The population of the South West on census day (27 March 2011) was 5.3 million, an increase of 7 per cent from 2001 when it was 4.9 million. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the first results from the 2011 Census today.
By comparison the population across the whole of England and Wales also increased by 7 per cent to 56.1 million, the largest growth in population in any 10-year period since census taking began in 1801.
Jil Matheson, National Statistician said:
"I'd like to thank everyone in the South West for their support. The 2011 Census has been a resounding success and I am proud of the incredible effort that has been put in. It is a rich source of information about the population and its characteristics. Across England and Wales around 19 out of 20 people responded and we have excellent statistical methods for ensuring we have a complete estimate of the whole population. These statistics will provide valuable information for planners, policy-makers and the public for years to come."
Most local authorities in the region increased in population between 2001 and 2011, although there was a small decrease in West Somerset (1 per cent). Across England and Wales 17 local authorities decreased in population.
Cornwall was the largest local authority by population in the South West, with 532,300 people, an increase of 32,300 (6.5 per cent) between 2001 and 2011. Swindon was the local authority with the greatest increase in its population, 16 per cent between 2001 and 2011.
The most densely populated local authority was Bournemouth, with nearly 4,000 people per square kilometre, which equates to 40 people on a rugby pitch. The least densely populated was West Devon with 46 people per square kilometre.
The local authority in both the region, and across England and Wales, with the largest proportion of people aged 65 and over was Christchurch with 30 per cent. City of Bristol had the smallest proportion in the region of people in this age group (13 per cent). Gloucester had the highest proportion of people aged 19 and under (25 per cent), and West Somerset the lowest (18 per cent).
Across England and Wales there was a 13 per cent increase in the number of children aged under five with over 400,000 more in 2011 than in 2001. In the South West there are now 27,000 more under-fives compared with 2001, an increase of 10 per cent. The largest proportion in this age group in the region was 7 per cent in both Swindon and Gloucester, with the smallest proportion being 4 per cent in West Somerset.
The total number of households in the South West was 2.3 million. The smallest average household size was 2.1 people per household, in West Somerset and the Isles of Scilly.
Glen Watson, Census Director said:
"The whole operation has worked well. We met our targets both for response and quality. We’ve had fantastic support from the public, and also from voluntary groups, community groups and local authorities throughout England and Wales. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone involved, including the 35,000 people who worked on the data collection and helped to make the census a success."
Read the full report.
|South West||2011 population||2001 population||Change 2001-2011 (per cent)|
|Bristol, City of||428,200||390,000||9.8|
|Bath and North East Somerset||176,000||169,200||4|
|Forest of Dean||82,000||80,100||2.4|
|Weymouth and Portland||65,200||63,800||2.2|
|Isles of Scilly||2,200||2,100||4.8|
Table source: Office for National Statistics
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