Manchester City Council

Manchester’s State of the City 2018 report published

The report, which gives in-depth information on everything from economic growth and environmental issues to health and homelessness is now available.

The State of the City report sets out Manchester’s long-term vision for the future through the Our Manchester Strategy (2016 – 2025) and provide a framework of action to be in the top flight of world-class cities by 2025.

The Our Manchester Strategy is a blueprint for the whole city, not just for the council, created through listening to the hopes and ambitions of Manchester residents, volunteers, businesses and other local partners.  The strategy offers a vision of an economically, environmentally, socially and culturally thriving city, for the Mancunians of today and of the future.

The report is organised into five Our Manchester themes:

A thriving and sustainable city

Manchester’s population is nearing 600,000, growing from 539,600 people in 2015 to 572,000 people in 2018. The city is one of the fastest growing in Europe and the population is expected to reach 644,100 by 2025.

The number of businesses operating in the city also continues to grow and companies in the culture, creative and digital sectors are thriving, but increased focus on key skills such as coding and programming could see more Manchester people find jobs in the industry. The number of active business increased by 18% between 2015 and 2016, compared to a national average increase of 6%.

However, 69% of graduates originally from Manchester are choosing to remain in the region following their studies improving the skill base of the city – and 36% of Manchester people return to the city after leaving the city to study.

A highly skilled city

Almost three quarters of Manchester’s residents in work earned at least the £8.45 Real Living Wage last year, but the aim is for the entire population of Manchester to earn at least the living wage by 2025.

Although 40% of residents are qualified to degree level or above, 11% do not have qualifications compared to 8% nationally. 24% of people aged between 50 and 64 are on out of work benefits and although down from 36% in 2007, this is still higher than the national average of 11%.

Schools in the city have improved significantly, narrowing the exam results gap against the national average and further improvement continues, working in partnership with school leaders to target and improve key areas such as reading and maths.

A progressive and equitable city

Although improvements are being made, deprivation remains in some areas of the city and a growing number of people are presenting as homeless. The roll out of Universal Credit – and other welfare reforms - remain a key issue for those at risk of homelessness and the issue is a top priority for the city. The Family Poverty Strategy (2017-22) and the Homeless Strategy (2013-18) sets out the approach to tackling these clear problem areas.

Premature deaths from common health issues – such as cancer, respiratory disease and cardiovascular disease – are some of the highest in England. Factors such as poor diet and exercise, smoking and air quality are key to addressing these.

However, the establishment of Manchester Health and Care Commissioning, the Manchester Local Care Organisation and the Single Hospital Service offer a real opportunity to break the cycle of health and care inequalities in Manchester and improve outcomes for all our residents.

A Greater Manchester consultation on air quality will begin in the coming months.

A liveable and low carbon city

Although Manchester’s population continues to rise, the amount of waste collected in grey rubbish bins has reduced by 16% per household since 2015/16. This means less waste goes to landfill and the cost of managing the city’s waste will be reduced by over £8m a year – meaning more can be spent on key services.

The number of jobs and businesses continue to grow attracting more people to the city and increasing demand for new homes. The housing pipeline is much stronger than in previous years, with 2,869 new homes completed in 2017/18 – exceeding the Residential Growth Strategy target of 2,500 homes each year. There are already 2,250 affordable homes in the pipeline up to 2020/21 – which is set to grow.

A connected city

Morning commuter numbers in to the city centre have grown by 6% since 2015 and more people are choosing to travel by public transport or on a bike. Walking and cycling have increased by 13% and 15% respectively between 2015 and 2017, while car travel has reduced from 26% to 23% in the same period.

Availability of super or ultrafast broadband to residential and SME business has increased from 34% in 2015 to 46% in 2017 but Manchester remains behind some other Core Cities by this measure. However, Manchester fares well in terms of the connections able to receive over 300mbits compared to other core cities – but there are opportunities to further improve digital connectivity across Manchester.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The State of the City report is an important marker for our city, our communities and partners to understand where we need to improve in the years to come, but also to reflect on the positive outcomes and progress Manchester is making every year.

“Manchester remains one of the UK’s top cities to live in and we can see this in action as more people choose the city as their home, and we continue to see more and more graduates choosing the region following their studies.

“However, we recognise there are still milestones to reach to improve the lives of Manchester people – not least in health and education – but through the Our Manchester approach we can forge stronger relationships with our communities to ensure the city meets our ambitious target of being in the top flight of global cities by 2025.”


To download the report, visit

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