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Geography

Managing population change

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Local population characteristics

The population structure can vary within a country. In England a census [census: A census happens every 10 years in the UK through a questionnaire. It is a head count, and records extra details such as ethnicity, occupation and age. ] is conducted every 10 years to find out more about the population characteristics. The results help to show how the population changes over time and in different areas. Councils also collect data.

Retirement migration

There are areas in England which attract people in retirement age. Dorset, Devon and Cornwall are three areas which attract retirement migrants. There are more elderly there than the national average. The population pyramid for the Torbay area shows this.

Learn more about retirement migration here.

Population age distribution in Torbay. The green line represents the UK average.

Population age distribution in Torbay

Case study: Bristol

Bristol's population is made up of 13.9 per cent black and minority ethnicity residents. This is similar to the national average of 12.5 per cent. However the different ethnic groups are not spread evenly across the city.

Bristol has a large student population. It also has a higher than average percentage of qualified residents (35.1 per cent in Bristol compared to 29.5 per cent nationally). 20.2 per cent of people travel to work on foot or by bike, whereas the national average is only 12.8 per cent.

The census can therefore tell us a lot about local population characteristics.

Key facts about Bristol

BristolEngland and Wales
Black and minority ethnic residents13.9%12.5% (England)
One person households38%34%
Earnings£26,500£26,100
Average price of houses sold£170,700£163,100
Unemployment rate7.9%7.7%
Qualified NVQ4 or above35.1%29.5%
People who travel to work by public transport13.5%14.5%
People who travel to work either on foot or bicycle20.2%12.8%

Source: Bristol City Council.

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