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Exeter economy in numbers

Population: Exeter, the capital city of Devon, has an estimated population of 128,900 and is at the heart of a travel to work area of over 470,000 residents. 

Employment: The city's wider area includes much of the district council areas of East Devon, Teignbridge, and Mid Devon. 288,100 of these residents are of working age and just under 241,300 are employed. Well over half the workforce is well qualified, substantially higher than the national average.

Commuters: Approximately 35,000 people commute into Exeter on a daily basis.

Geography:  Exeter is one of two large urban centres within the rural county of Devon, Plymouth being the other.

Total companies: 4,877 registered for business rates. 

Average City Centre footfall: 1,364,000 people per month.

University of Exeter: The Times and the Sunday Times ranks the University of Exeter as 14th in the UK. Exeter was ranked 8th best Russell group university.

Exeter specialisms: The largest number of meteorologists and climate change specialists in the UK are based here. Award-winning specialists in diabetes and breast cancer can be found at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and the University of Exeter has many award-winning research fellows.

Recent investment in the city: Over £500m was invested in the Exeter area between 2011 and 2016 and new investments are continuing.  Significant sums have been used to improve the area’s infrastructure (roads, cycle paths, new railway stations, improve flood prevention schemes etc.), build new housing, create new university facilities, introduce iconic new business premises and improve sports facilities.  Future development plans include the development of the Exeter Bus and Coach Station site which will introduce a new swimming pool and the building of an IKEA store. Additional developments are anticipated at Exeter Science Park.

Culture: Royal Albert Memorial Museum was named Museum of the Year in 2012 and Exeter was chosen to be a Host City for Rugby World Cup 2015.  Exeter is a Fairtrade City and has its own currency – the Exeter Pound – that particularly aims to help independent traders. The city has four theatres.

History: Exeter’s history goes back to Roman times with 2/3rds of the Roman Wall still visible.  Exeter Cathedral is an oasis in the centre of the bustling city.  This and other historic buildings help to make Exeter a popular tourist attraction.

Connectivity: Exeter has an International Airport, two railway routes into London (Paddington and Waterloo), major routes by road (M5 to Bristol), 3 Park & Ride schemes and joined up cycle routes within the city.  In 2016, a new railway station opened at Newcourt.

Miles to:

London: 173 miles
Bristol: 80 miles
Plymouth: 45 miles


When this content has been updated

Last updated 24 March 2023