Table of contents

Key messages

Summary :: Our people and place :: Key messages

• The population of Medway was estimated to be 278,556 in the 2019 mid-year estimates (Office for National Statistics), a 5.5% 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 2,300 Medway residents die each year (2,266 deaths registered in 2019)[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 85.7, and lowest in Chatham Central at 77.3 years (2015 to 2019).[3]
• In every ward life expectancy is greater in females than it is in males.
• There were 3,330 live births in Medway in 2019[4].
• In 2019 the rate of live births to women aged 15-44 was higher than South East region and England averages[5].
• The GFR varies considerably between the wards, ranging from around 48 in Watling to 77 in Luton and Wayfield (using data from 2017 to 2019). 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. Natural growth remains Medway’s main source of growth, however significant outward migration from Medway has reduced the overall level of growth in recent years.[6]
• 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%.
• Overall, the number of businesses in Medway has grown since 2011, although there has been a slight decrease of 0.2% in Enterprises in 2018 (8,410) compared to 2017 (8,425). Over a five year period, since 2013, Enterprises have grown by 29.8%. This increase exceeds that of the South East (19.0%) and Great Britain (23.6%) and the majority of businesses in Medway are Micro (0-9 employees).
• Medway has a lower job density than the rest of the South East, Great Britain and the Kent NUTS 3 regions, meaning that there are fewer jobs per person available. With Medway's population set to increase by 15% by 2035, more job opportunities will need to be provided to prevent unemployment levels from rising.
• The average weekly earnings of those working in Medway are lower than the average weekly earnings for South East and Great Britain. This means that Medway residents may look to work outside of Medway in order to seek better wages and could discourage people living outside of Medway coming to the local authority to work.[7]
• From 2019 to 2029 the number of people aged 65 and above is estimated to increase by 16% to 51,900[8].
• Over the same period, the number of people over 85 years is expected to increase by 25% to 6,400[8].
• From 2020 to 2030 the number of people over 65 years with a limiting long-term illness, whose day-to-day activities are limited a lot, is projected to increase by 20%.[9]


[1]   Office for National Statistics. Mid-2018 population estimate []
[2]   Office for National Statistics. Death registrations summary tables - England and Wales []
[3]   Public Health Intelligence Team, Medway Council. Primary Care Mortality Database analysis.
[4]   Office for National Statistics. (2019). Birth summary tables in England and Wales: 2018 []
[5]   NOMIS. (2019). Live births in England and Wales: birth rates down to local authority areas []
[6]   Regeneration, Culture, Environment and Transformation. Migration 2018
[7]   NOMIS official labour market statistics. (2019). Jobseeker's Allowance with rates and proportions.
[8]   Office for National Statistics. Population projections for local authorities: Table 2 []
[9]   Institute of Public Care and Oxford Brookes University. Projecting Older People Population Information System []