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The geography of Lincolnshire and its population demographics present specific challenges for health and wellbeing and contribute to some of the health inequalities identified within the Lincolnshire JSNA. The inequalities seen in older age groups, people who live in more deprived areas and people who live in rural areas coalesce in many coastal areas. Few areas in the UK combine all these factors in the way that Lincolnshire does.

Coastal communities have some of the worst health outcomes in England, including low life expectancy and high rates of major diseases. In 2021, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) highlighted the challenges of coastal communities in his Annual Report, including case studies on coastal communities in Lincolnshire. The report identified some of the reasons for inequalities and set out a range of recommendations to improve outcomes. 

In addition to 50 miles of coastline, Greater Lincolnshire has large expanses of rural land and urban centres of different size and make-up. There are some obvious geographic distinctions between these places and each has different challenges and opportunities when it comes to health and wellbeing. Some are subtle differences, for example proximity to neighbouring service centres, which if better understood will help us to promote health, reduce inequalities and provide services to those who need them. 

The 2022 DPH Annual Report for Greater Lincolnshire identified four types of community: 

  • Urban centre 
  • Urban industrial 
  • Coastal community 
  • Rural and market town 

Each type is described in more detail in the 2022 DPH Annual Report. In summary, urban centre communities can be categorised as those where building density is highest. Urban industrial communities also have a high building density but, in addition are characterised by their links to heavy industry such as electricity generation, gas, steel, mining, and quarrying, with a low amount of agricultural work, financial, professional, and scientific services. Coastal communities are those directly situated on the coast, with local business dominated by accommodation, leisure, and food services. The remaining areas are classified as rural and market town communities, characterised by large areas of agricultural land and green open space. Further information about the diverse communities of Lincolnshire, and the opportunities and challenges associated with this, can be found in the Lincolnshire Director of Public Health Annual Report 2022. Here you’ll also find supplementary information about each district area. 

Key points

  • East Lindsey, Boston & South Holland have high levels of deprivation
  • Resort towns, such as Skegness and Mablethorpe are among the 10% most deprived localities in England
  • Lincolnshire’s towns and urban areas appear relatively affluent but contain pockets of deprivation comparable to the coast, e.g. Lincoln and Gainsborough
  • Health deprivation mirrors overall deprivation, with the east coast and parts of Lincoln displaying high levels of health deprivation, and west Lincolnshire displaying lowest
  • 15% of Lincolnshire reside in the 20% most deprived communities
    Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.3.0
    Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right [2011]