In Greater Manchester the inactivity socio-economic gap is 24.1%, this gap has widened since November 2015/16 (baseline) by 5.5%. This widening of the gap has increased at more than double the national rate, in the same time frame England has seen the gap widened by 1.7%. Whilst inactivity has increased amongst both higher social groups (NS-SEC 1-2) and lower social groups (NS-SEC 6-8), the latter has seen the greater increase (+0.5% v. +6.0%).

When looking at the changes over time it's clear that the widening of the gap has primarily been driven by an increase in inactivity during 2019-20, with the rate of increase being related to social group. The latest release has seen a plateauing in inactivity amongst lower social groups and higher social groups and a decline amongst middle social groups. However, due to the previous significant increase in inactivity amongst lower social groups rate of inactivity remains considerably higher compared to higher social groups.

Line graph showing inactivity by socio-economic group over time in Greater Manchester

Borough Picture

Of the nine boroughs of Greater Manchester that a socio-economic gap can be calculated for (Trafford's sample size for lower social groups was too small), only two, Bury and Tameside, have a smaller gap than the England average. However, this disguises the large increase in the socio-economic gap in Bury, at baseline the gap was just 5.2%. Overall, just three boroughs, Manchester, Tameside and Trafford, have seen a narrowing of the gap since baseline and these are generally just a minor decrease (-4.2%, -1.3%, 0.5%).

Horizontal bar graph showing socio-economic inactivity gap by area

Sport England, through their Tackling Inactivity and Economic Disadvantage programme, offers further information on how to engage those from low socio-economic backgrounds in physical activity.

More information on the latest Active Lives release can be found here.

If you have questions about this data please email: [email protected]

All data is rounded to one decimal point, you can access the raw data here.

Published November 2021