Wokingham: Compared to the Rest of England

Though the Wokingham area (as a unitary authority) has a population density of over 125,000 people, the town itself is home to just 30,000 people. A small market town nestled between Reading, Bracknell, Windsor and Camberley, Wokingham consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the UK. Good schools, excellent transport links and comparably low house prices for the south of England, Wokingham is a sought-after location for families, professional people and retirees.

As one of the towns in our area, we thought it might be fun to look at how Wokingham compares to the rest of the UK when it comes to those all important factors when choosing somewhere to live.

Stats on the Wokingham Area

Deprivation

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the IMD Deprivation Score for Wokingham is 5.7; the lowest in the country. The score uses several indices to produce an overall score and includes information taken from:

  • Income
  • Employment
  • Education, Skills and Training
  • Health and Disability
  • Crime
  • Barriers to Social Housing and Services
  • Living Environment

The data is also calculated in proportion to the effects of income deprivation on children and older people.

The local areas of Bracknell (10.5), West Berkshire (10.2) and Reading (19.3) all fall under the average score calculated for England (21.8).

Education

For the period 2015/16, 70.9% of GCSE students in the Wokingham area achieved 5 (or more) A*-C grades which ranked the area 3rd in England just behind Kingston upon Thames (74.6%) and Richmond upon Thames (73.4%).

wokingham area good schools

The Wokingham area has a reputation for excellent schools and students can expect great results. Image via Pixabay.

Crime

Reported cases of violent crime in Wokingham were recorded at a rate of 7.2 incidents per 1000 households for the period 2015/16. This placed Wokingham as the second lowest area behind Rutland at 6.7 cases per 1000 households.

Employment

Long term unemployment in Wokingham is the second lowest in the country at 0.8 cases per 1000 people of working age (just behind Oxfordshire with 0.7 cases).

Health

According to the 2011 census, 54% of residents in Wokingham rate their overall health as Very Good (compared to 47% nationally) with more recent data from the ONS showing us exactly why.

  • 8.8% of residents in Wokingham are smokers which is the second lowest in England and way below the national average of 15.5%
  • The rate of smoking in pregnant mothers in the Wokingham area is 4.8% and places the area at 14th in the national league table.
  • The rate of teenage pregnancy in Wokingham 8.1 females (aged 15-17) per 1000 and is far lower than the national average of 20.8 and the regional average of 17.1. This places Wokingham 3rd lowest in England with Bracknell Forest being 2nd.

It’s not all good news though and Wokingham doesn’t perform as well in a few areas including obesity.

  • The prevalence of obesity in children (by Year 6) in Wokingham is 14.6% which is lower than the national average of 19.8% but still high.
  • 63.3% of adults in Wokingham are also classified as obese and is broadly average for England (64.8%).
wokingham area health stats

Obesity levels are high in Wokingham for both children and adults. Image via Pixabay.

The average life expectancy for Wokingham’s residents is high at 81.6 (male) and 84.8 (female). The best performing authorities in England record ages of 83.4 and 86.4 respectively placing Wokingham in 9th and 12th position.

However, infant mortality rates are high with 3.9 cases per 1000 cases of live births. Whilst this is equivalent to the average in England, it is twice as high as the lowest rate of 2.0.

Suicide rates are one of the lowest in the country at just 6 cases per 100,000 people and is only behind Central Bedfordshire on the national index.

Social Indices

Statutory Homelessness is an indicator of people in priority need and is measured in cases per 1000 households. In Wokingham, the rate is measure at 0.6 which is lower than the regional average of 0.8 and significantly lower than the worst affected areas which measure 8.9 cases of homelessness per 1000 households.

The percentage of children in low income families in the Wokingham area is 7% which is the lowest in England. The average for the region is 14.7% with the rest of England being 20.1%; the worst performing authority has 39.2% of children under the age of 16 living in a low income family.

Broadband

Though the UK average broadband speed of 16.5mbps is falling well short in the global rankings (31st as of August 2017), much of the Wokingham area enjoys access to super-fast broadband with speeds of up to 300mbps.

broadband speed wokingham

Wokingham has some of the highest broadband speeds in the country. Image via Pixabay.

In Urban locations, three in four properties receive broadband speeds of 10mbps or above whereas in the country, 67% of ISP’s fail to reach these speeds.

Fortunately, most of the surrounding area also enjoys access to the same speeds.

Bizarrely, the worst performing areas in terms of broadband speed in the UK are in London and include Westminster, Lambeth and the City of London; the reason appears to be density rather than simply one of technology.

And the best?

Tamworth in the West Midlands, Adur in West Sussex and our own Reading.

Recycling

Here is where the local area is falling down nationally and we should hang our heads in shame. For the period 2015/2016, Wokingham was ranked 243 out of 351 authorities with just 38.0% of our household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting.

When it comes to the golden boys of the UK, South Oxfordshire District Council can take pride in first place with a 66.6% recycling rate (West Oxfordshire comes in 6th and Oxfordshire comes 16th).

Wokingham’s closest neighbours performed as follows:

Rank Authority Recycling Rate
60 West Berkshire District Council 51.8%
120 Windsor & Maidenhead Borough Council 46.7%
244 Bracknell Forest Borough Council 38.0%
296 Reading Borough Council 32.1%
327 Slough Borough Council 26.8%
329 Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council 26.3%

If you are interested, the worst performing authority was the London Borough of Newham with a recycling rate of just 14.7%.

wokingham area stats recycling

Could do better! Wokingham sends 62% of its waste straight to landfill. Image via Pixabay.

Property Prices

The average house price for the Wokingham area for July 2017 was recorded £411,964 which is 14.98% higher than the national average of £358,307.

The average for the area breaks down as follows:

Area Detached House Semi-Detached House Terraced House
Bracknell £644,707 £388,873 £300,501
Reading £608,666 £379,032 £302,250
West Berkshire £562,596 £340,240 £274,474
Wokingham £628,971 £389,104 £306,015

If you are considering the Wokingham area as a location for your next property move, either to buy or to rent, then we can help you find your perfect home. Property Assistant is a family-run estate agency providing clients with independent advice tailored to your needs, not ours.

We’d welcome the opportunity of discussing any property matter with you so why not give us a call on 0118 912 2370.

You might also find our area guide on Wokingham useful.

Data for this report has been compiled using information from Public Health England, the Office of National Statistics, Ofcom and Let’s Recycle.