Devon is the third largest county in England, covering 2,534 square miles. The county has over 750,000 residents, with a higher proportion of older people than the national average. It is also one of the most sparsely populated counties, with few large settlements and a dispersed rural population
The county has many strengths including an outstanding natural environment, a strong sense of community and low crime. Satisfaction with access to green spaces, the quality of social relationships and feeling safe and respected is high. The Exeter area is the powerhouse of a dynamic County economy which has sustained high levels of employment through the challenges of recent years. Supporting this are a high proportion of good and outstanding schools, good levels of educational attainment (particularly at Key Stage 2) and the world class research University of Exeter, a member of the Russell Group. These are some of the reasons that so many people choose to move to the county, with new towns such as Cranbrook in East Devon and Sherford in the South Hams helping to accommodate this growth. Overall the people of Devon enjoy good health and a high quality of life.
However we are aware that not everyone shares this experience and must focus our efforts on the people and communities for whom life is more difficult. An older population profile than England, high inward migration of older adults and a growing number of people with long-term conditions means that demand for health and care services is high. There is a high net inward movement of Looked After Children and Special Educational Needs due to the strong presence of the independent sector in the county. Wages and productivity are low in some areas and there are some health inequalities including variations in overall life expectancy. High housing costs mean that levels of homelessness and fuel poverty in Devon are higher than similar local authorities,
The Joint Strategic Health and Needs Assessment website is a comprehensive resource which includes a series of community health and wellbeing profiles and thematic annual Public Health Reports.
“Devonomics” provides a range of information about the economy, employment and skills.
Natural Devon’s State of the Environment Report describes the condition of our environment, how patterns of land use and landscape are changing, what’s happening to wildlife habitats, air, water and soils and the difference that a growing population and climate change will make.