England and Wales population up

A British crowd The population has grown by 7% in a decade, the Census showed

The population of England and Wales has reached 56.1 million, up by 3.7 million in a decade, the 2011 Census shows.

It is the largest growth shown by any census since they began in 1801.

The population in England was 53 million on 27 March 2011 when the census was taken, about 400,000 more than official estimates.

In Wales the population was 3.1 million. Around 55% of the 3.7m increase was attributed to net migration.

The census showed that the population for England and Wales was greater than official estimates rolled forward from 2001 - by just over 500,000.


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Data shows that from March 2001 to March 2011, there were 6.6 million births and five million deaths in England and Wales, leading to an increase in the population of 1.6 million.

The Office for National Statistics said this accounted for around 44% of the total increase in population size, with the remainder being due to migration.

Population by age and sex, England and Wales, 2011

Population by age and sex, England and Wales, 2011

BBC home editor Mark Easton says the most likely reason for the discrepancy between the official estimate and the actual population is inaccurate migration data.

It is notable that the number of people in their 20s has risen from 6.6m to 7.6m - that additional one million people are most likely to be migrant workers, he adds.

The latest rise compares with a rise in population of 1.6 million between 1991 and 2001.

The population projections published by the ONS will be revised upwards in the autumn.

On the night of the census there were 23.4 million households in England and Wales, with the average household size being 2.4 people per household in 2011, just over half of the 4.3 residents per household 100 years earlier.

The 2011 Census also showed the average population density was 371 people per square kilometre; however, in London this figure was 5,200.

If the London figures were excluded, the average population density for the rest of England and Wales was 321 people per square kilometre, the ONS said.

All regions saw population growth between 2001 and 2011, with the highest growth in London, the East of England and the East Midlands.

Other population data showed:

There are almost half a million more people living in England and Wales than official estimates suggested. The most likely reason for that under-counting is inaccurate migration data.

It is notable that the number of people in their 20s has risen from 6.6m to 7.6m - the additional one million people are most likely to be migrant workers.

The increase in the number of under-fives by 400,000 is also a consequence of immigration, but increasing fertility among British-born women is the key driver in pushing up the fertility rate.

Half of the total increase in population was in London, the South-East and East regions of England.

The Office for National Statistics says that about 55% of the population increase was the result of net migration.

The population projections published by the ONS will be revised upwards in the autumn.

  • there were almost a million more women than men in England and Wales - 27.6 million men v 28.5 million women
  • the median age of the population - where half the population is younger and half is older - in England and Wales was 39, with the median age for men being 38 and for women 40
  • there were 406,000 more under-five-year-olds than in 2001
  • one in six people in England and Wales in 2011 was aged 65 and over
  • the percentage of the population aged 65 and over was the highest seen in any census - at 16.4%
  • there were 430,000 residents aged 90 and over in 2011 compared with 340,000 in 2001 and 13,000 in 1911
  • Cardiff saw the greatest population rise of anywhere in Wales, growing by 12%

The public were asked questions about their jobs, health, education and ethnic background. It was the first time people could fill in the form online.

The form was compulsory, but a question about religion was optional. The answers are used to plan public services.

Three different censuses happened on the one day. Northern Ireland and Scotland each managed their own, and these were run separately from the one which was sent to 25.4 million households in England and Wales.

Northern Ireland's population rose to 1.81 million - the highest figure ever - according to its census.

The number of people increased by 7% over the last decade, broadly in line with the figure for England and Wales.

The just-published figures showed an increase in the proportion of elderly people and a decrease in the percentage of children under 16.

Figures for Scotland will be released later this year.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 149.

    141. Really? That's why France's equivalent of the BNP just got 18% of the vote in the presidential election? Clearly your IQ needs to be questioned before you try and use examples that are so flawed that they don't even support the point you make.

  • rate this

    Comment number 148.

    where is the breakdown of figures based on ethnicity? ethnic family size proportions?

    Well done Labour. Dilute this country to the point where we cant even get our national colours right for the olympics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 147.

    Can somebody please explain to me how the heck 41% of people (according to opinion polls) are STILL prepared to vote for Labour after the hideous and permanent damage they have done to this country!? Who are these people are what on earth is wrong with them?

  • rate this

    Comment number 146.

    The HIGHEST RATED comments shows consensus: real fear at the levels of immigration. Are we right wing fascists? Erm, NO!

    I'd help anyone in genuine need but I'm concerned our welfare system cannot cope with those who have CONTRIBUTED for years: the money is running out fast.

    Is it right that those who have never contributed, can access these services? I do hope Enoch Powell was wrong.

  • rate this

    Comment number 145.

    is this rise a surprise? people cannot afford to put the tele on so embark on other avenues of entertainment.

  • rate this

    Comment number 144.

    99% of the population have wanted to cap immigration over the decades, but ‘The Mother of All Democracies’ DICTATES otherwise. We get the usual hollow sound bites at election time, though.
    We should have accountability for election manifesto promises that are broken --- It’s paramount to fraud.

  • rate this

    Comment number 143.

    Did anyone mention starving children to death Steve? Don't think so. Maybe you should pop your head back in the sand!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 142.

    Your statistics forgot to mention that 15% of White British households don't have anyboby who works, compared to 25% for households of Asian of African descent.

    But of course this will dispell the myth that the British are all bone idle and we need immigration to pay for them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 141.

    Crikey, the chavs have been busy.

    To those racists comparing population density to other European Countries; your ignorance matches your hate and probably your IQ too.

    France is under populated. The French Government are financing births in order to encourage a growth in the population. New mothers get cash, more kids more cash. And the French care not one jot about their ethenicity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 140.

    Ignorance is bliss!.Most E Europeans work harder and more dedicated than their British compatriots.Remember the British Plumbers? Ring 10 to get 1 to come out then at exaggerated rates.

    I welcome these immigrants they show the Brits how to work. One final thing without them the Olympic sites would still not be ready.

  • rate this

    Comment number 139.

    UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article 2 1948

    ...any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such

    c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part

  • rate this

    Comment number 138.

    Anthony Rat
    And these figures don't count the illegal immigrants that no-one knows about!

    We're full up and don't need anymore innigrants!

    -Yes those pesky innigrants, we have enough home grown ignorance of our own.

    Want fewer cuts and smaller tax rises? Then welcome more immigrants says the Office for Budget Responsibility,based on careful analysis of the facts, not xenophobia

  • rate this

    Comment number 137.

    73 "This overcrowded island can’t take much more!"

    This island is not overcrowded, some areas of England are though.

  • rate this

    Comment number 136.

    An increasing population based on the fact that most immigrants are of working age is every chancellor's dream. A larger workforce means that wages are held down as the demand for jobs is greater, more taxes are paid & the problems are way down the road for future chancellors. If the roads are congested, houses in short supply, &c then the answer is easy more emmigration & less immigration.

  • rate this

    Comment number 135.

    Any chance that we could welcome anyone with the guts, gumption and resourcefulness to get into the UK illegaly and swap them for the feckless, idle handout lifestyle parasites? (NB not those in dire straights who are genuinely in need of a helping hand)

  • rate this

    Comment number 134.

    Although not exactly pc - it has to be a fundamental part of the discussion when more than 25% of all births are from foreign born mothers. In Newham this proportion is over 85%


    We can not get like Kenya where the population is doubling every ....... 10 years

  • rate this

    Comment number 133.

    86. The funny thing is, the idea of 'British' is strange because the entire population of Britain are descendants of or are immigrants.

  • rate this

    Comment number 132.

    Some great posts on here but how on earth do we REALLY make a difference? I mean we can vent our spleens but all the time the politicians are worried of offending people we will never make progress. I hate political correctness as this is really damaging as the minority mainly those coming in have 'rights' and WE true brits do not. Oh the MP's go on holiday soon...do they work? Useless

  • rate this

    Comment number 131.

    Some Lingering Fog

    So you're suggesting we invite 'more' people in who have paid absolutely zilch into the system, and will continue in that vain as there are no jobs for them to generate tax?

    No to mention the welfare money they will inevitably/eventually be entitled too.

  • Comment number 130.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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