Southend by the Numbers

For trivia buffs, here's a rundown of interesting numerical factoids about Southend.

In terms of land area, Southend is the 314th biggest district of England, with 41.76 sq kms. With a population of 159,300 people, it is the 100th most heavily populated English district. The city has a density of 3,815 sq kms.

Based on the 2001 census, Southend has a young population. About one-fourth of the total population belong to the 25-29 year old (13%) and 20-24 year old (12%) age brackets. That's followed by the 40-44 year old and 30-34 year old age brackets, with 10% of the population each. The two least populated age groups are the ones at the other end of the spectrum -- the 85 and up age bracket (4%) and 80-84 age bracket (6%). The census indicates that there has been a shift towards a slightly younger population in Southend in 2001 compared to 1991.

In terms of ethnicity, Southend is a predominantly white district, with the vast majority of residents (95.8%) being Caucasian. This is followed by 1.7% South Asians. The remainder of Southend's population consists mainly of Blacks of African or Caribbean descent.

Southend is divided into 17 wards, with each ward having three councillors for a total of 51 councillors in all, each one serving a four-year term. These councillors are chosen by thirds, which means that voters elect a third of the council each year, followed by one year without election. After the 2007 local elections, council affiliations were broken downs as follows: Conservative Party with 30 councillors, Liberal Democrats with 10 councillors, Labour Party with seven councillors and Independents with four councillors. An executive cabinet, with 10 members, decides on most of the day to day decisions of the council.

Southend has one sister city. It is twinned with Sopot, a resort town in Poland. There are significant reasons for this twinning. For one thing, Southend has the longest iron pleasure pier in the world while
Sopot has the longest wooden pier in Europe.

In terms of the economy, a study by the Office for National Statistics shows that Southend has experienced steady growth in the last decade or so. Southend's regional gross value added rose steadily from 1,373 million British pounds in 1995 to 1,821 million British pounds in 2000 and, finally, to 2,083 million British pounds in 2003. Services constitute the most dominant sector of the Southend economy with 1,066 million British pounds in 1995, 1,445 million British pounds in 2000 and 1,665 million British pounds in 2003. The Industry sector, which includes financial intermediation services, contributed to the Southend economy 305 million British pounds in 1995, 375 million British pounds in 2000 and 418 million British pounds in 2003. The study also showed a significant de-emphasis on Agriculture in the last 12 years. Agriculture, which includes hunting and forestry, contributed to the Southend economy two million British pounds in 1995, one million British pounds in 2000 and less than one million British pounds in 2003.

When it comes to transportation, Southend is well served by modern modes of transport. The city has one airport (the Southend Airport), two railway lines (the Liverpool Street line via Southend Victoria and the Fenchurch street line via London, Tillbury and Southend, two main roads (the A127 and the A13) and two main bus companies (Arriva Southend and First Essex Buses).

Education is another fine source of trivia in Southend. For instance, did you know that Southend is one of the few remaining areas which still operate the grammar school system? In fact, Southend lists four secondary schools of this type -- Westcliff High School for Boys,  Westcliff High School for Girls, Southend High School for Boys and Southend High School for Girls. Moreover, Southend also has two single-sex secondary schools -- St Thomas More High School for Boys and St Bernard's High School for Girls. Aside from these, Southend also has six mainstream secondary schools with a mixed-sex students. These are Cecil Jones College, Shoeburyness High School, Chase High School (formerly Prittlewell High School) and Thorpe Bay High School (soon to be called Futures College). Meanwhile, South East Essex College ranks as number one in Southend in providing further education. Matriculated by the University of Essex, this college has more than 30 degree courses.

In terms of recreation and entertainment, the pier and seafront has more than a dozen attractions and amusement parks. Peter Pan's playground ranks as the largest amusement park, with over 50 different types of rides. In addition, the area is also host to the biggest free airshow in Europe, the Southend Airshow, which takes place during the second May Bank Holiday weekend. It features a wide array of different aeroplanes as well as acrobatics displays, sea rescues and fireworks. You won’t even have to worry about going hungry as dozens of stalls and eateries are open at the seafront at this time. The weekend’s main event is the aerial exhibition of the Red Arrows, the RAF’s elite aerobatic team, which never fails to wow everyone in the audience, both young and old alike. 

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