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With reference to the Met Office publication Barometer (issue 9, page 12), what is the correct proportion of the United Kingdom population who
5 Jun 2008 : Column WA75
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The figure stated in Barometer (issue 9, page 12) that 80 per cent of the UK population lives in cities refers to the percentage of the UK population that lived in urban areas as at the 1991 census, rather than to the population that lives in cities.
Using the rural and urban definition published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2004, the ONS has identified that 81 per cent of the UK population as at the 2001 census lived in built-up areas that contained 10,000 people or more. This includes those people who lived in UK cities in 2001 but also those who lived in smaller towns that had a population of over 10,000.
Using the rural and urban definition, 19 per cent of the UK population as at the 2001 census were identified as living in rural areas. These figures of 81 per cent and 19 per cent are used across government when referring to populations in urban and rural areas. The Government develop policies for the whole country, rural and urban. The relevant tool in relation to rural proofing is the rural and urban definition, which enables the outcomes of government policies to be assessed in both urban and rural areas.
The Office for National Statistics has been consulted, as it published the rural and urban definition and, using this definition, it published the statistics that stated that 81 per cent of the UK population as at the 2001 census lived in urban areas and 19 per cent lived in rural areas.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 19 February (WA 48) concerning equality impact assessments of public spending in Northern Ireland, what guidance, if any, is provided to public authorities on how to obtain relevant evidence and so decide what consideration they give to assessing existing and proposed funding policies for equality impact. [HL3758]
Lord Rooker: The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland publishes a range of guidance for public authorities to assist them to comply with their statutory obligations. Copies of the Guide to the Statutory Duties, Practical Guidance on Equality Impact Assessment, Statement on Key Inequalities in Northern Ireland and Monitoring Guidance for Use by Public Authorities will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
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