processed within the UK, with 11% exported. We ensure that any materials exported are done so properly and legally and are delivered to legitimate recycling facilities.


GVA per hour

Chart showing the GVA per hour between 2007 and 2019. 2019 rates: England £35.69 East Sussex £26.47

Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour is used to assess the productivity of an area. It measures the value of goods or services produced in an area per hour worked in that area. GVA per hour for East Sussex in 2019 was £26.47, 25.8% below the England level of £35.69.


Source: ONS


77.5% of the East Sussex working age population (age 16-64) were in employment between January – December 2021 (up from 76.9% in 2020). This was higher than the national average of 75.1% and in line with the average across the South East of 77.6%.

Chart showing the percentage working age in employment in East Sussex, in 2021 this was 77.5%

Chart showing the percentage of the working age population in employment in 2021 by district and borough Eastbourne 73.3% Hastings 75.8% Lewes 77.5% Rother 76.7% Wealden 81.6%
Wealden had the highest rate of employment, 81.6%, Eastbourne the lowest at 73.3%.

More people work part time in East Sussex than in the South East or England.

Chart showing the percentage of full and part time employees in 2020. England 68.1% full time, 31.9% part time South East 67.5% full time, 32.5% part time East Sussex 63.2% full time, 36.8% part time

Sources: Annual Population Survey/Labour Force Survey, NOMIS/ONS


Chart showing unemployment rates amongst people aged 16-64 in March 2022: Eastbourne 5.4% Hastings 6.5% Lewes 3.6% Rother 3.7% Wealden 2.5%

The unemployment rate for March 2022 was 4.1% for East Sussex, slightly lower than the national average of 4.2%, but above the regional average of 3.2%. Hastings had the highest rate of the districts and boroughs at 6.5%.

Source: Office for National Statistics/NOMIS - claimants of Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) or Universal Credit (UC) who are searching for work age 16 - 64

Youth unemployment (age 18-24) is normally higher than the overall rate and this trend is greater at time of economic stress. At March 2021 youth unemployment for East Sussex was 11.1%, whilst the England rate was 9.2%. Hastings had the highest district and borough rate at 15.1%. Rates fell for March 2022 to 6.2% for East Sussex, compared to 4.9% nationally. Youth unemployment in Hastings

Chart showing the unemployment rate for 18-24 year olds for March between 2018 and 2022. Rates in March 2022: England: 4.9% South East: 3.9% East Sussex: 6.2% Hastings: 9.2%

remained higher than the county average at 9.2%.

Chart showing the unemployment rate for female 18-24 year olds for March between 2018 and 2022. Rates in March 2022: England: 3.8% South East: 3.1% East Sussex: 4.9% Hastings: 7.0%

Within this female unemployment is usually lower than male unemployment. For example in March 2022 female youth unemployment for Hastings was 7.0%, male 11.4%.

Chart showing the unemployment rate for male 18-24 year olds for March between 2018 and 2022. Rates in March 2022: England: 5.9% South East: 4.6% East Sussex: 7.3% Hastings: 11.4%

More males are usually economically active meaning the unemployment rate results in relatively more unemployed males than the same rate for females. 600 young people were unemployed in Hastings in March 2022, 220 were female and 380 were male.

Source all: Office for National Statistics/NOMIS


Chart showing average median full time earning between 2011 and 2021 2021 rates: East Sussex residence £30,949 East Sussex workplace £27,090 South East workplace £32,810 England workplace £31,480

Residence based earnings are close to the England average workplace earnings for both full and part-time employees. However, for full-time employees in East Sussex, workplace earnings are lower than the rates in the South East and England. Residence based earnings are those of people living within East Sussex, some of whom have workplaces outside East Sussex; workplace earnings are those of people whose workplace is within East Sussex.

Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), Office for National StatisticsChart showing average median part time earning between 2011 and 2021 2021 rates: East Sussex residence £11,221 East Sussex workplace £10,896 South East workplace £11,412 England workplace £11,232

Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), Office for National Statistics.


Chart showing the number of apprenticeship starts in East Sussex between 2011 and 2021. 2020/21 figures: Intermediate apprenticeships 680 Advanced apprenticeships 1,190 Higher apprenticeships 780

There were 14,840 apprenticeship starts in East Sussex between 2016 and 2021 (Source: Department for Education).  Apprenticeship starts in East Sussex in 2020/21 were up 6% on the previous year.  Higher level apprenticeship starts in 2020/21 rose by 24%.


(Source: Department for Education further education data library, apprenticeships)

Qualification levels are lower in East Sussex compared to the regional and national averages. Rother and Wealden have a higher proportion of better qualified people compared with other districts in the county, but even here the proportion who have higher level qualifications are lower than the national average.


Qualifications of working age population 2021



Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4+





































East Sussex







SE region














Note: Survey data, confidence intervals apply e.g. up to +/- 5.4% for East Sussex, with potentially much larger confidence intervals for District and Borough areas. Therefore, care should be taken when reading these results. None: No academic or professional qualifications.  Other includes trade apprenticeships and all other qualifications.

Source: ONS Nomis Annual Population Survey: Qualifications of working age population, January-December 2021

Employment by industry

Across East Sussex as a whole the proportion of people employed in different industries is broadly similar to the national picture. We have a higher proportion of people employed in public administration, education and health and a lower proportion employed in admin and support services than the national average.

However employment by industry varies significantly across the county.

Chart showing the employment by industry for a number of sectors

Other includes: Arts, Entertainment and recreation; Other service activities; Agriculture, fishing, mining and utilities; Transportation and storage; Information and communication.

Source: Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) 2020. Rounded figures may not equal 100%

Nationally the number of vacancies for the period February to April 2022 rose to a new record high. In March the number of vacancies was higher than the number of unemployed people (ONS, Vacancies and jobs in the UK: May 2022). Significantly vacancy rates across the sectors remain higher than pre-pandemic levels, with the largest increase in accommodation and food.


There is a time lag in the production of business data, which means that the latest data we have about business survival rates relates to 2020. Over the period December 2019-December 2020 there were 2,595 business starts and 2,220 business closures. The East Sussex new business registration rate per 10,000 people increased by 1.6% between 2019 and 2020 to 55.9. The highest rate was in

Chart showing the new business rate per 10,000 population between 2013 and 2020. 2020 rates: East Sussex: 55.9 South East: 68.2 England: 70.4,hart showing the new business rate per 10,000 population between 2013 and 2020. 2020 rates: East Sussex: 442 South East: 504 England: 469

Eastbourne, 77.7, whilst the lowest was in Hastings, 40.5. for businesses

Source for both: ESCC East Sussex in Figures

Chart showing the number of business births minus deaths in East Sussex between 2014 and 2020. In 2020 the figure was 375

Source: ONS Business Demography data. NOMIS mid-year estimate population data.


The latest Department for Transport data from 2019 shows there was good access to services by car. However, accessing services by public transport or walking can be more challenging in rural areas.

Access to employment centres (100-499 jobs) within 30 minutes by public transport/walking.

Map showing the percentage of people across the county who have access to employment centres within 30 minutes by public transport or by walking

This table details the projects which will improve the infrastructure in East Sussex in the coming years.




Local Growth Fund

Other Funds






Infrastructure at business sites



Walking and cycling improvements



Developing EV infrastructure provision across the county



Broadband - Superfast coverage (>30 Mbps) 98% Ultrafast coverage (>100Mbps) 32%



Potential bus priority measures



Potential A259 Major Road Network Improvements



Exceat Bridge Levelling Up Fund



A27 improvements



Potential A27 offline solution



Lewes to Newhaven rail signalling improvements



A22 junction improvement package



Blackfriars road infrastructure



North Bexhill Access Road



Bexhill Enterprise Park North



Bexhill Enterprise Park Development



Eastbourne Town Centre Movement and Access Package (Terminus Road)



Eastbourne and South Wealden walking and cycling package



Hailsham, Polegate and Eastbourne Movement and Access Corridor



Devonshire Park - redevelopment to maximise conference and tourist markets



Bedfordwell Road - site preparation for housing development



Levelling Up Fund



Bexhill and Hastings Movement and Access Package



Potential HS1 rail extension (also to Bexhill and Eastbourne)



Town Deal



North Street Quarter



Newhaven Flood Defences



Newhaven Port Access Road



Newhaven Port - new border infrastructure



Future High Streets



Town Deal



Levelling Up Fund



Rye Harbour Nature Reserve Discovery Centre



Bus station improvements



Potential Movement and Access Corridor improvements


Demand for commercial units is strong, however, there is recognition that there is less new workspace being made available to meet that need across the county. As well as improvements in physical infrastructure there is also ongoing work to improve digital connectivity. Over 96% of East Sussex had access to superfast broadband in 2021. However, there were still some areas, particularly in rural parts of the county where coverage was lower.

Map showing the percentage of the county who had access to superfast broadband in 2021Source: Ofcom fixed broadband coverage data (2021) shown for LSOAs.

As more businesses and services use digital channels to engage with residents those people who are digitally excluded are likely to face increasing challenges. Access to broadband is one part of being able to access digital services. People also need to have the necessary skills and confidence to use digital services, as well as being able to afford the devices and data connections needed for these.

Map showing the Digital Exclusion Risk Index score across the county
A digital exclusion risk index has been developed by the Greater Manchester Office of Data Analytics that shows where people at higher risk of digital exclusion live. This index is based on a range of data including data on population, relative deprivation and broadband coverage. Areas where people have a higher risk of digital exclusion have a higher score, for East Sussex the areas with the highest risk of digital exclusion scores are in the south of the county. It should be noted that the index includes the proportion of population aged over 65 as one of the risk factors due to national research indicating lower digital skill levels in this age group. We have a large population of over 65s in East Sussex, many of whom will have strong digital skills.

Source: Digital Exclusion Risk Index (Greater Manchester Office of Data Analytics)

Civil Society

Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector work and responding to COVID-19

The VCSE sector across East Sussex continued to respond to the needs of people, families, and communities in 2021, providing services and support in line with government guidance, and collaborating between organisations and across sectors.

The Council worked with partners from both the VCSE and public sectors to ensure that one-off Government funding was made available to VCSE organisations to meet the continued needs of people in East Sussex. During 2021 over £2m was allocated to VCSE organisations across the county to enable them to meet the needs of people, families, and communities. As in the previous year we have seen the VCSE sector demonstrate great agility, the ability to work at pace, collaborate and work in partnership.

Map showing some of the organisations the Council has funded or supported during 2021, these include East Sussex Age UK, 3VA and Hastings Advice and Representation Centre amongst others
Some of the organisations the Council funded or supported during 2021

Source: ESCC VCSE Team.

Community Hubs

Community Hubs in each district and borough continued to bring together VCSE organisations and the public sector, providing services, signposting, establishing referral pathways, as well as delivering essential services and support. The Community Hubs have had contact with over 7,000 people in East Sussex since the start of the pandemic.

Source: ESCC VCSE Team.


Volunteering continued to be an essential part of the response to the pandemic, with both local and national recruitment programmes maintained to assist people in giving their time to organisations based in their community or area. The response from younger people giving their time to assist and support others increased over the year and partners agreeing that volunteering in the coming years needs to engage with younger people and create volunteering opportunities that enable younger people to continue volunteering. 196,000 adults, 46% of the population, volunteered at least once in the past year; with 115,000 volunteering at least once a month. These volunteers contribute an estimated 9.6m volunteer hours per annum, with a value of £110m.

Source: ‘The contribution and value of the VCSE sector in East Sussex’ Institute for Voluntary Action Research 2021.

Financial, Benefit and Debt Advice

The Council provided one-off grants to 11 VCSE organisations to assist people experiencing growing financial problems, including debt, in 2021.

Community Safety

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is a framework for identifying and referring potential victims of modern slavery and ensuring they receive the appropriate support. The number of people identified as potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking are small, however this remains an important issue.

Two adults and 10 minors (under the age of 18) who were potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking were referred by the Council through the National Referral Mechanism in 2021, compared to one adult and four minors in 2020.

The increase for minors is a national trend, ONS reported in the year ending 2021, that the number of referrals of children in the UK increased by 9% compared with the previous year from 5,028 to 5,468. It should be noted that trends in the data may not reflect underlying changes in prevalence and may be related to changes in awareness and identification of potential child victims.

Serious Violence

Serious Violence is one of the areas that is under increasing national scrutiny. We have an active focus on this through our partnership working, however rates of serious violence in East Sussex are low.

In the 12 months to December 2021, there were 373 Public Place Serious Violent Crimes in East Sussex. This was a reduction of -4.4% compared to the previous year (390).  The highest percentage decrease has been in Robbery (-23.9%). There has been an increase of +6.3% in Serious Violence with Injury and a slight increase in Knife Crime (+0.8%).

Serious Violent Crime in East Sussex:

Crime category



% Change

All Public Place Serious Violence




Serious Violence with Injury (Public Place)




Robbery (Public Place)




Knife Crime (ADR 160), (Public Place)




Source: Sussex Police Op Safety Power BI Report

Note: Crimes may be included within multiple categories, so individual categories will not add up to the total 'All Public Place Serious Violence', where duplicates have been removed

Drug and alcohol-related harm

The number of people in substance misuse treatment in the 12 months to the end of January 2022 increased by 5.5% to 2,353, compared to the 12 months to the end of January 2021.

Of these 28.4% were in treatment solely for alcohol use, broadly similar to the figure for the previous year (28.7%) and marginally lower than the national figure (29.0%). 46.2% of people were in treatment for opiate use, this appears be on a downward trend – down from 47.6% in the 12 months to the end of January 2021 and 51.7% in the 12 months to the end of January 2020.  There has been a notable increase of 25.9% between the number of people in treatment for alcohol and non-opiate use at the end of January 2021 and the end of January 2022.

Chart showing the number of adults in treatment for substance misuse for the rolling 12 months at the end of January, figures provided for 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22. 2021/22 figures: alcohol only 669, Non opiate and alcohol 379, Non opiate only 217, Opiate 1,088

Source: ESCC Adult Social Care Department

In the 12 months to the end of January 2022, the proportion of individuals in East Sussex successfully completing treatment and not re-presenting within six months is worse than national figures across all substance groups; 4.4% in East Sussex vs 5.0% nationally for opiates, 28.5% vs 34.7% for non-opiates, and 29.3% vs 36.8% for alcohol.

Between 1 April 2021 and 31 December 2021 there were 193 young people accessing treatment. The is an increase of 66.4% on the same period in 2020, which will be mainly attributable to the young people service moving from working with under 19s to under 21s.

MARAC cases

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC) are held to discuss high risk cases involving domestic violence and abuse, sexual violence and abuse, or stalking, harassment, and harmful practices. During 2021, nationally there was a 5% increase in conferences compared to 2020. In East Sussex there was a 7% increase for the Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden MARAC, and an 11% increase for Hastings and Rother MARAC. When comparing this data, it is important to note that Hastings and Rother MARAC saw a 3% decrease in referrals in 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, due to the impact of national lockdowns. The Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden MARAC saw a 2% increase in referrals in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

There were 2,641 referrals into the community domestic abuse service between January 2021 and the end of December 2021, with 4,468 referrals reported between January 2020 and December 2020. This significant decrease in referral figure is due to Victim Support now processing medium risk referrals, which has been in place with Change, Grow, Live, who deliver the community domestic abuse service, since 1 April 2021.

Chart showing the number of cases discussed at Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences each year between 2019/20 and 2021/22. 2021/22 numbers Hastings and Rother 462, Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden 643

Source: ESCC Adult Social Care Department

Neighbourhood Crime

Tackling neighbourhood crime is a national priority, in East Sussex crime levels are low.

East Sussex Neighbourhood Crimes



Actual Change

% Change






Vehicle Offences





Theft From Person










Neighbourhood Crimes





The Safer Streets definition of neighbourhood crime includes burglary, vehicle offences, theft from person, and robbery. The data is extracted from the Sussex Police Live Crime Database and are unofficial statistics. Values may differ to those published later by ONS.



Data on attainment for academic year 2020/21 is not available due to disruption caused by the pandemic. Attainment data will become available again from academic year 2021/22.

Early Years

Chart showing the percentage of two year olds who take up a place with an eligible early years provider East Sussex 84%, National 62%

East Sussex received 1,718 applications for a funded place for eligible 2-year-olds in the spring 2022 funding period. Of these, 264 children were not eligible to receive funding. 84% (1,223) of the remaining 1,454 eligible children have accessed a place with an early year’s provider, compared to the national average of 62%.

Raising the Participation Age (RPA)

93% of young people at academic age 16 (year 12) and 85% age 17 (year 13) are either participating in education, training, or employment with training, or are being supported to re-engage. The number of 16- and 17-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training has now reduced to below pre-COVID levels from 4.8% in March 2020 to 4.5% this year. We have also seen an increase in 16- and 17-year-olds entering apprenticeships this year, from 3.3% last year to 4.2%, but still not at pre-COVID levels of 5%.

Chart showing the percentage of young people at academic age 16 meeting the duty to participate, East Sussex 93%, South East 95.9%, England 95%

Chart showing the percentage of young people at academic age 17 meeting the duty to participate, East Sussex 85%, South East 89.6%, England 91%


National data on attendance is not available due to disruption caused by the pandemic. The latest available local data set, September 2021 to February 2022, saw a significant number of COVID-19 related absences:

School type

Persistent Absence (%)

Overall Absence (%)

East Sussex Primary Schools*



East Sussex Secondary Schools*



East Sussex Special Schools*



East Sussex schools overall*



*Please note that this local data is unverified and does not include eight schools as they do not use SIMS for recording attendance. Persistent absence is the number of pupils with attendance of 90% or lower, expressed as a percentage of pupils on the roll. Overall absence is the total number of sessions missed as a percentage of the total number of possible sessions available.

School places

Although our overall population of under 18s is expected to increase slightly over the period 2022-2026, the highest rate of growth is expected in those aged 0-3, with an expected fall in numbers of children aged 11-15.




% change 2022-2025



% change 2026-2030





























Source: ESCC population projections by age. April 2022, numbers rounded to 10

The total numbers of pupils in primary schools peaked in 2018/19 and are now in decline. As a result the temporary additional capacity in schools that was put in place to accommodate the peak will be removed, leading to a net reduction in capacity of 420 places, between 2021/22 and 2025/26.

Chart showing that there is an adequate number of primary school places planned to meet the projected number of primary pupils on the roll

Source: Pupil Forecasts 06.07.21 and Pupil Model 23.02.22.

In contrast secondary pupil numbers are expected to continue to increase and peak around 2024/25. 530 additional permanent places will be added between 2021/22 and 2027/28 to meet forecast demand in local areas.

Chart showing that there is an adequate number of secondary school places planned to meet the projected number of secondary pupils on the roll

Source: Pupil Forecasts 06.07.21 and Pupil Model 23.02.22.

Chart showing the Ofsted rating for secondary schools in 2020: East Sussex: Outstanding 10%, Good 82%, Requires Improvement 5%, Inadequate 3% National: Outstanding 16%, Good 72%, Requires Improvement 9%, Inadequate 3%,Chart showing the Ofsted rating for secondary schools in 2020: East Sussex: Outstanding 4%, Good 85%, Requires Improvement 8%, Inadequate 4% National: Outstanding 20%, Good 58%, Requires Improvement 15%, Inadequate 7%,Chart showing the Ofsted rating for special schools in 2020: East Sussex: Outstanding 54%, Good 38%, Requires Improvement 8% National: Outstanding 38%, Good 52%, Requires Improvement 5%, Inadequate 5%
State funded schools, percentage overall effectiveness Ofsted 2020


East Sussex pupils

22.2% of East Sussex pupils are known to be eligible for Free School Meals (January 2022) The latest England figure is 20.8% (January 2021).

Source: School Census.


Supporting Families

Our Supporting Families* programme (previously known as the Troubled Families programme) supports vulnerable families who are facing multiple challenges to achieve better outcomes. The key outcomes for the programme are:

·         Getting a good education

·         Good early years development

·         Improved mental and physical health

·         Promoting recovery and reducing harm from substance use

·         Improved family relationships

·         Children safe from abuse and exploitation

·         Crime prevention and tackling crime

·         Safe from domestic abuse

·         Secure housing

·         Financial stability

We receive payment from Government for each family that we help to achieve significant and sustained progress across each of the outcomes where they need support (note that prior to 2022 there were six outcomes). By the end of 2021/22, 6,038 families had received or were receiving support and 3,682 had achieved Payment by Results outcomes.

Chart showing that ESCC is meeting it's target for performance for the Supporting Families programme

Source: ESCC Children’s Services

Child Protection (CP) Plans

At the end of March 2021, the number of children with CP plans was 536, a rate of 50.3 per 10,000 children. This is above the expected rate benchmarked for child deprivation; the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI), and that of our three ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ statistical neighbours. It should be noted that the average for the three statistical neighbours is heavily influenced by the rates in one of the LAs which has slightly lower levels of child poverty than East Sussex.

This increase reflects the higher levels of demand and complexity seen over the past two years, due to the pandemic and our continued emphasises on enabling children to live safely at home where possible, resulting in relatively lower rates of looked after children.

Chart showing ESCC performance for the rate of children with a Child Protection Plan between 2012 and 2022

Source: ESCC Children’s Services

Looked After Children

At the end of March 2022, the number of LAC was 628, a rate of 50.9 per 10,000 children. Our active participation in the National Transfer Scheme has seen a rise in Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children, currently accounting for 9% of LAC within the county.

Our strategy of using Early Help, Child in Need and CP plans to help families to stay together has enabled us to have a rate of Looked After Children (LAC) which is below the expected rate benchmarked for child deprivation. Our rate is above that of our three ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ statistical neighbours. That rate is heavily influenced by the particularly low rate in one of those authorities (Essex), which is almost half our rate. Essex has slightly lower levels of child poverty than East Sussex, and also invests heavily in the Family Safeguarding model of child protection.

Chart showing ESCC performance for the rate of Looked After Children between 2012 and 2022

Source: ESCC Children’s Services

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

From 2018 to 2021, the number of requests for statutory assessments increased by 53% and the demand for specialist placements for children with SEND continue to grow. Over 40% of all children and young people aged 0-25 with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) in East Sussex are placed in special schools which is over 3% higher than the England average. 52.4% of all new EHCPs were placed in mainstream schools, compared to 66.9% nationally. Council funded high-cost placements at Independent and Non-Maintained Special Schools (INMSS) have increased significantly since 2015 and account for 8.8% of all EHCPs – greater than the England average of 6.1%. This means that the expenditure for placements in INMSS in East Sussex is significantly higher than national averages.

EHCPs of SEND maintained by the Council increased by 42% from 2010 (2,280) to 2022 (3,913). Most of the increase since 2015 has been in the Key Stage 5 and Post 19 groups. However, in 2021 the percentage of the population aged 0-25 with an EHCP in East Sussex was in line with the national average.

Numbers are currently forecast to rise to approximately 3,700 by 2022 and 4,000 by 2027. There has been a significant increase in the number of children with autism as a primary need. Numbers of children with autism have increased significantly since 2016 (by around 600 children to 2022) and this trend is set to continue. The overall number of children with SEND (but without an EHCP) has also risen to 12.8% (from 9.2% in 2016).

In response to the increased demand for specialist provision, the county opened two new special schools and one special alternative provision school; two more are due to open in September 2022. Additionally, four new specialist facilities in mainstream schools have been opened to support children with autism and specific learning difficulties in both primary and secondary schools.

Chart showing the number of young people with a Statement or EHC Plan broken down by school stage between 2008 and 2022

Note: Until Sep-14 a Statement of SEN could remain in place until the young person reached the age of 19. Since the SEND reforms were introduced from Sep-14 EHCPS can remain in place until the young person reaches the age of 25.

Source: ESCC Children’s Services


Health of people in the county

A person’s chance of enjoying good health and a longer life are influenced by the social and economic conditions in which they are born, grow, work, live and age. These conditions affect the way people look after their own health and use services throughout their life. The impact of social conditions can be seen in the continuing and striking gradient in health. That is, the poorer your circumstances the more likely you are to have poor health and wellbeing, spend more of your life with life-limiting illness, and die prematurely.

The population and communities within East Sussex have many strengths and assets, reflected in the generally high levels of health and wellbeing within the county. However, variation does exist, and not all communities or people benefit from the same advantages.

There are many aspects of health and wellbeing that can be measured. We have selected a few below to give an idea of some important ones. For example, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active is highly beneficial. It can reduce the risk of developing a wide range of diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, some cancers, heart disease, stroke, and liver disease. It is also associated with improved psychological and emotional health, better sleep and reduced musculoskeletal problems.

Chart showing the percentage of Adults overweight or obese 2019/20: Wealden 59% Rother 67% Lewes 60% Hastings 67% Eastbourne 63% East Sussex 63% England 63%

Source: Public Health Outcomes Framework

Hastings and Rother had the highest percentage of adults overweight or obese in East Sussex in 2019/20, at 67%. The lowest percentage in the county was in Wealden, 59%.

Chart showing the percentage of smokers 18+ in 2020: Wealden 6% Rother 17% Lewes 7% Hastings 16% Eastbourne 10% East Sussex 11% England 12%

Source: Public Health Outcomes Framework

Rother had the highest rate of smokers in East Sussex in 2020 at 17%. The lowest rate was in Wealden, 6%.

Chart showing the percentage of people with high blood pressure (hypertension) in 2020/21 East Sussex: diagnosed 17%, undiagnosed 9% England: diagnosed 14%, undiagnosed 7%

Source: Public Health Outcomes Framework

East Sussex had higher rates of high blood pressure (hypertension) than England in 2020/21, with 26% of people having either diagnosed or undiagnosed high blood pressure in the county, compared to 21% of people nationally.

Chart showing physical activity amongst adults 2019/20 in East Sussex. 69.4% do 150 or more mins per week, 19.7% do less than 30 mins per week

Source: Public Health Outcomes Framework

Almost 70% of people in East Sussex did 150 or more minutes of physical activity per week in 2019/20. Almost 20% did less than 30 minutes per week with the remaining 11% falling in between these categories.

Mental health

It is estimated that 1 in 6 people will have a mental health condition at any one time. The pandemic had a considerable impact on mental health, with increased rates of anxiety and depression linked to the lockdowns. Those reporting the highest levels of symptoms were the same groups more likely to report higher levels of symptoms pre-pandemic; women, younger adults, people with lower levels of educational attainment, people from lower-income households, people with pre-existing mental health conditions and people living alone (Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing surveillance report).

National data suggests that general wellbeing among children and young people began to improve after the lockdowns, however this is less clear for measures of mental ill health (DfE, State of the Nation report). This may be linked to the trend in increasing rates of children and young people with mental health disorders between 2017 and 2020.

Covid Vaccination rates

Chart showing the COVID-19 vaccination rates for people aged 12+ by district and borough

Vaccinating our communities against COVID-19 has been an important part of our pandemic response. The rates of people who are fully vaccinated are higher in all areas of the county than the national rate, which is 59.3%.


Chart showing the vaccination status by ethnic group in East Sussex

Rother has the highest percentage of people who have had a 3rd/booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, at 73.0%. The lowest rate of people who have had the 3rd/booster dose is in Hastings, at 61.0%.


Vaccination rates differ by ethnic group; however, it is important to remember that the size of the various groups in East Sussex are significantly different. The number of unvaccinated people in each group is included below to highlight this.

Ethnic Group

Number of people unvaccinated

Asian or Asian British




Black or Black British




Other Ethnic Groups




Not Stated


Life expectancy

Life expectancy at birth is an estimate of the average number of years that a person born can expect to live. For a particular area and time period, it is an estimate of the average number of years a new-born baby would survive if they experienced the age-specific mortality rates for that area and time period throughout their life.

Chart showing the life expectancy at birth in East Sussex and England between 2001 and 2020. 2018 - 2020 rates: Males East Sussex 80.09, Males England 79.40. Females East Sussex 84.1, Females England 83.1

Source: ONS

East Sussex has consistently had a higher life expectancy for both men and women than the national average. Life expectancy has generally increased gradually since the early 2000’s, however this increase has plateaued, or begun to reduce, in recent years.

Healthy life expectancy is an estimate of the number of years lived in ‘very good’ or ’good’ general health, based on how individuals perceive their general health. It is constructed in a similar way to overall life expectancy as explained above.

Chart showing healthy life expectancy at birth between 2010 and 2020. 2018 - 2020 rates Females East Sussex 63.3, Females England 63.9. Males East Sussex 63.1, Males England 63.1.

Source: ONS

Healthy life expectancy figures in East Sussex have fluctuated significantly in recent periods, this data comes from the general health question in the Annual Population Survey. This fluctuation is likely to be due to the small sample size of the survey, rather than actual changes in healthy life expectancy in the wider population.

There is a gap in life expectancy between the most and least deprived areas of East Sussex, the biggest causes of death associated with these gaps were circulatory diseases, cancers, and respiratory diseases. So, people in more deprived areas are dying from these causes, on average, at a younger age than in the least deprived areas.

Chart showing life expectancy at birth 2018 - 2020. Eastbourne males 78.9 females 83.6 Hastings males 78.0 females 81.8 Lewes males 80.5 females 84.8 Rother males 80.4 females 84.3 Wealden males 81.6 females 85.0 East Sussex males 80.1 females 84.1 England males 79.4 females 83.1

Source: ONS

Wealden has the highest levels of life expectancy at birth for both men and women in the county. The lowest levels are in Hastings.

Chart showing East Sussex life expectancy. Life expectancy in the least deprived quintile female 85.3 male 83.1 Life expectancy in the most deprived quintile female 81.6 male 76.5

Source: Office for Health Improvement and Disparities

Men in the most deprived quintile of East Sussex (20% most deprived areas) live, on average, 6.6 years less than men in the least deprived quintile (20% least deprived areas). For women, the gap is 3.7 years.


Population and health

Compared to 2022, by 2025 there will be 41,060 older people (age 65+) projected to have a limiting long-term illness whose day to day activities are limited a little (up 6.5%), 31,450 people’s day to day activities will be limited a lot (up 6.8%).

12,340 older people (65+) are projected to have dementia (up 7.2%) by 2025.

Chart showing the projected number of people aged 65+ with limiting long term illnesses in East Sussex between 2022 and 2025. 2025 projections: 31,450 limited a lot, 41,060 limited a little

Chart showing the projected number of people aged 65+ with dementia in East Sussex between 2022 and 2025. Project number in 2025, 12,340

Source: POPPI, Please note, data is only available until 2025.

Living with multiple long term health conditions poses a challenge for individuals, their unpaid carers, and the health and social care system. By 2028, around 20,000 more people in East Sussex will be living with two or more of these conditions, when compared with the needs of our population in 2018.

Chart showing the projected number of people with two or more long term health conditions in East Sussex in both 2018 and 2028.

Chart showing the long-term support needs met by admission to residential and nursing homes for people aged 65+ per 100,000 population between 2017/18 and 2020/21. 2020/21 figures: England 498.2, East Sussex 501.1

Source: NHS Digital Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework data ASCOF 2A2

Permanent admissions of older people (age 65+) increased in East Sussex in 2020/21.

Chart showing the long term support needs met by admissions to residential and nursing care homes for people aged 18-64, per 100,000 population between 2017/18 and 2020/21. 2020/21 figures: England 13.3, East Sussex 14.4

Source: NHS Digital Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework data ASCOF 2A1

Permanent admissions of working age people (18-64) to long term residential care increased in East Sussex in 2020/21 and were above the national rate. However, it should be noted that the national rate (both in terms of permanent admissions of working age adults and older people) decreased significantly. This significant change in national levels of permanent admissions may be due to changes in activity and processes across councils during the pandemic and it is possible that 2021/22 may see this decrease reverse.

Chart showing the percentage of older people 65+ still at home 91 days after discharge from hospital in England and East Sussex between 2013/14 and 2020/21. 2020/21 figures: England 79.1%, East Sussex 89.2%

Source: NHS Digital Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework ASCOF 2B1

Community care and promoting independence

The proportion of older people (age 65+) still at home 91 days after discharge from hospital into reablement/rehabilitation services increased in 2020/21 to 89.2% and remains significantly above the national figure of 79.1%.

89.0% of people who received short-term services during the 2020/21, required no ongoing support or support of a lower level; significantly above the national rate of 74.9%.

People receiving long term support

Chart showing the number of people receiving long term support in East Sussex between 2018/19 and 2021/22. 2021/22 figures: Older people 65+ 5,895; Working age people 18-64 3,194

Source: East Sussex SALT Return

The total number of clients receiving Long Term support has decreased by 2.2% in 2021/22 to 9,059.

Long Term Support encompasses any service or support which is provided with the intention of maintaining quality of life for an individual on an ongoing basis, and which has been allocated on the basis of eligibility criteria/policies (i.e. an assessment of need has taken place) and is subject to regular review.

Chart showing the gender of people receiving long term support in East Sussex by age band 18-64 female 46.4%, male 53.6% 65-84 female 58.9%, male 41.1% 85+ female 75.9%, male 24.1%

Source: East Sussex Health and Social Care Connect, data is a snapshot on 24/03/2022

Between the ages of 18 – 64 53.6% of people receiving long term support were male, compared to 46.4% female. Between the ages of 65 – 84 this changes with 58.9% of people receiving support recorded as female, and 41.1% male. Amongst the oldest age groups, those 85+, this gender split is more significant as 75.9% of clients were female, and 24.1% were male.

Chart showing the support reason for people receiving long term support in East Sussex broken down by age bracket

Source: East Sussex Health and Social Care Connect, data is a snapshot on 24/03/2022

The percentage of people receiving long term support due to Learning Disability Support and Mental Health Support reduces as you move up the age ranges, whilst the percentage of people needing support for Physical Support, Sensory Support and Support with Memory and Cognition increases

Chart showing the number of access contacts handled by Health and Social Care Connect between 2018/19 and 2021/22 2021/22 total was 76,022

Source: East Sussex Health and Social Care Connect

The Access team in Health and Social Care Connect (HSCC) handled 76,022 contacts in 2021/22, an increase of 1,463 (2%) compared to 2020/21.

The challenges faced by care homes during the pandemic have been significant and varied, including the challenge of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provision during the first wave; managing significant outbreaks of COVID-19 amongst residents and staff; and supporting residents, care staff and families through loss and bereavement. The impact of COVID-19 over the last two years has seen an increasing number of vacancies across the sector.

Chart showing the number of carers receiving support between 2016/17 and 2020/21. In 2020/21 the figure was 6,433

Source: East Sussex SALT Return

The total number of carers receiving support has decreased by 9.7% in 2020/21. This is due to decreased incoming contacts and re-focusing of work to support hospital discharges, home care closures and the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) population. Carers receive support including information, advice and signposting to support as well as other universal services.


Charlton showing the number of safeguarding concerns and queries received in East Sussex by month

Chart showing the outcome of safeguarding enquiries in East Sussex in 2021/22, fully achieved 53%, partially achieved 43%, not achieved 4%.

Chart showing the mental capacity for completed safeguarding enquiries in 2020/21 and 2021/22 in East Sussex. 2021/22 figures not known 1%, adult lacks capacity 26%, adult has capacity 73%.

There has been an increase in the percentage of safeguarding enquiries for adults who lack capacity between 2020/21 and 2021/22 (23% to 26%). Of the adults who lacked capacity, 98% were supported by an advocate.

96% of safeguarding enquiries resulted in the expressed outcomes being achieved or partially achieved in 2021/22.

Source for all: East Sussex Adult Social Care and Health


We use a wide range of data to help us understand the context for our plans and the impact we are having through our work and in partnership. A selection of this data is listed below. Years are financial (April-March) or academic (September-August) unless otherwise stated.

Key: CY – calendar year (January-December), NA – data not available.


2019/20 Outturn

2020/21 Outturn

2020/21 England

Annual gross full-time earnings, median average (residence based)




Percentage of working age population (16-64 year olds) in employment




People claiming unemployment benefits (JSA and Universal Credit) percentage of population 16-64 year olds at March




New business registration rate per 10,000 people over 16 (CY)

55.0 (2019)

55.9 (2020)

70.4 (2020)

Percentage of working age residents (16-64 year olds) with a level 4 or higher qualification (HNC, HND, degree etc.) (CY)

36.4% (2020)

34.9% (2021)

43.1% (2021)

Percentage of working age residents (16-64 year olds) with no qualifications or qualified only to NVQ1 (CY)

18.1% (2020)

20.2% (2021)

16.0% (2021)

Average Attainment 8 score per pupil state funded secondary schools (assessment/calculated grade)

45.2 2017/18

45.3 2018/19

46.8 2018/19

Average Progress 8 score for state funded secondary schools

-0.03 2017/18

-0.06 2018/19

-0.03 2018/19

Percentage of pupils who achieved a 9-5 pass in English and maths GCSEs (assessment/calculated grade)

41.4% 2017/18

41.7% 2018/19

43.4% 2018/19

Average point score (APS) per entry for level A levels (age 16-18)

31.32 2017/18

32.11 2018/19

32.87 2018/19

Attainment of A level students (age 16-18) average point score (APS) per entry, best 3

28.36 2017/18

30.00 2018/19

32.89 2018/19

Attainment of A level students (age 16-18) % achieving grades AAB or better at A level, of which at least two are in facilitation subjects

8.90% 2017/18

9.6% 2018/19

14.1% 2018/19

Rate per 10,000 (aged 0-17 population) of Looked After Children




Rate per 10,000 (aged 0-17 population) of children with a Child Protection Plan




Percentage of children who ceased to be looked after adopted during the year ending 31 March




Hospital admissions caused by unintentional and deliberate injuries in children aged 0-14 years, rate per 10,000 resident population




Percentage of children aged 4-5 years with excess weight (overweight or obese) LA by postcode of child

23.4% 2018/19

23.0% 2019/20

23.0% 2019/20

Percentage of children aged 10-11 years with excess weight (overweight or obese) LA by postcode of child

28.2% 2018/19

32.0% 2019/20

35.2% 2019/20

Percentage of adults (aged 18+) classified as overweight or obese

62.5% 2018/19

62.6% 2019/20

62.8% 2019/20

Proportion of people (65 and over) who were still at home 91 days after discharge from hospital




Long-term support needs of younger adults (aged 18-64) met by admission to residential and nursing care homes, per 100,000 population per year




Long-term support needs of older adults (aged 65 and over) met by admission to residential and nursing care homes, per 100,000 population per year




Proportion of older people aged 65 and over who received reablement services following discharge from hospital




The outcome of short-term services: sequel to service: proportion of people who received short-term services during the year, where no further request was made for ongoing support or support of a lower level




Emergency hospital admissions due to falls in people aged 65 and over per 100,000




Suicide rate per 100,000 of population, three-year average

13.5 (2017-19)

12.7 (2018-20)

10.4 (2018-20)

Number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads (CY)




New houses built, total completed / total affordable

1,842/ 468

1,549/ 290