The population of England and Wales has risen to 59,597,300, results of the 2021 census show.
It grew by more than 3.5 million (6.3%) since the last census in 2011 and there are more people over 65 years than ever. When added to published census figures for Northern Ireland and the official estimate of the Scottish population for 2020, the UK population now stands at 66,966,400.
The rise is one of the biggest since the census began in 1801, and it showed that the population rose in each of the English regions and Wales.
The Results of the Census
The census, carried out every 10 years, requests people to answer questions about themselves, their household and their home, which is used to build a detailed snapshot of society.
The results are intended to help organisations make decisions on planning and funding public services such as transport, education and healthcare. The 2021 survey which was carried out on March 21 last year (2021), and came against the backdrop of Brexit, faced restrictions on immigration as well as the coronavirus pandemic.
The figures show one-sixth (18.6%, 11.1 million) of the population in 2021 are now over 65 – up from 16.4% (9.2 million) in 2011.
While 0.9% of the population, 527,900 people, are now aged 90 or over. However, in 2011, that figure was 429,017, or 0.8% of the population. There were 10.4 million people aged 15 and under in 2021, the figures showed, making up 17.4% of the population. There are more people in this age group compared in 2011, but the proportion of the overall population aged 15 or under decreased slightly from 17.6% in 2011.
Overall, the highest population growth was in the East of England, which gained approximately 488,000 people from 2011, which is an increase of 8.3%. Wales recorded the smallest population growth, of 1.4%, and the North-East of England increased by 1.9%.
Records of other Towns and Cities
Some large towns and cities have seen their populations fall, including Sunderland, Gateshead, Swansea and the London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, Camden and Westminster.
The place with the biggest increment was the East London region of Tower Hamlets, where the population grew by 22.1%. Bedford, Cambridge and Peterborough all also saw some big increases. The census counted 30,420,100 women (51.0% of the overall population) and 29,177,200 men (49.0%) in England and Wales.
However, population growth has slowed slightly across the last decade. Between 2001 and 2011, the figure for England and Wales grew by 7.8%. The census counted half a million fewer people than what was projected.