About Derbyshire

Derbyshire is in the centre of England and has a population of around 750,000. The population of Derbyshire is forecast to increase by 11 per cent by 2029.


More than eight million people − a sixth of England's population − live within 18 miles of the county border, mainly in the large cities of Sheffield, Manchester and Nottingham.

Derbyshire is a place of geographical and social contrasts with a number of heavily built-up areas and large, sparsely populated rural areas.

Chesterfield is our largest town and is home to 100,000 people. Eight other main towns have populations of over 20,000.

A large part of the north and west of the county is very rural, much of it in the Peak District National Park. 16 per cent of our population live in rural areas.

Chesterfield and the other towns have their roots in traditional industries with quarrying in the north west, former coal mining in the north east and remnants of engineering and textile industries scattered across the county.

Our small (1.5 per cent) ethnic minority population (England 9.1 per cent) is mainly concentrated in the districts of Erewash, Chesterfield and South Derbyshire. The largest ethnic group is Indian, which makes up 0.4 per cent of the total population of Derbyshire.

Derbyshire has an increasing elderly population, with our pensioners currently making up 20 per cent of the total (English average 18.6 per cent).

Unemployment in Derbyshire is well below the national average, but there are hotspots in parts of Chesterfield and Bolsover where the rate is more than twice the national average.

Derbyshire has a high reliance upon the manufacturing sector, which accounts for almost a quarter of all employment (22.4 per cent), just over twice the national rate of 11.1 per cent. Despite recent growth, employment levels in the service sector remain under represented.

There are 17 areas in Derbyshire which rank amongst the 10 per cent most deprived areas in England. The average weekly pay is much lower for workers in Derbyshire than England (£425:453 respectively).

The M1 motorway and railway links provide relatively good north/south communications in the east of the county but access is more difficult in the isolated rural areas, compounded by 25 per cent of the county being over 300 metres above sea level.