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Mining in 2011 for District/Unitary Authority

Mining in 2011 for District/Unitary Authority

Mining has never been a large part of the national economy. Even at its peak in the early 20th century it employed under 10% of the workforce, while in 2011 it employed about a quarter of a percent. Because of its relatively small size nationally mining is not always easy to measure, and in areas where it was unimportant this rate can behave erratically. However, it must be included here because in some localities it was enormously important and defined their character. Many communities grew up around particular mines and lacked alternative employment, so the industry's decline had a large human cost.

The extreme example is Easington in Durham. Our 1841 data are tricky, but we estimate 26% of the workers there were miners. More reliably, in 1881 it was 48%. However, as better technology enabled mines to be extended under the sea, the proportion grew to 64% -- and this rate is for the whole district so some villages would have had even higher rates. By 1971, the proportion was still 31%. Unfortunately, our data do not allow us to separate mining from utilities in 1981 but by 1991, after the 1984-5 strike and the following mine closures programme, only 2% of Easington's workforce were in mining, and today it is only half a percent. Similar stories can be told for many other districts in the North East, Yorkshire and South Wales.

In 1841, mining was not totally dominated by coal. In Cornwall and in parts of the northern Pennines, in districts like Teesdale, it meant mining lead and tin. By 1881, coal was dominant and we start to see districts with around 50% of their workers in the sector. The industry peaked just before the First World War, with British coal being shipped around the world. However, for now our next set of data are for 1931, by when the industry was already in decline. Its geographical distribution was also changing, as old mining districts like Lancashire and Staffordshire began to run out of coal, and new pits were developed in the East Midlands and, in extreme isolation, north of Dover in Kent.

By 1971, the industry's distribution was therefore quite different from 1881. However, rapid decline then began, and by 2011 the remaining workers in the sector were mostly not in traditional mining areas at all.

Rate definition

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The "Statistical atlas" lets you view our British statistical data rates by theme in their entirety as maps for both modern local authorities and historical units.

Please note that although there are some statistics within the system relating to places outside Great Britain, particularly Ireland, the majority of our statistics are British and this is reflected in the presentation of data within the Statistical atlas.

How it works

The Statistical atlas presents national views of rates. This differs from the specific numeric data for individual administrative units presented in the "Units & Statistics" part of the place pages accessed via typing in a place-name on the homepage.

Select a theme by clicking on a theme title. You must then decide whether you wish to view data for modern local authorities or historical units. At the top of the theme page are the links to rate maps for modern units. Select one to enter the atlas. Alternatively, at the bottom of the theme page are links to maps of rates only available in their historical units.

After selecting a rate we are presented with the map page showing the selected rate. On the left hand side is the map legend and some generic subject information about the theme. Below the text is a link to the "Rate definition" which takes you out of the statistical atlas and into the description of the nCube for that theme within the data documentation system.

Beneath this are various "Options" for altering the mapped rate. With the exception of the "Political Life" theme, drop down menus exist to change the mapped rate or to select an alternative unit type. All themes have the option to select alternative dates. Selecting a different date will change the map to display re-districted data i.e. statistics which are estimates for the same (modern) geographical area going back over time. More information on how this was achieved is available here.

The map window on the right can be zoomed and panned. Using the drop down menu at the top left of the map window you can select and add a "base layer" map image beneath the transparent statistical map to help you understand the geography of the rates. The window itself can be expanded to see a bigger map using the "Bigger map" option at the top right of the map window. If this function is enabled, the information given on the left will automatically move to below the map.

About the data

The statistics come from national overviews, including Censuses, Surveys and other collated tables. You should be aware that the same information was not always collected, the questions change over time to suit contemporary conditions. For example, in the 2011 Census English households were asked about their car ownership, but this would have been of little relevance in 1921 when very few people owned their own vehicle. Conversely, the 1951 question about whether your household had shared access or no access to piped water has disappeared because it is now assumed that all, or virtually all, households will have exclusive use of a piped hot water supply. This is why not all themes have data in all years, the dates available vary according to the questions asked.

We should also point out that we have not digitised all possible historical statistics. Although we have gone a significant way to capturing and integrating suitable tables useful for our themes, this is a labour intensive and time-consuming process. We have tried to focus on particular tables to produce runs of data and in this sense the "Population" theme is the fullest. We continue to work on improving the data, both in its consistency and its accuracy as well as its extent.