Waveney District Council

Economic statistics and data

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An overview of Waveney

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Physical Profile

Waveney is the most easterly district in Britain situated in north-east Suffolk and within the East of England region. Waveney is relatively remote from the rest of Britain but has the advantage of being close to mainland Europe accessible by the two seaport harbours at Lowestoft and neighbouring Great Yarmouth, and by air via Norwich International Airport.

The district covers 37,041 hectares (143sq miles) with an attractive beach coastline stretching for over 16 miles. It is a mixed urban and rural district, with a density of 3.03 persons per hectare, substantially above the Suffolk average of 1.76.

Population profile

According to the 2011 Census there were 115, 300 people resident in Waveney. Lowestoft, the second largest town in Suffolk has a population of 58,560 (2010) which increases to 71,010 if the growing parishes of Carlton Colville and Oulton are included. The rural part of the district gains its identity from the four historic market towns of Beccles (with Worlingham), Bungay, Halesworth and Southwold (with Reydon) with a total population of 28,310.

Outside these towns are a few villages with Kessingland being the largest with 4390 and beyond these villages, the countryside is characterised by small hamlets and scattered communities with 31 out of 58 parishes having a population of fewer than 300 people (2010).

Employment profile

Distribution, hotels, restaurants (28.6%) and public administration, education and health (24.1%) account for over half of the employment in the district.

Generally unemployment levels fluctuate with the seasons due to numbers employed within the tourism industry. Levels also vary around the different areas of the district with parts of Lowestoft experiencing 11% of the working population claiming Jobseekers Allowance compared with 1.5% in the rural areas.

A more detailed profile of Waveney can be found under related downloads on this page.  A location and lifestyle factsheet has also been produced.


Contact us

Telephone: 01502 562111

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Economic Development & Regeneration

Address: Riverside House, 4 Canning Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 0EQ

Tel: 01502 523219

Email: economicregen@waveney.gov.uk