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Part 1 - Annex of indicators

Prosperity Index 2022

Ashfield District rankings

The UK Prosperity Index is an annually populated document, developed by the Legatum Institute. It consists of detailed data on levels of institutional, economic, and social well being across the 374 boroughs, council areas, local government districts, and unitary and local authorities that encompass the four nations of the UK. The Index is specifically designed to be a transformational tool that allows citizens, local authorities, regions, and government to sharpen their understanding of what is working, track their progress over time, and hold leaders to account.

The aim is to see immediately where each district is under-performing, indicating where to focus bids for investment to make improvement in these areas. It also should be used to see where performance is higher (and celebrate its success with communities), and how best practice and collaboration can help the districts that have aspirations to improve.

The UK Prosperity Index 2022 outlines Ashfield's ranking as 257 out of 374 local authority areas in the UK, a 40 place decline from the UK Prosperity Index 2021 ranking (217 out of 374).

Pillar of prosperity


Ashfield District 2022 ranking

(out of 374 UK local authorities)

Safety and security 205 (up from 247 in 2021)
Personal freedom 281 (up from 315 in 2021)
Governance 274 (up from 300 in 2021)
Social capital 257 (up from 260 in 2021)
Investment environment 239 (down from 124 in 2021)
Enterprise conditions 96 (up from 206 in 2021)
Infrastructure 43 (up from 121 in 2021)
Economic quality 229 (up from 296 in 2021)
Living conditions 174 (down from 74 in 2021)
Health 249 (down from 163 in 2021)
Education 328 (down from 310 in 2021)
Natural environment 252 (down from 204 in 2021)

As you can see from the rankings, Ashfield has its areas of strength (e.g. Infrastructure – ranked 43, enterprise conditions - ranked 96, and living conditions - ranked 174), which should be celebrated and best practice should be used to support other districts that are under performing in these areas. However, the ranking within the education pillar for the district is low.

Therefore, there is reason for this plan to be delivered in order to improve education in Ashfield across all sectors (pre-primary education, primary education, secondary education, higher education, further education, and adult education).

Our 10-year Education and Skills Improvement Strategy will drive the need for investment within Ashfield’s education sector, hence improving our rankings on a year by year basis.

East Midlands ranking

UK Prosperity Index 2022

The East Midlands are currently ranked 7th out of 21 regions within the UK, averaged across all pillars of prosperity.

Levels of prosperity differ across the East Midlands. As a whole, the region has good enterprise conditions, living conditions, and social capital, while it is particularly weak in the natural environment, infrastructure, and education. There is a wide variation within the region. Rural local authorities, such as Rutland, are much more prosperous than those in urban or dispersed urban clusters.

Overall, this ranking should be celebrated, especially across pillars where the East Midlands have ranked highly (including enterprise conditions - 1st, and living conditions - 6th).

Ashfield ranking in the East Midlands

Ashfield are ranked 27 out of the 35 districts within the East Midlands region. This plan will support our aspiration to move up the rankings within the East Midlands, on a year by year basis.


Education is a building block for prosperous societies; the accumulation of skills and capabilities contributes to economic growth and education provides the opportunity for individuals to reach their potential, and live more fulfilled and prosperous life. A better educated population also leads to greater civic engagement and improved social outcomes – such as better health and lower crime rates.

East Midlands is ranked 15th out of the 21 regions in the UK, across all stages of education. Only Rutland, Rushcliffe and Broxtowe districts are in the top quartile nationally. Less than, pupils in 40% of low income households pass GCSE English and Maths, which is one of the lowest rates in the UK. Furthermore, adults in this region have low levels of qualifications. The most successful aspect of education in this region is the progression of school leavers to both apprenticeships and further education courses.

Ashfield ranking - Education pillar

In the UK Prosperity Index 2022, Ashfield is ranked 328 out of 374 local authorities within the education pillar, so there is a need for this action plan to help improve education within the district.

Education sector rankings in Ashfield.

Areas of focus in the plan will be to improve primary education (ranked 316 out of 374), secondary education (309 out of 374)  and adult skills (ranked 300 out of 374) within the Ashfield district.

Having a 10-year Education and Skills Improvement Strategy will give us a desired focus, which will allow us to work towards our aspiration of being a highly ranked district for education in the region, and assist in improving East Midlands ranking within the UK for education. The plan will also give us the desired focus to improve our local authority ranking for education within the UK.

The full UK Prosperity Index 2022 document, including more information on each pillar of prosperity, is available online:

Education sectors analysis explained:

  • Pre-primary education - 10%

Captures how well early education is attended and the educational outcomes of early childhood education. It supports the development of linguistic, cognitive, social, and emotional skills.

  • Primary education - 30%

Captures the provision and outcomes of primary education in a local authority area, including core literacy and numeracy skills

  • Secondary education - 30%

Captures provision and outcomes of secondary education in a local authority, including core literacy and numeracy skills. Attaining level 2 qualification in English and Maths are an important step in an individual’s educational journey.

  • Tertiary education provision - 10%

Captures the extent to which students from a particular local authority will go onto further education, either through apprenticeship or university.

  • Adult skills - 20%

Captures the level of skills in a local adult population, by measuring the number of adults with different level of qualifications.

Detailed breakdown of industry clusters in Ashfield
(ranked by job count)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) populate annual surveys to capture how many employees are in each sector within an area. The latest survey was conducted in 2021 for Ashfield.

2021 Ashfield industry cluster table

(By job counts)

Industry Job count
Human health and social work 15000
Manufacturing 8000
Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 8000
Construction 5000
Transportation and storage 5000
Education 3500
Accommodation and food service 2500
Administrative and support service activities 2000
Professional, scientific, and technical activities 1500
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 1000
Information and communication 1000
Public administration and defence, compulsory social security 1000
Arts, entertainment and recreation 800
Other service activities 500
Real estate activities 350
Financial and insurance activities 250
Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 175
Mining and quarrying 30

Ashfield's job count is high in industries such as:

  • Human Health and social work activities - 15,000 employees
  • Manufacturing - 8000 employees
  • Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles - 8000 employees
  • Construction - 5000 employees
  • Transportation and storage - 5000 employees
  • Education - 3500 employees
  • Accommodation and food services - 2500 employees
  • Administrative and support service activities - 2000 employees

Post pandemic, these are still high-profile sectors in Ashfield and this plan will ensure that residents have the skills to successfully pursue a career within these industries.

Ashfield businesses data

There were 4936 businesses in Ashfield (Source: FAME 21/06/2023).

Sector Number of businesses
Business Services 968
Travel, personal and leisure 739
Construction 688
Public administration, education, health, social services 540
Retail 373
Transport, freight and storage 360
Wholesale 337
Property services 244
Computer software 95
Metals and metal products 81
Wood, furniture and paper manufacturing 56
Banking, insurance and financial services 52
Agriculture, horticulture and livestock 50
Industrial, electrical and electronic machinery 48
Chemicals, petroleum, rubber and plastic 47
Miscellaneous manufacturing 47
Textiles and clothing manufacturing 35
Food and tobacco manufacturing 33
Printing and publishing 32
Media and broadcasting 30
Utilities 17
Waste management and treatment 16
Communications 14
Transport manufacturing 13
Mining and extraction 8
Information services 7
Leather, stone, clay and glass products 4
Computer hardware 1
Biotechnology and life sciences 1

Local residents data and future aspirations

What we have


The population of Ashfield in 2021 was 126,400 (NOMIS 2021), made up of:

  • Females - 49%
  • Males - 51 %

Economically Active/Inactive 

The population of Ashfield who were either employed, claiming benefits or economically inactive in 2021 were made up of:

  • Employed - 66,500 - 82.7% of the working age population
  • Claimants - 3415 - 4.37% of the working age population
  • Economically inactive - 10,700 - 13.7% of the working age population

Ashfield claimant count 2022

Month Percentage
January 2022 4.24%
February 2022 4.27%
March 2022 4.20%
April 2022 4.00%
May 2022 3.90%
June 2022 3.89%
July 2022 3.76%
August 2022 3.73%
September 2022 3.66%
October 2022 3.59%
November 2022 3.59%
December 2022 3.70%

Qualification percentages for Ashfield residents

Qualifications Percentage
No Qualifications (2021) 23.6%
NVQ level 1 and above (2021) 86.5%
NVQ level 2 and above (2021) 70.6%
NVQ level 3 and above (2021) 50.2%
NVQ level 4 and above (2021) 29.9%

Information from Census 2021 and NOMIS 2021.

Employment count changes over last 10 years for Ashfield

(Data up to December 2021)


Average housing price in Ashfield District is:

  • £178,385
  • 41% lower than regional average which £252,190.

Data from Varbes 2021.


Average pay for employees in Ashfield is:

  • Ashfield's average salary of £33,120
  • 0.1% lower than regional average which is £33,156.

Data from Varbes 2021.

Digital skills

Digital skills information for the population of Ashfield:

  • 12% of the population have no foundation digital skills.

Source: Citizens Online Survey (May 2020)