There are many definitions available for the term 'diversity' but they all cover the same fundamental issues. These include the recognition of differences, respecting those differences and appreciating the fact that different perspectives are valuable and can bring real benefits to society in general.

You can learn more about equality and diversity across Dorset on the Dorset Council Equality and Diversity pages.

There are nine protected characteristics within our strands of diversity.

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Sex
  • Religion & Belief
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Marriage & Civil Partnership
  • Pregnancy & Maternity
  • Ethnicity

All data relates to statistics that pre-date Covid unless stated otherwise

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Age & Religion

  • Dorset has a much greater proportion (29%) of the population aged 65 and over than England and Wales (19%)1.
  • Some of the former districts have almost one in three residents 65 and over1.
  • The five major non-Christian world religions Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism constitute 1% of Dorset's residents' religious beliefs2.
  • Dorset’s main non-Christian religious groups are concentrated in Dorset’s towns. Weymouth has just over 300 residents of Muslim faith. There are also concentrations around military establishments such as Blandford Camp where the Gurkha’s and their families live who are predominantly Hindu in their religious belief2.

Please note: Robust statistical data at a Local Authority level on Sexual Orientation and Gender Reassignment does not currently exist apart from data on couples living in a same sex relationship from the Census 2011 (see Headline Figures).

Ethnically Diverse Communities

  • Dorset has much lower levels (4.4%) of ethnically diverse residents residents than the country as a whole (19.5%)2.
  • The highest proportion (41%) of Dorset’s ethnically diverse population are classified as 'White Other'2. This classification includes people who identify as white but who do not have UK national identity (English, Welsh Scottish, Northern Irish and British). An example would be Polish or Irish.
Diversity chart
Makeup of non-White British residents in Dorset

Disability

  • One in five of Dorset's population consider that they have a long term health problem or disability2.
  • Another method for looking at the number of residents with a disability is to consider those claiming either Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independance Payments or Attendance Allowance. 15% of Dorset’s residents claim a disability benefit compared to 13% in England3.

What are we doing about it?

The council is committed to equality of opportunity, promoting diversity and eliminating discrimination. The recognition and respect of differences, and appreciating different perspectives along with the valuable benefits they can bring to society is fundamental.

We believe that people have a fundamental right to fair treatment regardless of their age, disability, ethnicity or race, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, religion or belief. We aim to support diversity by the way we deliver our services, employ people and in our role as community leaders.

We undertake research with residents to identify needs, so that, if necessary, we can tailor services to meet those needs. We also publish workforce profiles which provide an accurate picture of the makeup of the workforce within each local authority. It allows us to consider how our activities as employers affect our staff with different protected characteristics. It also enables us to identify future work which will assist us in continuing to support our employees.

Headline Figures

29%

Of Dorset's population is aged 65+

4.4%

Of Dorset's population are ethnically diverse

Almost 1 in 3

Of the former East Dorset area's population aged 65+

1,900

Living in a same sex relationship

5,300

Follow a non-Christian religion

1 in 5

Of all residents have a health condition that limits their day to day activities

Headline Figures

29%

Of Dorset's population is aged 65+

4.4%

Of Dorset's population are ethnically diverse

Almost 1 in 3

Of the former East Dorset area's population aged 65+

1,900

Living in a same sex relationship

5,300

Follow a non-Christian religion

1 in 5

Of all residents have a health condition that limits their day to day activities


Sources

  • 1 Mid–year population estimates (2019), ONS
  • 2 Census 2011, ONS
  • 3 Stat-Xplore, Department of Work and Pensions, February 2020 & 2019 Mid-year estimates, ONS

23 Reports

Order by: Newest first

7 Related Datasets

Order by: Newest first

  • National Insurance Registrations to overseas Nationals 2019-20

    Published: 09 December 2020

    National Insurance Registrations to overseas Nationals 2019-20

    Downloads: 257

  • International Migration for Mid-Years 2002-2019

    Published: 08 December 2020

    International Migration by 5 year age group for Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council

    Downloads: 217

  • ONS Sexual Orientation Data at LA Geography (experimental dataset)

    Published: 27 November 2020

    Office for National Statistics experimental data on sexual orientation at LA Geography 2016-2018

    Downloads: 206

  • Data for EqIAs (diversity data)

    Published: 14 November 2020

    Various diversity data for Dorset with national comparators. For assistance in completing Equality Impact Assessments (EqIAs).

    Downloads: 189

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019- National and Dorset Council Ranks

    Published: 03 January 2020

    The English Indices of Deprivation helps identify and prioritise areas to assist the government and other agencies both national and local in narrowing the gap between deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of the country.

    Downloads: 520

  • Subnational Sexual Identity Tables (ONS Research)

    Published: 17 May 2017

    Data on sexual identity at subnational level produced by the Office for National Statistics, published as part of a piece of research.

    Downloads: 724

  • Equality and Diversity Community Research and Consultation

    Published: 11 January 2017

    View the consultation, research and information on the equality and diversity of our communities used in setting our equality objectives.

    Downloads: 1039

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