JSNA Healthy Places

Data in this summary is correct as at May 2024

Where we live, work and socialise plays an important role in our health. Both the built and natural environment make up part of the wider determinants of health. These can influence people’s physical and mental health. This impact can be felt across the life course and impact on health inequalities. The quality of the environment can influence many aspects of people’s lives. For example:

  • social connections within a neighbourhood;
  • quality and availability of housing and food outlets;
  • exposure to air and noise pollution;
  • and safe transport including opportunities for active travel.

The planning and management of places can help promote good health, improve access to services and reduce health inequalities.

Local public health teams can influence the health of places. For example:

  • feeding into the plans for new housing developments,
  • influencing leaders in partner organisations to consider how the wider determinants of health are impacted by transport, air and noise pollution,
  • improving access to health assets such as green spaces,
  • and considering health hazards in local areas such as concentrations of fast food, alcohol or gambling outlets.

Data in this summary is correct as at May 2024. The data in this report can be explored further by smaller geographies in the JSNA Healthy Places data report

Healthy Places - Isle of Wight data summary

An agreed definition of a 'place' is challenging as people may identify their place differently. For example some may feel that their local neighbourhood or estate is their local place, whereas others may identify more broadly with the town or city in which they live.

The Isle of Wight (‘the Island’) has a population of around 140,400, of which 29.2% are aged 65 and over. This is older than the England average which has around 18.4% of the population aged 65 and over. The population density is 357.5 people per square kilometre. The Isle of Wight is mainly rural with areas classified as urban around Cowes, Ryde, Newport, Shanklin and Sandown. These areas hold 70% of the district population. A further 21% of the population live in rural town and fringe area, whilst the remaining 9% are in rural villages.

The Isle of Wight has high levels of deprivation with 12 areas in the top 20% most deprived in England. The areas of higher deprivation on the Island include urban areas in Cowes, Newport, Ryde and Ventnor. Just over half the population of the Island live in areas which are in the three deciles of highest deprivation.

Physical environment

Urban green space

Green space, such as parks, woodland, fields and allotments as well as natural elements including green walls, are recognised as important assets for supporting health and wellbeing. Evidence shows that living in a greener environment can promote and protect good health, aid in recovery from illness and help with managing poor health.

Leisure facilities and community access

The communities people are born, live, work and socialise in have a significant influence on how healthy they are. There are many ‘assets’ within communities that can be used to promote health and wellbeing, such as leisure centres and social clubs. Access to public sport facilities can be limited on the Isle of Wight. Whilst there is good access in Bembridge and Nettlestone, other areas experience lower access to these facilities, including Ryde, central Newport and central Cowes.

Coastal communities

The Chief Medical Officer's 2021 Annual report focused on health inequalities in coastal areas. It outlined that these areas have low life expectancy and high rates of many diseases, compared with non-coastal areas. The Isle of Wight is split between coastal and non-coastal areas. Non-coastal areas are more sparsely populated.

Home environment

Food insecurity

Good nutrition is vital for living a healthy life. Food insecurity can occur through a number of ways such as economic factors and factors impacting on access to buying groceries. The Food Insecurity Index includes all these factors and is mapped in the report. There are large amounts of food insecurity on the Isle of Wight. The areas with the greatest risk of food insecurity were central Newport, Lake, Shanklin, Sandown, East Cowes and more rural areas around Ventnor, Wroxall and Freshwater.


Housing is a key determinant of health. Poor quality or unsuitable homes directly affect physical and mental wellbeing, creating or exacerbating health issues. Cold homes and fuel poverty are directly linked to excess winter deaths. The Isle of Wight is less affordable than England as a whole, and has a smaller proportion of homes available for social renting and a higher proportion of homes owned outright. The Isle of Wight has a lower rate of overcrowded homes England overall.

Social and economic environment

Social isolation

This is the objective term used to describe an absence of social contacts or community involvement, or a lack of access to services. Loneliness is an unwelcome feeling or lack or loss of companionship. Social isolation and loneliness have negative impacts on health outcomes. The Isle of Wight has a number of areas where people are at increased risk of social isolation including Shanklin, Newport and Ventnor.

Digital access

The extent to which people use the internet can impact on a number of life aspects such as social connections, access to services such as groceries, banking, employment, and access to health services. There were very few areas where there was high engagement (only one within Cowes). The Isle of Wight also showed low rates of electronic returns for the census which suggests that alternative methods may be necessary for some communications.

Economic activity

Employment can provide a positive sense of wellbeing and a stable income reduces the risk of poor mental health. Higher earnings can provide a better standard of living and housing. On the Isle of Wight, the areas with lower estimated household incomes were Newport, central Ryde and Shanklin. In these areas there was the highest rate of people claiming benefits, especially Pan in Newport.

Community safety


Crime impacts on how safe and secure a person feels and on the sense of community. The majority of the Island had low rates of crime, however the town centre of Newport around the High Street had much higher rates as did the town centre of Ryde.

Road safety

Improved road safety results in fewer injuries, but can also impact on wider public health benefits such as increasing active transport, reducing noise, air pollution and increasing community cohesion. The number of accidents and the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads has been declining nationally over the long term. There was a sharp decline in 2020, followed by an increase back up to 2019 levels in 2022. This trend was also shown on the Isle of Wight.

Alcohol and gambling

These can be fun recreational activities, however both have the potential to cause great harm to individuals, families and wider society. The majority of gambling premises were located in the north and east of the Island in the more urban areas.



The amount of traffic on the roads can have a direct impact on health through road safety, air and noise pollution. CO2 makes up 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. Transport is the second largest source of CO2 emissions after domestic emissions on the Isle of Wight.

Energy consumption

These can support good physical and mental health primarily by creating healthy indoor living environments with healthy air temperatures, humidity levels, noise levels, and improved air quality. The Isle of Wight has above average domestic energy consumption rates than England.

Air quality

This is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. Long-term exposure to air pollution can cause chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer, leading to reduced life expectancy. In the short term, poor air quality can exacerbate asthma and cause coughs, wheezing and shortness of breath. Air quality on the Isle of Wight is good, although lower towards the north and east of the Island.

Climate change

Climate change is increasing the risk that extreme events, such as heatwaves and flooding, will occur. These events can result in increased mortality, especially in more vulnerable groups such as the elderly. Other populations groups will also experience impacts such as negative mental health consequences. On the Isle of Wight there are around 1,460 homes that are at medium or high risk of flooding from sea, rivers and surface water. Areas of particular risk include Monktonmead in Ryde and the Pan Meadows area of Newport.

Healthy Places - Full Report

Social Isolation Index 2023: Exploring the Isle of Wight

The Social Isolation Index 2023 explores the vulnerabilities associated with an increased risk of social isolation. This written narrative supports the data available on the Healthy Places Power BI. There is also a larger report covering all the Hampshire districts which is linked to within this IOW document.