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 589.

    Reading the comments in this lengthy topic has made me think of the song 'I hate Mondays' and it sounds as though we are all 'Doomed' if a balance in nature is not addressed. We have one daughter because that was all we could reaslticly afford. I was on a basic working wage and hate going into debt. So some people has been rather selfish and helped to cause this crisis. Or is there another issue?

  • rate this

    Comment number 588.

    GOOD POINT almost...but all those invadors assimiliated, spoke the same language etc and became English. that is not the case with current immigrants...
    I bet assimilation didn't happen overnight and as for the sailors at the Battle of Trafalgar, a lot of those only spoke their own language.

  • rate this

    Comment number 587.

    #56. 1I doubt the "they" you speak of have time to write on this forum.

    Its the poor sods who have to live with the consequences who probably have the time because, as you say, they can't compete....with the ones holding all the guns and money.

    I guess you think we are all just right wing nutters?

  • rate this

    Comment number 586.

    Immigration affects all of us whether we live in urban or rural areas because of the downward pressures it places on wages.

    Why else do we have less and less to live on while we become more and more productive due to new technologies?

    How do you think the corporate giants have funded a feeding frenzy of mergers and take overs, paid themselves bonanza bonuses and still made eye-watering profits?

  • rate this

    Comment number 585.

    We haven`t a hope of reducing immigration in the UK until we get real democracy in this country ,we are promised by the Governments time and time again that they will deal with it ,but as most know the only people they listen to is business and not the people ,and here was I thinking that people voted in a majority for what they want,big business runs the UK not the people ." Dictatorship Rules"

  • rate this

    Comment number 584.

    I don't care how nice the immigrants are. We are a small island with limited resources such as water (down south). We need to reduce our population by at least ten million.
    Just because they are nice does not mean we can allow millions of these immigrants in.
    We also need to sort out our manufacturing so make most of the things we use as well as needing to be power self-sufficient.

  • rate this

    Comment number 583.

    GOOD POINT almost...but all those invadors assimiliated, spoke the same language etc and became English. that is not the case with current immigrants"

    The Romans and Normans most certainly did not do that. It took 300 years before the Normans and their descendants adopted English (with a large French injection in the meantime). Other immigrants adopted English over generations

  • rate this

    Comment number 582.

    This figure only represent people who bothered to fill in the census with correct amounts of people who were here legally. Many landlords hide residents aswell as letting them live in garden shed/garages for rent. Its far more likely its a huge under estimate by millions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 581.

    The population in my native small Welsh town is dropping. Lack of numbers is closing down the High School. This partly due to very low local wages making young couples move away to more prosperous places such as Swansea and Cardiff, or over the bridge to Bristol. As qualifications go up so do aspirations, but local opportunities in remote country places are still next to nil

  • rate this

    Comment number 580.

    .You guys really need to stop fussing about this. Having a large population is VERY VERY good for any economy. It should be celebrated. Cheap labour becomes cheaper due to a larger supply pool and this translated to more profits and thereby more wealth for this country.
    Home Office, turn a blind eye to illegal immigration and turn on the floodgates to end this recession

  • rate this

    Comment number 579.

    It only goes to show that both Labour and Conservative have been going around with blinkers on, and not listening to the British public concern about mass immigration to this country, I cannot understand how we have 3 million unemployed when we have let in millions. to me just does not add up

  • rate this

    Comment number 578.

    People from Britain...this is alarm that immigration from developing/ not developing (say Pakistan) countries though entertained for cheap labour could trouble you in future. Do not entertain people whoa re running away from system just cause they do not have guts to change it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 577.

    The 2010-based Sub-national Population Projections published (which states no input from the 2011 census) in 21 March 2012 projected a English population of 53,107,000; the 2011 Census shows 53,012,500. Which estimates were used in the statement, 'There are almost half a million more people living in England and Wales than official estimates suggested'? Surely an increase was known months ago?

  • Comment number 576.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 575.

    548 England and Wales do not constitute an island...............

  • rate this

    Comment number 574.

    This is why Scotland needs independence. Within these isles we have completely different immigration requirements. #20 talks about "the country" in terms of England not the UK. Scotland is about two thirds the size of England yet has less than a tenth of Englands population. We need more skilled immigrants whilst it appears England is bursting at the seams.

  • rate this

    Comment number 573.

    I said this would happen in 1997.

  • rate this

    Comment number 572.

    Going by the example of Japan 3rd biggest economy - almost same size land as us, lot more people than us.... okay not getting into that argument... but you got the point right?

  • rate this

    Comment number 571.

    Medieval solutions for modern problems. Specifically: population overload.

    Pick a country, annihilate all their population and put your own population there. We'll have to rename the country we invade though.

  • rate this

    Comment number 570.

    One mention of immigration in this report and that was an aside in the Analysis by Mark Easton. The BBC's continued wilful ignorance of the topic that continues to rankle many a Briton's opinion is a complete and utter disgrace.


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