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East Lancashire's population rises but two boroughs fall
THE population of East Lancashire has increased by more than 11,000 in the last 10 years, according to new figures.
Blackburn with Darwen saw the biggest growth since the 2001 census, with 9,000 more people living in the borough, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed.
But Burnley’s population dropped from 89,500 to 87,000, a drop of almost three per cent, and Hyndburn’s fell from 81,500 to 80,700.
Blackburn with Darwen also had the largest average household size in the North West, with 2.5 people, and the largest proportion of people under the age of five.
Almost 30 per cent of people in Blackburn with Darwen were aged under 19, the largest figure in the whole of the North West.
Tony Duckworth, president of Blackburn Chamber of Trade, said the borough’s young population had helped it secure schemes like the Building Schools for the Future Project.
He said: “A young population can be a positive thing if you take advantage of it, but we cannot find jobs for our young people. They go off to university and rarely come back because we don’t have the jobs to attract them.
“We are possibly looking at pressures on young people too.”
Pendle, Rossendale and the Ribble Valley also saw population increases over the 10 year period, although the Ribble Valley still has the second fewest people in the North West.
The ONS figures showed nearly all local authorities across England and Wales increased in population, however, eight in the North West saw a decrease. Hyndburn and Haslingden MP Graham Jones said: “Depopulation is a deep worry.
“The immediate problem is there are 2,500 empty properties and this population drop has probably added some 400 plus.
“It’s hard to justify new house building with population falls yet the borough needs choice, building investment and modernity.”
East Lancashire’s population has grown from 518,500 to 529,800.