Luton by the Numbers, facts about Luton
For trivia buffs, here's a rundown of interesting numerical factoids about Luton.
Luton is the 311th biggest district of England by land area, with 43.45 sq kms. With a population of 184,900 people, it is the 79th most heavily populated English district.
In terms of ethnicity, Luton is composed mainly of 71.9% Whites, 18.3% Asians and 6.3% Afro-Caribbean. The White population is further broken down into 64.97% White British, 4.65% of Irish descent and 2.28% White Other. Among the Asians, those of Pakistani comprise the largest majority with 9.23% followed by people from Bangladesh with 4.14% and from India with 4.08%. Among the Blacks, those of Caribbean descent comprise the largest majority with 4.15% followed by those from Africa with 1.73%. Around 80.7% of Luton's population were born in the United Kingdom.
In terms of religion, more than half of Luton's population (59.6%) are Christian. Muslims comprise the second largest religious block with 14.6%. The other major religions are Hindu (2.7%), Sikh (0.8%), Jewish (0.3%), Buddhist (0.2%) and Other Religions (0.3%). Some 14.1% said they had No Religion while 7.2% had None Stated.
Among those people aged 16 to 74, 63.3% are currently employed (including part-time employees, self-employed and students). Some 10.9% are already retired while 7.6% take care of the home and watch over the family. The unemployment rate is only 4.9%.
Luton also boasts of a wide range of educational institutions, numbering 98 in all. These include seven Nurseries, 70 Primary schools (nine Voluntary-Aided, two Special Requirements), 13 Secondary Schools (one Voluntary-Aided, one Special Requirements), four Further Educational Institutes and four other Educational Institutes.
The most famous education institution in town is the University of Bedfordshire, whose main campus is located at the Luton town centre. In 2004, the university was awarded by The Sunday Times with the title of "Best New University." Its courses in Nursing and Midwifery are ranked number four in the country. In The Times Top Universities 2007 League Table, the University of Bedfordshire was ranked 108th out of 109 universities.
Luton also hosts two of the best further education institutes in the country, namely, Luton Sixth Form College and Barnfield College. The Department for Education and Skills awarded both institutions with the Learning & Skills Beacon Status.
Aside from being one of the town's most popular landmarks, the London Luton Airport is also the fourth largest airport in London, next to Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. It is also the UK's fastest growing airport, with the total number of passengers rising by 21.5% in 2006. Based on the latest available figures, total annual passengers have been pegged at 9.41 million passengers in 2006, compared to 9.13 million passengers in 2005 and 7.52 million in 2004. This makes the London Luton Airport the sixth busiest airport in the United Kingdom in terms of passenger traffic.
In terms of crime, violence against a person is the most common crime committed in Luton, with 26.28 incidents per 1,000 population in 2005-06, compared to the national average of 19.97 per 1,000 population. It was followed by theft from a motor vehicle with 16.9 incidents per 1,000 population compared to the national average of 9.56 per 1,000 people. Robbery in Luton was quite high compared to the national average -- 4.69 incidents in Luton vs. 1.85 incidents nationally per 1,000 population. Meanwhile, burglaries in Luton were pegged at 9.22 per 1,000 population compared to the national average of 5.67 per 1,000 population
The biggest shopping area in Luton is The Mall Arndale with 118 stores. Built in the 1960s and formerly known as the Arndale Centre, the malls has prestigious shops such as Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Next, Woolworths and Boots.
With over 150,000 people in attendance each year, the Luton Carnival is the largest single-day carnival in Europe. It takes place on the May bank holiday Monday each year with a procession that begins at Wardown Park, traverses down New Bedford Road, rounds the Town Centre in St. George's Square, then back to New Bedford Road all the way back to Wardown Park.