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Equality and Diversity Characteristics (JSNAA)

Equality and diversity is a term used in the United Kingdom to define and champion equality, diversity and human rights as defining values of society. It promotes equality of opportunity for all, giving every individual the chance to achieve their potential, free from prejudice and discrimination.

UK legislation requires public authorities to promote equality in everything that they do, also making sure that other organisations meet their legal duties to promote equality while also doing so themselves.

In the UK under the Equality Act 2010 there are certain legal requirements under existing legislation to promote equality in the areas of nine protected characteristics.

Information on the characteristics of South Tyneside's population can be found below. 


  • The 2011 Census found South Tyneside's population to be lower than previous estimates, 148,200 compared to the 2010 estimate of 153,700.
  • Since 2011 the borough has seen an upwards trend in its population estimates for 2016 the borough had a population of 149,400.
  • Current projections show that between 2016 and 2039 there could be a 4.0% increase in the overall population of South Tyneside. This equates to almost 6,000 more residents across the total population.
  • The projected changes:
    • A 2.7% decrease in the 0-15 population is projected, around 700 people.
    • A 6.9% decrease in the working age (16-64) population, around 6,500 people.
    • A 44.4% increase in the 65+ population, around 13,100 people.


  • Statistics released by the Office for National Statistics for August 2017 show South Tyneside to have around 7,380 claiming Disability Living Allowance. This equates to 7.3% of the Borough's total population.
  • Although those over 65 have the highest rate of claimants - 13.5%, residents aged 50-64 also have a similar rate - 11.5%. Residents over the age over 50 account for two thirds of the total claimants.
  • The most common condition suffered by Disability Living Allowance is Arthritis, with over 20% of claimants. The three most common conditions, Arthritis, Learning Difficulties, and Disease of the Muscles, Bones or Joints, account for over 40% of all claimants.   
  • Annual Population Survey data for April 2016 - March 2017 shows that those with health conditions or illnesses lasting more than 12 months are much less likely to be employed than the overall population, 40% compared to 67%

 Gender Reassignment

  • Gender identity is a personal internal perception of oneself, and as such, the gender category with which a person identifies may not match the sex they were assigned at birth. In contrast, sex is biologically determined.
  • While the Office for National Statistics (ONS) do not currently collect data on gender identity on any of their social surveys their 2021 Census topic consultation identified a need amongst a number of data users for information about gender identity for policy development and service planning; especially in relation to the provision of health services.
  • In 2009, the Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) published a report that was funded by the Home Office. The report estimated that, in 2007 on a UK level, the prevalence of people who had sought medical care for gender variance was 20 per 100,000, i.e. 10,000 people, of whom 6,000 had undergone transition. 80% were assigned as boys at birth (now trans women) and 20% as girls (now trans men).
  • If the rate of 20 per 100,000 people estimated for the UK is applied to South Tyneside for those aged over 15 it would mean there were around 25 transgendered people in the Borough.

Marriage and Civil Partnerships

  • The Civil Partnership Act 2004 enabled same-sex couples in England and Wales to obtain legal recognition of their relationship by registering as civil partners of each other. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 enabled same-sex couples in England and Wales to marry from 29 March 2014. It also has a number of related provisions, including the opportunity for those in a civil partnership to convert that relationship to a marriage if they choose to do so.
  • The number of marriage registrations in South Tyneside varies from year to year. However, generally there are between 450 and 500 couples who give notice of marriage every year.
  • In 2015 there were 449 marriages in South Tyneside.  438 were opposite sex couples and 11 same sex couples.
  • Between 2008 and 2014 there were 52 civil partnerships in South Tyneside, there were no civil partnerships in 2015 or 2016.

Pregnancy and Maternity / Paternity

  • Recent data from the Office for National Statistics show South Tyneside to have a slightly higher maternity rate than the national average. In 2016 South Tyneside had just under 1,687 live births, or 63.1 births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 44. This was higher than the North East birth rate of 57.0.
  • Nationally, over half of children born in 2016 had parents who were either married or part of a civil partnership.


  • In 2011 it was estimated that 95.1% of South Tyneside's Population was "White: English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British".  Regionally the rate was 93.6%, and across England it was 79.8%
  • The Asian / Asian British population accounts for around 45% half of South Tyneside's  BAME Population with around 3,300 residents or 2.2% of the total population.
  • South Tyneside's Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity (BAME) population is similar with most local authorities across Tyne and Wear.

Religion and Belief

  • The most recent Borough level religion data is from the 2011 Census.  The Census showed that the vast majority of residents in South Tyneside consider themselves to be Christian - 70.3% (down from 81.9% in 2001).
  • Of the remaining South Tyneside population 21.1% stated they had no religion (up from 8.9% in 2001).  5.8% didn't provide a reply.
  • The remaining 2.8% were from other religions.
  • Of the 4,174 residents that stated they were from non-Christian religions, 2,854 were Muslim - 68.4%.


  • In 2016 South Tyneside was estimated to have a gender split of 51.5% female to 48.5% male. Given the longer life expectancy in females the gender split widens as the population ages. This split is almost exclusively caused by over 65s, where 55.6% are female.

Economic Activity

  • Recent statistics released by the Office for National Statistics show the contrasts between the economic activity of 16-64 year old males and females residing in the borough.
  • Although there is a gender gap in the employment rate it is not significant. However, male residents are significantly more likely to be self-employed than females.
  • Female residents are far more likely to be economically inactive and not seeking employment than their male counterparts.
  • Typically economically inactive are people without a job who have not sought work in the last four weeks or are not available to start work in the next two weeks. This would include stay at home parents or those who have retired at an earlier age.

 Sexual Orientation

  • The Annual Population Survey (APS) is a combined survey of households in Great Britain. Its purpose is to provide information on key social and socioeconomic variables between the 10-yearly censuses.  Since 2013 it has asked respondents about their sexual orientation.
  • In 2016 93% of adults across England identified themselves as "Heterosexual/Straight", 1.2% of the surveyed population identified themselves as "Gay or Lesbian", 0.8% as "Bisexual", and 0.4% as "Other".  5% of adults stated they "Don't know", refused the question, or offered no response.
  • While the South Tyneside level data is not available regional estimates are released. In 2016 96% of North East respondents identified themselves as "Heterosexual or straight".  1.2% of respondents identified themselves to be gay or lesbian while 0.2% considered themselves bisexual.

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  • Joint Strategic Needs and Assets Assessment (JSNAA)
  • South Shields Town Hall
    Westoe Road
    South Shields
    Tyne & Wear
    United Kingdom
    NE33 2RL

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