Cannock is a town and the administrative centre of the Cannock Chase district, as of the 2011 census, it has a population of 29,018, and is one the most populous towns in the district of Cannock Chase in the county of Staffordshire in the West Midlands region of England.
Cannock was in the Domesday Book of 1086. It was called Chnoc c.1130, Cnot in 1156, Canot in 1157, and Canoc in 1198. Cannock is probably Old English cnocc meaning 'hillock', modified by Norman pronunciation by the insertion of a vowel to Canoc. The name may refer to Shoal Hill, north-west of the town.
Cannock was a small rural community until mining increased heavily during the mid-to-late 19th century. The area then continued to grow rapidly with many industries coming to the area because of its proximity to the Black Country and its coal reserves. Cannock's population continued to increase steadily in the 20th century and its slight fall since the 1981 census has been more than compensated for by house-building in the adjoining village of Heath Hayes. The last colliery to close in the town was Mid Cannock in 1967,
and the last remaining colliery to close in the Cannock Chase area was Littleton (in Huntington) in 1993.
There is now no heavy industry in the area, and Cannock is home to many commuters working in the surrounding towns and cities.
Cannock is on a south-west facing slope, falling from the highest point on Cannock Chase (244 m) at Castle Ring, to about 148 m in the town centre and 111 m near Wedges Mills. The soil is light with a gravel and clay subsoil, and there are extensive coal measures.
Cannock has a moderate, temperate climate. See Penkridge weather station for details of average temperature and rainfall figures taken between 1981 and 2010 at the Met Office weather station in Penkridge (around 5 miles (8 km) north-west of Cannock).
In the decade to 2011 the number of dwellings rose by 7.8% to 13,152. The ward with the biggest increase (16.1%) was Cannock South.
Of the town's 12,690 households in the 2011 census, 31.5% were one-person households including 13.9% where that person was 65 or over. 63.6% were one family with no others (9.0% all pensioners, 30.9% married or same-sex civil partnership couples, 12.3% cohabiting couples and 11.3% lone parents). 27.7% of households had dependent children including 5.5% with no adults in employment. 59.3% of households owned their homes outright or with a mortgage or loan.
Of the town's 23,717 residents in the 2011 census aged 16 and over, 33.5% were single (never married), 45.2% married, 0.15% in a registered same-sex civil partnership, 2.6% separated, 10.4% divorced and 8.2% widowed. 33.4% had no formal qualifications and 42.9% had level 2+ qualifications, meaning 5+ GCSEs (grades A*-C) or 1+ 'A' levels/ AS levels (A-E) or equivalent minimum.
72.7% of the 10,509 men aged 16 to 74 were economically active, including 45.1% working full-time, 5.6% working part-time and 12.6% self-employed. The male unemployment rate (Male unemployment)(of those economically active) was 9.9%. 60.7% of the 10,724 women aged 16 to 74 were economically active, including 26.8% working full-time, 23.5% working part-time and 3.1% self-employed. The female unemployment rate (of those economically active) was 7.5%.
Of people in employment aged 16 to 74, 13.5% worked in basic industries (ONS categories A, B, and D-F including 11.1% in construction), 14.2% in manufacturing, and 72.2% in service industries (ONS categories G-U including 19.5% in wholesale and retail trade and vehicle repair, 11.6% in health and social work, 7.4% in education, 6.2% in transport and storage, 5.8% in public administration, 5.6% in accommodation and catering, and 4.7% in administrative and support service activities). While 27.7% of households did not have access to a car or van, 76.1% of people in employment travelled to work by car or van.
75.5% of residents described their health as good or very good. The proportion who described themselves as White British was 95.6%, with all white ethnic groups making up 97.4% of the population. The ethnic make-up of the rest of the population was 1.0% mixed/multiple ethnic groups, 0.69% Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi, 0.34% Chinese, 0.17% other Asian, 0.35% Black and 0.065% other. 3.1% of Cannock's residents were born outside the United Kingdom.
Cannock has a free weekly local newspaper, the Cannock & Rugeley Chronicle (an edition of the Cannock & Lichfield Chronicle).
Another free weekly, the Chase Post (an edition of the Cannock Chase & Burntwood Post), ceased publication in November 2011.
Cannock is located close to the M6, M6 Toll and M54 motorways. There is an extensive network of local buses radiating out from Cannock town centre. The town's main bus operator is Arriva Midlands, who operate the majority of services to and from Cannock bus station linking Stafford, Penkridge, Lichfield, Walsall and Rugeley to name a few.
Cannock railway station closed in 1965 as part of the Beeching cuts but reopened in 1989. It is part of the Rugeley - Cannock - Walsall - Birmingham line operated by West Midlands Trains. Over the years, usage of this station, and the line overall, have increased to unprecedented levels. Services initially were hourly services between Birmingham New Street and Stafford (cut back to Rugeley Trent Valley in 2008). By 2013, usage had become significant enough to warrant electrification of the railway line, which was completed in 2019.
The majority of bus services are operated by Arriva Midlands which has a garage to the south of the town centre. In April 2019, National Express West Midlands launched a new timetable on their X51 service to run all day linking Cannock with Birmingham for the first time in several years. Previously this was a peak-time only service.
In May 2019, West Midlands Trains began operating electric trains from this station. The vast majority of services are to Rugeley Trent Valley in the north, southbound trains operate to Birmingham International and London Euston. The journey time to Birmingham is around 36 minutes. On Sundays, trains operate as far south as Coventry.
Chase Grammar School (called Lyncroft House School 1980-1996 then Chase Academy until January 2013) is an independent co-educational boarding school with a day nursery and over 200 pupils up to age 19 including many international students.
South Staffordshire College closed its Cannock Campus in July 2017, but reopened it the following summer as the new Cannock Chase Skills and Innovation Hub with courses starting there from September 2018.