Skip Navigation

Wool town profile


A large parish with a population of just over 5,300. Around 2,500 of the residents are based at Bovington Army Camp, separate from the village but within the parish.

Wool is a large village on the river Frome roughly half way between Dorchester and Wareham. Bovington Army camp is located to the north of the village and is home to The Armour Centre, formerly the Royal Armoured Corps Centre and includes Allenby Barracks and Stanley Barracks. Bovington Tank Museum is nearby. The camp includes school buildings and service family accommodation. The population of the camp area is estimated at around 2,600.


Wool is situated on the A352 between Dorchester and Wareham. The village has a railway station on the Weymouth to Waterloo line.


Latest population figure - parish (2012 Mid Year Estimate) for Wool = 5,519

Population of Wool (2011 census) 5,310 is made up as follows: 

Wool and East Burton (Lower Super Output area 004C) = 1,571
Wool Village (Lower Super Output area ) = 1,153
Bovington Camp (Lower Super Output area 004E) = 2,586

2012 Mid Year Estimate - Wool Parish

Age GroupWool (persons)Wool (%)Dorset(DCC Area)(%)England and Wales(%)
0 to43826.94.76.3
5 to 94057.34.95.7
10 to 143135.75.45.6
15 to 194217.65.86.2
20 to 243857.04.66.8
25 to 293726.74.26.8
30 to 343716.74.46.7
35 to 393927.14.96.4
40 to 444498.16.57.2
45 to 493576.57.37.3
50 to 543225.87.16.6
55 to 592524.66.65.7
60 to 642344.27.55.7
65 to 692644.87.75.3
70 to 742194.05.73.9
75 to 791592.94.93.2
80 to 841122.03.92.4
All ages5,519100100100

Selected age groups 

AgeWool (number)Wool (%)Dorset - DCC area (%)England & Wales (%)
Young people 0 to 171,33224.118.621.3
Young adults 18 to 2994617.111.016.1
Older people 65 +86415.726.317.0

Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2012 Mid Year Estimates

Historic Population 


Source: ONS, Census

Housing growth

Housing development57205196467441242512

The 2011 Census records 2,108 dwellings in Wool. Since 2011, a further 37 have been built giving a total of 2,145 dwellings.
At March 2013, a further  19 units have permission and 0 are allocated in the local plan.

Note: Figures now allow for losses from demolition, redevelopment etc. Method revised 2009

Average house prices

Dwelling typeWool (average price)Wool (sales)

Land Registry average prices  July-September 2012. (Prices may be affected by low number of sales). Based on postcode BH20 6 sector

Tenure - 2011 Census

% of all households

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

Source: ONS

Second/holiday homes, 2014

Total dwellings on Council Tax Register2,159
Total number of second homes17
Second homes as a % of total dwellings0.8

Source: Council Tax Register (parish figure)


Domestic burglaries

Rate per 1,000 households

DCC Dorset3.83.73.4
South West7.67.27.0
England and Wales11.611.110.5

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 Wool Crime Mapping (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.

Index of deprivation, 2010

(Figures show Lower Super Output Areas (LSOA) ranking out of 247 LSOAs in Dorset with 1 being the most deprived)

SOA NameMultipleIncomeEmploymentHealthEducationHousing & ServicesCrimeLiving Environment
Wool & East Burton17594149155113138241171
Wool Village143651216399225167152
Bovington Camp70991631101332176180

LSOA = Lower Super Output Area (minimum 400 households or 1,000 population). Our The Index of Deprivation, 2010 article includes detailed information and mapping. 

Source: DCLG

Poverty Indicators: Housing/Council Tax Benefit: March2013 

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

Classification %DorsetWool
Wealthy Achievers40.133.0
Urban Prosperity7.110.3
Comfortably Off33.228.5
Moderate Means9.210.0
Hard Pressed10.218.2

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

Ethnicity (%) - 2011 Census

EthnicityWoolPurbeckDorset (DCC area)
% white British96.0 96.295.5
% Black and minority ethnic groups (BME)4.0 3.84.5

 Source: Office for National Statistics, 2011 Census

Country of birth (%) - 2011 Census

Country of birthWoolPurbeckDorset (DCC area)
% born in England87.3 91.291.0
% born rest of UK5.5 3.43.4
% born in Rep of IRE0.3 0.40.4
% born EU (member countries in 2001)4.2 1.71.3
% born EU (Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011)0.3 0.60.7
% born elsewhere2.4 2.63.1

 Source: Office for National Statistics, 2011 Census

Health - 2011 Census (% of population)

Health Limiting day-to-day Activities

Health limiting activitiesWoolPurbeckDorset (DCC area)
Day-to-day activities limited a lot (%)
limited a little(%)8.311.211.5
not limited(%)84.680.579.9
limited a lot: Age 16 to 64(%)
limited a little: Age 16 to 64(%)
not limited: Age 16 to 64(%)55.352.051.1

General Health

General healthWoolPurbeckDorset (DCC area)
Very good health(%)50.545.044.6
Good health(%)33.935.935.9
Fair health(%)11.414.114.5
Bad health(%)
Very bad health(%)

Provision of Unpaid Care

Provision of Unpaid CareWoolPurbeckDorset (DCC area)
Provides no unpaid care(%)89.787.388.1
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


Purbeck Pyramid Area:

Secondary School for the area The Purbeck School 953 pupils in 2012

SchoolsNumber of schools


Approx. 'built-up' area = 107 hectares (264 acres) for Wool and 157hectares (388) for Bovington

Local authority revenue

Council tax band D for YearCouncil tax payable


Unemployment % (persons)

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

Wool - percentage of resident population aged 16-64 (and actual number) and long term unemployed

YearMaleFemaleTotalLong Term Unemployed
(% of all unemployed)
July 20040.9 (11)# (#)0.5 (12)8.3
July 20050.8 (10)# (#)0.4 (11)0.0
July 20060.9 (11)1.0 (13)0.9 (24)0.0
July 20070.9 (12)0.7 (10)0.8 (22)13.6
July 20081.0 (13)0.6 (8)0.8 (21)5.0
July 20092.1 (28)1.7 (24)1.9 (52)9.8
July 20101.9 (26)0.6 (9)1.3 (35)8.6
July 20112.0 (29)0.8 (12)1.4 (41)7.7
July 20121.8 (27)0.9 (13)1.4 (40)15.0
July 20131.6 (24)0.9 (13)1.3 (37)16.2
July 20141.6 (24)0.8 (12)1.2 (36)22.2

 # = confidential

Source ONS Claimant Count 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) .

Employment - 2012

Total number of people working in the area: 2,500

Work patternpercentage


Type of employment%
Production & construction18
Distribution, accommodation and food15
Finance, ICT and Professional Services21
Other market services1
Public administration, defence, education and health45

Source: Business Register and Employment Survey, 2012, ONS

Figures may not sum due to rounding. All these figures exclude farm agriculture which has been suppressed

Employment Land (hectares)

Settlementarea developed 1994-10with permissionAllocatedTotal commitment

Winfrith Technology Centre, near Wool is a science and technology park owned by English Partnerships. The site was established on the old experimental nuclear reactor research and development site set up by UKAEA in 1957. Decommissioning activities began in the early 1990s. The Dorset Police HQ is also based in this area.

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)

Visitor Attractions

The area has a number of popular visitor attractions.

Monkey World180,000n/an/an/an/an/an/an/a
The Tank Museum125,513n/an/an/an/an/an/a170,000
Clouds Hilln/an/a14,87314,08614,89113,522n/a14,619
Lulworth Castle & parkn/an/an/an/a77,71177,83680,000n/a
Lulworth Heritage Centren/a418,595n/an/an/an/an/an/a

Source: Dorset Databook 2011, & DCC

Local Authorities

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

Purbeck District Council
Westport House
Worgret Road
Dorset BH20 2NZ
01929 423636

Wool Parish Council

Powered by GOSS iCM
Dorset Feedback icon