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 269.

    40. TheGrassAintGreener
    ""There were a million more women than men..."

    Bet all the single, pretty ones are taken too :("

    Yeah, sorry about that. I'll try and show a bit more restraint in future.

  • rate this

    Comment number 268.

    One way of getting more points to get a visa to live in OZ is that you have to invest money into the country first. You do get that money back I think after 5 years, but it stops scroungers and hangers on. Oz have the right idea for sure. Thanks Tony and Gordon we could all see what was going on and would you listen would you hell. Will my Grandson be living by sharia law in the future ? PROBABLY

  • rate this

    Comment number 267.

    @ 253 Paul Weatherall

    "We are all citizens of the world now (or should be)"

    ...... Says Paul in his no doubt comfortable liberal metropolitan utopia.
    This takes the biscuit as being the most ignorant, flawed and pompous statement I've ever read on here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 266.

    Instead of using immigrants to make up for a low birthrate, do jobs Brits won't & do, & to tackle a skills shortage - we could stop the publicly funded abortion of 140,000 future tax payers every year; change our welfare system to discourage Brits from sponging; improve our education system, & make employers actually train people. We need to tackle the causes not just keep cramming more people in.

  • rate this

    Comment number 265.

    Most posts are missing the point,
    yes we are being swamped by immigrants,
    yes the politico's are not listening,
    and yes it cannot be sustained.
    BUT the main point is that the percentage of people working and paying taxes is not increasing in step with the population increase.

  • rate this

    Comment number 264.

    can't help but wonder how many HAVEN'T been accounted for.....what figure would we be at then?????

  • rate this

    Comment number 263.

    "It's unbelievable that there are so many fools in the uk that are willing to give their personal data to the census.

    Personally I would prefer prison"

    Agreed, the level of intrusion in UK Plc is a disgrace. My life, my business. The only good thing about the census form was the chance to practice my Greek alphabet.

  • rate this

    Comment number 262.

    @Bauer. Nice snappy point except that Japan is only 60% of UK's size yet has 127 million people - more than double the UK population, so clearly people per sq km has nothing to do with being educated, organised and smart.

  • rate this

    Comment number 261.

    A couple of years ago I saw a figure of 64 million for the UK population and a predicted figure of 72 million within 15 years. If we can assume that a significant number of people don't complete a census form, then it looks like we're on course to reach that figure.

  • rate this

    Comment number 260.

    1 Hour ago
    More people > more demand > more supply > more jobs > higher tax receipts > lower deficit > lower taxes. Hooray!


    More people>more demand>increased need for housing> increasing house prices>increasing road congestion>increasing pressure on schools and NHS

  • rate this

    Comment number 259.

    @Victor Mackay

    "Anyone from the eu can come into the country and claim unemployment, housing benefit and use all the other services that are provided. How does this work?"

    Very well actually. The EU agreement states that you can move to another country and try to get work, claiming benefits identical to citizens of the host country. If you fail to find work within 6 months you have to leave.

  • rate this

    Comment number 258.

    I believe the official figures are just the tip of the iceberg. There are ppl from outside the EU living in this country who are not accounted for in the census because they are living under the radar. Often working in small family businesses where they are not registered for or paying tax/NI, & are not officially resident at any address.

  • rate this

    Comment number 257.

    Approx 10 million people in the UK are economically inactive - and would benefit from a part time job.
    UK has a higher dole rate than Spain (approx 40% official figure) as the Spanish do not fiddle their unemployment rates
    My daughter is now looking for a part time job as a student and is being interviewed by foreigners & can see many jobs already filled by foreigners & is finding it difficult

  • rate this

    Comment number 256.

    229 ferafestiva. Lol, new houses in Devon and Cornwall...these are because the best houses are taken by weekend immigrants from London.
    More generally though, looking at some comments these are mainly issues of city living, you get the benefit of a 24 hour society but somebody has to be working to deliver that, and in the 70's it certainly wasn't the indigenious population that was doing that.

  • Comment number 255.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 254.

    lets just consdier finance not immigration.

    Census data shows people who want large families usually need subsidies to support them i.e more children than they could otherwise afford.

    Child benefit was brought in after WW2 to give an incentive to repopulate, so people are still financially encouraged to have children.

    The only way to control it is to stop incentivising large families.

  • rate this

    Comment number 253.

    The xenophobic comments on some of these comments are very sad to see (understatement).

    There may well be issues of overpopulation / availability of public services etc to address but couching those in terms of indegenous populations is not helpful. We are all citizens of the world now (or should be)

  • rate this

    Comment number 252.

    I don't want immigration, I want to preserve my culture and national identity. I am willing to be financially and economically worse off, however I believe immigrants are a net drain on society. I'm not a racist I wouldn't like to see Nigeria bombarded with immigration I think it should be full of Nigerians, if I visit Egypt I would like to see it full of Egyptians etc etc

  • rate this

    Comment number 251.


    17 Minutes ago

    The population problem is caused by ill educated, unskilled, lazy, obese, yobbish english citizens who don't work and have very large families

    Spot on but the racists won't admit that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 250.

    The English language is changing. Since when did immigration become a dirty word? Why is "net migration" used instead now? Too much of an inconvenient truth to speak it's name?

    Similarly, the new made up word "downsizing" doesn't make the word redundancy sound any nicer does it?

    "Downsizing of local workforce due to net migration". How does that sound?


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