The State of Sheffield 2014 sets out the challenges and opportunities facing our city and how it is responding to them, asking important questions about living, working and wellbeing in Sheffield. The report shows that although Sheffield is dealing with a number of adverse impacts, not least those of austerity and the current national economic climate, it remains resilient in the face of these and is still a city of choice for those who live there.
The population of the city has grown over the last 10 years; in particular there have been increases in younger and older people, and it is more diverse in its ethnic groups and communities. This is due to a combination of the impact of the universities in the city and inward migration of households with young families. The ethnic minority population of the city is now 19%, more than double that in 2001.
The economic performance of Sheffield and the Sheffield City region remains a mixed story. Sheffield does not appear to have suffered or experienced more problems than comparable cities and the unemployment claimant rate in the city has declined over the last 10 months in line with national trends. Sheffield remains ‘in the pack’, rather than lagging behind like some northern cities. However, levels of youth unemployment, particularly long term youth unemployment, remain far too high.
People are living longer in Sheffield and the overall health of the city’s population is improving. However inequalities remain: areas of concern include infant mortality rates, unhealthy lifestyles, dementia and poor mental health (particularly amongst the city’s children and young people), in addition to persistent geographical inequality. Health represents a complex set of conditions that are inherently linked to social and economic conditions, with different parts of the city and different communities experiencing a variety of root causes.
In terms of future trends, many of those already in difficulty will potentially face even more extreme hardship and additional groups currently on the margins of poverty and new groups of households who may have been financially secure previously could have new challenges to face.
This year’s report, as well as presenting data about the changing landscapes of the city, has also been able to tap into the views of a variety of Sheffield residents. There are common threads in their stories of life in the city that highlight the experiences of living, working and wellbeing in the city. Generally Sheffield is regarded as a place that offers tolerance, a variety of experiences and is still very much a city of choice for people to come and live.
The extent to which Sheffield remains a city of residential choice, provides a sustainable environment for all, and is a city in which people can achieve and fulfil their ambitions will be themes to which next year’s State of Sheffield will need to return.
To read the report in full, download it below. And you can read the thoughts of our Director, Sharon Squires on our blog.
The full State of Sheffield 2014 report.