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Wareham town profile

Wareham occupies a strategic site on both the Rivers Frome and Piddle, close to their confluence into Poole Harbour. Its grid like pattern could be a sign of Saxon origin and it still stands within the compass of its earth ramparts. Despite its relatively small size Wareham retains a good range of social, recreational and educational facilities.


Wareham is close to the intersection of the A351 and A352. There is a rail link to London and west to Weymouth.


Latest population figure (2012 Mid Year Estimates) for the town (Wareham Parish) is 5,490

Age GroupWareham (persons)Wareham (%)Dorset(DCC Area)(%)England and Wales(%)
0 to42344.34.76.3
5 to 92424.44.95.7
10 to 142384.35.45.6
15 to 192955.45.86.2
20 to 242504.64.66.8
25 to 291993.64.26.8
30 to 342594.74.46.7
35 to 392494.54.96.4
40 to 443205.86.57.2
45 to 493947.27.37.3
50 to 543837.07.16.6
55 to 594067.46.65.7
60 to 644458.17.55.7
65 to 694528.27.75.3
70 to 743075.65.73.9
75 to 793145.74.93.2
80 to 842865.23.92.4
All ages5,490100100100

Selected age groups

AgeWareham (number)Wareham (%)Dorset - DCC area (%)England & Wales (%)
Young people 0 to 1789016.218.621.3
Young adults 18 to 2956810.311.016.1
Older people 65 +1,57628.726.317.0

Source: ONS Mid Year Estimates 2012

Historic Population

Census population1,9302,3702,7503,1004,3704,5805,6205,6805,496


Purbeck Pyramid Area:
11 Primary Schools, 1 secondary school.
The upper school is The Purbeck School (opens in a new window), (953 pupils- 2012).

Commercial land

Between 1994-2013, 10.69 hectares of employment land has been developed in Wareham (the wider Wareham area) The total area of land with permission or allocated in local plans is 7.84 hectares.


Domestic burglaries

Rate per 1,000 households

DCC Dorset6.
South West14.812.310.78.98.4n/a8.
England and Wales20.018.6 (GB)14.413.513.1n/a12.211.611.110.5

Please note: Due to the low prevailing level of offences, and the often sporadic nature of burglary, rates for small geographical areas can vary significantly from year to year.
Source: Dorset County Council

Other sources of crime data

Access the Police crime mapping Wareham (opens in a new window)where you can find crime data on a month by month basis (starting December 2010) mapped to neighbourhood and street level. This looks at the crime types of burglary, anti-social behaviour, robbery, vehicle crime, violent crime and other crime. Note this comprehensive and up-to-date database only looks at numbers of crimes and not crime rates for individual crimes. It does give an overall crime rate (per 1,000 people) for the neighbourhood.

* These figures are for Wareham Town, but Sandford to the north-east with a population of just over 2,000 has considerable influence on the town.

Housing growth

Housing development25191831772121681231614

The 2011 Census records 2,686 dwellings in Wareham.
Since 2011, a further 30 have been built giving a total of  2,716.
At March 2013, a further 32 units have permission and 200 have been allocated in local plans (figures for built-up area).

Note: Figures allow for losses from re-development etc. Method revised in 2009

Index of deprivation, 2010

(Figures show LSOA ranking out of 247 LSOAs in Dorset with 1 being the most deprived).LSOA = Lower Super Output Area (minimum 400 households or 1,000 population)

LocationMultipleIncomeEmploymentHealthEducation & SkillsHousing & servicescrimeLiving
Wareham Northmoor Park1632052041166959181177
Wareham Northport88841131091997154135
Wareham Town40315240702014014
Wareham Worgret114785480129214106109

Our The Index of Deprivation, 2010 article includes detailed information and mapping.


Poverty Indicators: Housing/Council Tax Benefit: March 2013 

SettlementBenefit PopulationTotal Population

% Benefit Population
(% of total 
settlement population)

Bere Regis3051,74517.5%
Charminster/Charlton Down3792,94012.9%
Corfe Castle1901,35514.0%
Corfe Mullen94810,1339.4%
Lyme Regis5273,67114.4%
Lytchett Matravers3703,42410.8%
Lytchett Minster/Upton1,3387,98316.8%
St Leonards & St Ives5366,8597.8%
Sturminster Marshall1991,96910.1%
Sturminster Newton6644,29215.5%
West Moors9817,56113.0%
Dorset ( DCC area)---

Source: DCC

Socio-economic classifications: 2010 ACORN

ClassificationsDCC DorsetWareham
% Wealthy Achievers40.116.9
% Urban Prosperity7.17.5
% Comfortably Off33.243.3
% Moderate Means9.220.1
% Hard Pressed10.211.5
% unclassified0.20.8

ACORN is a geodemographic segmentation of the UK's population which segments small neighbourhoods, postcodes, or consumer households into 5 categories, 17 groups and 56 types.
The 5 higher level categories "wealthy achievers", "urban prosperity", "comfortably off", "moderate means" and "hard pressed" are shown above.

A full ACORN Profile of the town is available, with mapping of the ward area. View the Wareham ACORN Profile (pdf, 524kb) (opens in a new window).

Average house prices

Dwelling typeAverage Price  July - Sept 2009Average Price  July - Sept 2010July - Sept 2010 (sales)Average Price  July - Sept 2012July - Sept 2012 (sales)

Land Registry average prices (Prices may be affected by low number of sales) Figures based on postcode sector BH20 6

Tenure - 2011 Census

% of all households

AreaOwner occupied (%)Shared ownership (%)Social rented (%)Private rented (%)Living rent free (%)

Source: ONS


Approx 'built-up' area = 102 hectares (250 acres)

Local authority revenue

Council tax band D for YearCouncil tax payable

Second/holiday homes, 2014

Total dwellings on Council Tax Register2,728
Total number of second homes46
Second homes as a % of total dwellings1.7

Source: Council Tax Register (Wareham Town parish figure)

Ethnicity (%) - 2011 Census

EthnicityWarehamPurbeckDorset (DCC area)
% white British96.396.295.5
% Black and minority ethnic groups (BME)

 Source: Office for National Statistics, 2011 Census

Country of birth (%) - 2011 Census

Country of birthWarehamPurbeckDorset (DCC area)
% born in England91.991.291.0
% born rest of UK3.13.43.4
% born in Rep of IRE0.40.40.4
% born EU (member countries in 2001)
% born EU (Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011)
% born elsewhere2.52.63.1

 Source: Office for National Statistics, 2011 Census

Health - 2011 Census (% of population)

Health Limiting day-to-day Activities

Health limiting activitiesWarehamPurbeckDorset (DCC area)
Day-to-day activities limited a lot (%)
limited a little(%)
not limited(%)78.580.579.9
limited a lot: Age 16 to 64(%)
limited a little: Age 16 to 64(%)
not limited: Age 16 to 64(%)50.552.051.1

General Health

General healthWarehamPurbeckDorset (DCC area)
Very good health(%)40.845.044.6
Good health(%)38.135.935.9
Fair health(%)
Bad health(%)
Very bad health(%)

Provision of Unpaid Care

Provision of Unpaid CareWarehamPurbeckDorset (DCC area)
Provides no unpaid care(%)87.187.388.1
Provides 1 to 19 hours unpaid care a week(%)
Provides 20 to 49 hours unpaid care a week(%)
Provides 50 or more hours unpaid care a week(%)

 Source: ONS 2011 Census

Retail profile - total town floorspace

82 shops/60,000 sq.ft. (2005)

Town centre:

Mainly local shops but includes Co-op and Sainsburys.

Catchment population:

The shopping catchment for Wareham (major food shopping) extends around 5 miles in a NW direction and also towards Swanage. The population within the catchment is around 15,300 (mid 2001).

Library - Number of issues of books


Industrial estates

Sandford Lane Industrial Estate (9.02h), Westminster Industrial Estate (5.0h)


Follow this link to see the latest monthly unemployment figures for the area.

rate (and number)

YearMaleFemaleTotalLong term Unemployed
(as a % of all unemployed)
July 19973.3 (53)1.3 (17)2.4 (70)-
July 19983.3 (53)1.8 (24)2.6 (77)-
July 19992.2 (36)1.1 (15)1.7 (51)-
July 20001.9 (33)0.9 (12)1.4 (45)-
July 20011.3 (22)0.4 (5)0.9 (27)-
July 20021.1 (21)0.3 (5)0.8 (26)-
July 20030.4 (8)0.7 (11)0.5 (19)-
July 20040.9 (16)0.3 (5)0.6 (21)0.0%
July 20050.7 (12)0.3 (5)0.5 (17)0.0%
July 20060.9 (16)0.3 (5)0.6 (21)4.8%
July 20070.9 (15)0.2 (3)0.5 (18)22.2%
July 20081.3 (22)0.8 (12)1.0 (34)11.8%
July 20092.4 (42)1.0 (15)1.8 (57)3.5%
July 20101.8 (31)1.2 (21)1.5 (52)7.8%
July 20111.6 (26)1.1 (18)1.4 (44)9.1%
July 20122.6 (41)1.2 (19)1.9 (60)16.7%
July 20132.3 (37)1.2 (20)1.8 (57)25.0%
July 20141.4 (22)0.8 (13)1.1 (35)28.6%

Source: ONS Claimant Count Statistics from NOMIS

The wider economy of the area

To see an economic profile of the wider  Purbeck area follow this link to the  Purbeck Economy & Labour Market Profile 2013 (pdf, 504kb) (opens in a new window) .

2012 employment

Total number of people working in the town: 2,900
Number of firms ( excluding the self employed): 240 (2009)

Work patternpercentage


Type of employment%
Production and construction27
Distribution, accommodation & food23
Finance, ICT and Professional Services8
Other market services7
Public admin,education, health and other services36

Source: Business Survey and Employment Register, 2012, ONS

Major employers

 including Holton Heath

Arcall, BP Exploration Operating Co Ltd, Coastal Publishing, Daler Rowney Ltd, Dorset County Council, Dorset Healthcare NHS Trust, GRP Norco, Heatric Ltd, Purbeck District Council, Sainsburys, SAFI Ltd, Westwind Air Bearings.

Car ownership

Area% No cars or vans in household% 1 car or van in household% 2 cars or vans in household% 3 cars or vans in household% 4 or more cars or vans in household
England and Wales25.642.
South West18.943.528.36.72.6

Source: 2011 Census (parish figure)

Traffic counts in the Wareham area

Annual average daily traffic (AADF)


Percentage Growth

RoadLocation1 Year
5 Years
10 Years
22 Years
28 Years

Source: Dorset County Council Environment Directorate, June 2012

Local authorities

Dorset County Council
County Hall, Colliton Park, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1XJ
01305 221000

Purbeck District Council
Westport House, Worgret Road
Wareham, Dorset BH20 4PP
01929 556561

Wareham Town Council

Useful Websites

Wareham Museum (opens in a new window)

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