England & Wales population rises 3.7m in 10 years
July 16th 2012
The population of England and Wales has grown by 3.7 million over the last decade, the biggest increase documented since census-taking began in 1801, according to new figures. The first tranche of findings from the 2011 census illustrate how longer life expectancy, migration and higher fertility rates have caused the number of residents to boom. The figures show that the population of England and Wales on 27 March 2011 was 56.1 million compared with 52.4 million in 2001, the year of the last census. The population of northern Ireland, according to results also released today, was 1.8 million. Although the official Scottish results will not be released until later this year, Glen Watson, director of the 2011 Census, said that, based on an estimate from earlier this year, the new figures would take the UK’s total population to 63.1 million.
In contrast with 2001, when the north-east and north-west England saw population decline, all regions of England and Wales grew in size during the last decade. London saw the biggest increase, gaining more than 850,000 residents and bringing its population to more than 8 million. Olympic boroughs Tower Hamlets and Newham saw the two highest rates of growth of all local authorities.
‘In 2011 growth of 3.7 million stands out as being the largest growth in any 10-year period in the last 210 years. The population has been growing throughout the decade since 2001,’ said Watson. ‘These latest 2011 population estimates are 1% higher than we previously thought, just under half a million higher.’ The figure of 56.1 million is 480,000 higher than had been estimated by the Office for National Statistics [ONS] in 2010. Comparisons detailed today by the ONS are not made with the 2001 census, with which it admits there are ‘known issues’. Instead they are made with corrected data released in the 2001 mid-year population estimates.
One of the most striking aspects of the census is the rise in the number of over-65s, who now make up one in six of the population of England and Wales. This is accompanied by the biggest ever number of over-90s, who totalled 430,000 in March 2011 compared with 13,000 in 1911. In Christchurch, Dorset, almost 30% of the population was over 65 in 2011. But a rise was also seen among the under-fives, whose numbers have risen by 400,000 to 3.5 million in the last decade. The ONS said this was due partly to increased fertility in women from the UK and partly to a growing number of women of child-bearing age coming to the country from overseas.
Read the full article: The Guardian
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