The sixth edition of a detailed report charting Manchester’s progress towards the goals set out in its Community Strategy has been published.
Statistical evidence from the State of the City report is used to help city leaders, both from the City Council and partner agencies, to understand the priorities for the future.
Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: "What this report shows is that we are continuing to make progress on most fronts despite the difficult economic backdrop, and have strong grounds for optimism, we still face many challenges to achieve our vision of a healthier, wealthier and happier city."
The recently-announced 2011 Census figure for Manchester shows that the population of Manchester has increased to more than half a million - 503,100 compared to 422,900 in the previous Census of 2001, a 19 per cent increase. The Community Strategy target population figure was 480,000 by 2015 so the Census figure shows that this has been surpassed four years early, a sign of a thriving city.
Although the number of people employed in Manchester fell from 304,800 in 2009 to 298,800 in 2010, the city is considered well-placed to respond to an upturn because its employment base is well represented in the sectors which are expected to lead the recovery including information technology, finance, professional and scientific activities and business support services. Together these account for around one-third of all jobs in the city, compared to the average in the Core Cities (England's largest cities outside London) of little more than a quarter.
The number of overnight stays in Manchester in 2010 went up to 6.8 million, an increase of one million on the 2009 figure demonstrating the city's growing pull as a leisure and business destination.
In August 2011 the number of Manchester residents claiming out-of-work benefits had risen to 64,080 from 58,140 in May 2008, at the beginning of the recession.
Data for 2011 also shows that the gap between the average wages of all people who work in the city and the average wages of Manchester residents has continued to grow.
Educational performance continues to improve. In 2011 the percentage of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades including English and Maths also increased from 45.7 per cent in 2010 to 51.8 per cent in 2011. But while Manchester is narrowing the gap to national average results, further progress is required.
Life expectancy in Manchester continues to lag behind the national average. Boys born in Manchester can expect to live 4.5 years less than the national average and girls 3.5 years less. But there are strong signs of improvement with mortality rates reducing, with the city on target to achieve the reduction in overall mortality rates required as part of the Community Strategy.
One of the central objectives of Manchester's Community Strategy is for residents of the city to live happier and more satisfied lives. Quarterly resident telephone survey results for 2011/12 indicate that the vast majority of residents were either very happy (36 per cent) or quite happy (51 per cent), with only five per cent describing themselves as unhappy with their lives.
Community cohesion figures are also encouraging, with 91 per cent of residents in 2011/12 telephone surveys agreeing that their local area is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together, up from 88 per from 2010/11.
The State of the City report can be downloaded from