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 529.

    How much of the immigration causing the majority of this rise was caused by foreign criminals who we dont deport because it might be unfair to their rights?

    I read yesterday how the rapist of a 12 year old girl is being allowed to stay because of his human rights?

    Deporting these scum (of which there are hundreds) should be a priority and help the figures also.

  • rate this

    Comment number 528.

    Get them out now. Too many freeloaders coming here lining pockets back home not boosting OUR economy but buffering their own off our hard work.

    Skilled trades welcome as usual but the low paid we got plenty can do it here already. Housing shortages and other social strain.

    How many countrys of their origin can you go to live free ?

    Stop the breeders before its too late.

  • rate this

    Comment number 527.

    I suggest we have a complete moratorium on new child births for, say, ten years, starting 1 Jan 2013. That should give us and future generations a bit of a breather.

  • rate this

    Comment number 526.

    Of course,I'm sure that all the people here illegally took part in the census.

  • rate this

    Comment number 525.

    We live on a beautiful, fragile and above all tiny island. All our resources - natural and economic - are already dangerously over-stretched. Out of control immigration (by which I mean the powers that be keep losing the records) is totally unacceptable. But so is out of control breeding (or to put it another way, benefits harvesting).

  • rate this

    Comment number 524.

    Non-skilled immigration needs to stop NOW no matter how nice these people are,when your full your full end of.

    Skilled immigration needs to stop NOW, would it kill business's to actually train us up instead of a quick fix importing foreign nurses or engineers etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 523.

    Some people seem to suggest that all immigrants vote Labour, but this not the case, Baroness Warsi is one example.

  • rate this

    Comment number 522.

    'It was always normal to have a rough imbalance in favour of the male in terms of numbers'

    No, you're wrong. It's increasing safety of childbirth and having fewer children that make the difference. WW2 ended 67 years ago so it has no current effect.

  • Comment number 521.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 520.

    Whether immigrants are better or worse than the native population is neither here nor there. If immigration was ever called upon by democratic assent it would still be questionable, for the same reasons as debts levied on future gens, but it doesn't.

    It enjoys the same legitimacy as the UKs status in the EU ie absolutely zero. The population didn't ask for it or vote for it. It is illigitimate

  • rate this

    Comment number 519.

    Who opened the door to encouraging West Indian immigration in the early fifties? Was it the Labour Party? I think not. Who tooks us into the EU? Was it a Labour government? Whether you think these were good or bad acts isn't my point. My point is get your facts right and be less selective before having a rant.

  • rate this

    Comment number 518.

    Some Lingering Fog
    We will need more immigration, not less, if we are to pay for all the nice "free" health and welfare that everyone has come to expect in their old age.

    I realise you are putting "free" in quotes..... assume you understand it is not free. And people expecting it in their old age have generally paid in their whole lives for it. Silly comment.

  • rate this

    Comment number 517.

    So some think we need more mass immigration into the UK?
    So Please explain with this line of thought of when it will be time to say "No More".
    Big Business is the only real beneficiary of this kind of immigration,ask the average person in the street and they will say reduce it drastically.
    The only reason low skilled immigrants are here is so business can exploit them and get richer!

  • rate this

    Comment number 516.

    So just over half the population increase is due to immigration, but we blame a "full country" only on this factor??
    The fact is the other half of the increase is due to people living longer.To sustain&support an ageing population the number of people of working age needs to be far greater than the number of retirees. Simple! If you want less immigration and/or birth we also need less "old ones"

  • rate this

    Comment number 515.

    #479 therealist
    The racist attitude I referred to is the one which labels the English and British as workshy scroungers. Labelling an entire race in such derogatory terms is inaccurate, offensive, undeserved and, in my view, racist. I know British people who cannot find work despite trying very hard; the racist attitude that "if they're British they must be lazy" doesn't help.

  • rate this

    Comment number 514.

    There are two kinds of immigration: political and economic. While most of us see no problem with helping refugess, economic migration is not so straightforward. The law of supply and demand means the more workers there are in the UK, the less you have to pay them. The large influx of immigrants may help pay for pensions today, but who will pay for their pensions? Perpetual immigration needed?

  • rate this

    Comment number 513.

    If immigration is good for the economy, why do certain minority immigrant groups have *consistently* higher rates of unemployment than the UK average ? We seem to be importing unemployment....not a good idea. (Google 'unemployment by ethnicity UK' to see a few examples)

  • Comment number 512.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 511.

    There are too many right wing little englanders on this blog - we clearly need more immmigration to dilute them

  • rate this

    Comment number 510.

    You want the true face of immigration, look at the prison system, Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia etc all with varying levels of criminality. The idea that every immigrant who comes here works and contributes isnt just a myth peddled by the far left its peddled by mainstream politicians. Enough is enough, its time we closed our doors until we dealt with those who should not be here.


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