Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Why are there so many miners in Kensington and Chelsea?

It's partly Imperial College's fault according to the BBC who have a lovely piece on odd facts from the 2011 Census.  For data geeks like me, this is a cautionary tale about interpreting data....

More people in London's Kensington and Chelsea describe themselves as working in mining and quarrying than in Gateshead, according to the census. The figures - 207 and 151 individuals respectively - are not large.
 The decline of the coal industry in England and Wales has been well documented. About 2,000 people now work in coal mines, according to the National Union of Mineworkers, compared with the more than a million at the industry's height in the early 1900s.
 The mining and quarrying industry as a whole employs 46,478, according to the 2011 Census, down 12,913 on 2001.
The area with the highest concentration of workers - 2% (and 3.8% of men) - is Redcar and Cleveland, home of the giant Boulby Potash Mine.
 But there are surprising numbers of people in smart central London districts, such as Westminster or Kensington and Chelsea, who describe themselves as working in mining and quarrying.

They may work in management or for large international mining conglomerates such as Rio Tinto, which has its headquarters in London, says Paul Hardman of the NUM.
Another contributory factor may be the Royal School of Mines, part of Imperial College London. It is situated on the university's South Kensington campus and numbers about 350 undergraduates, 200 postgraduates, as well as lecturers. The majority live nearby, and some may class themselves as miners, a spokeswoman says.


  1. Ha! That's brilliant, though really how many live nearby? Maybe there are a load of 1st year undergrads in halls self-identifying at miners...?

  2. Thanks! I don't see many first years walking around College wearing miner's gear though...

  3. There are many directors and senior managers of mining companies living in the RBKC.

    1. Thanks. I think one could nail this down by looking at what occupation those working in the mining industry are reporting. To be fair to the ONS, the Census question is what industry are you working in e.g. mining, and that is separate from what occupation are you, e.g. miner.

  4. well, there's this, but not really Imperial student style... more UCL I'd say.

  5. Maybe there is a mean baseline of 175 migrant ex-miners in every region of the country except South Yorkshire and across the middle of Scotland? they must have gone somewhere (although Kensington & Chelsea wouldnt have been my top choice!).

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