Table of contents

Key messages

Summary :: Our people and place :: Key messages

• The population of Medway was estimated to be 277,616 in the 2017 mid-year estimates (Office for National Statistics), a 5.2% increase from that measured during the 2011 Census[1].
• There is much variation between the Medway wards in terms of population density, deprivation, and death rates.
• Approximately 2,150 Medway residents die each year (2,197 deaths registered in 2017)[2].
• The all-age, all-cause mortality rate is significantly higher in Medway than in both England and the South East.
• Life expectancy at birth is highest in Cuxton and Halling at 85.2 years, and lowest in Chatham Central at 77.8 years (2012-2016).
• In every ward life expectancy is greater in females than it is in males.
• There were 3,657 live births in Medway in 2016[3].
• In 2016 the rate of live births to women aged 15-44 was higher than South East region and England averages.
• The general fertility rate varies considerably between wards, ranging from 52 in Watling to 78 in Luton and Wayfield. Areas with higher GFR will need more children services and interventions to ensure that children have a healthy start in life.
• Teenage pregnancy rates are higher in Medway than in the South East and in England overall; both for under 18 and under 16 year olds.
• Migration to Medway has dropped since peaking around 2011/12. For the first time in six years Medway saw an outward flow in internal migration (within UK), while international migration to Medway remained constant in 2016.
• The percentage of pupils at the end of Key stage 4 achieving 5 plus A* to C grades, including English and Maths GCSEs, in Medway increased from 57.8% in 2014/15 to 60.0% in 2015/16. Medway remains above the national average of 53.5%.
• The median gross annual pay of a full-time employee in Medway in 2016 was £29,503. This is above the national level (England £28,503), but below the median income in the South East (£30,752).
• Some of the most income deprived neighbourhoods in Medway are in Gillingham North, and Luton and Wayfield.
• As at August 2017 the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) was 2,336, a decrease of 14% compared to 12 months previously. Nationally the claimant count has decreased by 13% and regionally 8%.
• Medway's claimant rate is 1.3%, 6th highest out of the 67 local authorities in the South East. The proportion of JSA claimants is higher than in the South East (0.7%) and England (1.1%). The proportion of JSA claimants has reduced in Medway since August 2016; this pattern is also evident in the South East and England (from 1.5%, 0.8% and 1.2% respectively).
• From 2016 to 2026 the number of people aged 65 and above is estimated to increase by 25% to 54,500.
• Over the same period, the number of people over 85 years is expected to increase by 42% to 7,100.
• From 2017 to 2025 the number of people over 65 years with a limiting long-term illness is projected to increase by 23%.


[1]   Office for National Statistics. Mid-2017 population estimate
[2]   Office for National Statistics. Death registrations in England and Wales, summary tables: 2017 2018;
[3]   Office for National Statistics. Birth summary tables in England and Wales: 2016 2017;