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Key Facts about St. Helens

Finding information on info4

This page presents some of the key facts about St. Helens. For a more detailed picture of St. Helens please visit the About My Area section and download a profile report. The report can be viewed at a Borough level i.e. the whole of St. Helens, or for a specific Ward, e.g. Bold, Earlestown, Haydock, Windle, etc.

It is also possible to examine the data in more detail in the Data & Resources section of this site. You will find data is set out by theme, e.g. health and social care, housing, deprivation, education & skills, economy & employment, etc.

Each key fact below is linked to a data table or map. Click on the figure to take you to the required data table.


St. Helens has an estimated population of 179,331 people, Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2017 mid year estimates.

NB. The ONS mid-year estimates 2012 - 2016 have been revised using improved methodology and more timely administrative data. The geographical areas affected are local authorities, regions and counties. However, the majority of local authorities in England and Wales have seen revisions of less than1%. The impact of the revisions for St. Helens was to increase the 2016  mid-year estimate by 25 people from 178,455 to 178,480. The 2012 - 2016 mid-year estimates presented on info4St.Helens are currently the original estimates. The revised data will be published in due course. In the interim, please refer to the ONS Population Estimates Revision tool.

The age structure of the Borough reflects the national trend of an ageing population. Although St. Helens population is ageing at a faster rate than many other areas.

In St. Helens, 61.4% of people are of working age, i.e. aged 16-64 years.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy at birth for females is 80.9 years.

Life expectancy at birth for males is 77.5 years. 

Life Expectancy - refers to the average length of time people can expect to live. Life expectancy for men and women in St. Helens is lower than the national average. Tackling inequalities in health and improving overall health and wellbeing will reduce early mortality and improve life expectancy. 

Office for National Statistics (ONS), life expectancy data (2015-17).

Number of domestic properties

There are 82,859 properties in St. Helens, 45% are in Council Tax Band A, St. Helens Council (local data), August 2018.

Council Tax valuations are based on the price a property would have fetched if it had been sold on the open market on 1 April 1991.

Total businesses

There are 4,560 VAT registered businesses in St. Helens, Office for National Statistics, Inter Department Business Register, 2018. This is a rate of 414 VAT registered enterprises per 10,000 population (aged 16-64 years).

This data provides counts of the total number of businesses above the VAT threshold (turnover of £65,000 or more) that are registered in the local area. There are more than one million businesses in the UK registered for VAT. This dataset provides an indication of business activity in St. Helens.

Employment rate

St. Helens employment rate is 71.5% (NOMIS, Annual Population Survey, Oct 17 - Sept 18). This is a measure of the number of people who are employed, i.e. have a job, as a percentage of the working age (16-64 years) population.

Economic activity is a measure of the number of people in employment or unemployed. Economic inactivity is a measure of the number of people who are neither in employment or unemployed, e.g. retired or looking after a home.

Main out of work benefits

11.9% or 13,120 people are claiming the 'main' Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) out of work benefit. NOMIS, November 2016. 

Main out-of-work benefits includes the groups: job seekers, ESA and incapacity benefits, lone parents and others on income related benefits.

NB. DWP are changing the way that they publish benefit statistics. The existing DWP working age client group datasets will no longer be updated. Therefore data for the period to November 2016 is the most up-to-date for this dataset.


The concept of deprivation is a wide one, covering a broad range of issues. Deprivation refers to unmet needs caused by a lack of resources and opportunities of all kinds, not just financial. It can therefore be defined through issues such as poor housing, homelessness, low educational attainment, lack of employment and worklessness, poor health and high levels of mortality.

The Indices of Deprivation attempt to measure this broad concept of multiple deprivation at small area level and provide a relative picture of levels of deprivation across the country. Please refer to the Indices of Deprivation reports in the Assessments and Reports section.

Education and Skills

Educational attainment is an important part of preparing our children and young people for a successful, enjoyable and fulfilled future. Information on the Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stages 2 and 4 achievements are available in the Data and Resources section.

In a competitive job market, appropriate skills levels are key to people successfully securing and retaining work. Traditionally, the skills level of people living in the Borough is comparatively lower than the national average. Schemes to improve literacy and numeracy skills, e.g. Skills for Life, have been successful in recent years in reducing the number of people with low qualification levels. More information is available in the Data and Resources section.


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