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2011 Census latest findings

Released: 16 May 2013 Download PDF

Today the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes new findings from the 2011 Census, which expand on previously published statistics.

These give users the opportunity to glean richer, more ‘three-dimensional’ insights into detailed characteristics of the population.

The tables provide details down to local authority and regional level in England and Wales. They offer more informative characteristics relating to: unpaid care, health, migration, ethnic group, national identity, religion and language.

The tables are available on the NOMIS website.  At the same time the ONS website is publishing a statistical bulletin and three short analyses.

The bulletin analyses cross-tabulated variables to provide a rich and more valuable source for users of census data.  Further cross-tabulations containing data on demography, housing, labour market, qualifications and travel to work will be published later this year.

Highlights from the statistical bulletin include:

  • 58 per cent (3.3 million) of people providing unpaid care were female and 47 per cent (2.7 million) were aged 45 to 64.

  • Almost half (46 per cent, 3.4 million) of those born outside the UK held a UK passport in 2011.

  • People with a White: British, White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller of Mixed ethnic group were more likely to record a UK country-specific national identity (such as English and Welsh), whereas other ethnic groups were more likely to record their national identity as ‘British’.

  • Of the population who did not speak English as a first language, those in younger age groups were most likely to speak English well, with 93 per cent (154,000) of 10-14-year-olds speaking it well, compared to only 46 per cent of those aged 85 or over.

  • Different religious groups had significantly different age profiles, with Christians having the highest median age (45) and Muslims the lowest (25).

Contact: Pete Stokes. Tel: +44 (0)1329 444 563. Email:

Additional analyses

More detailed reports of some themes, known as ‘short stories’, are available on the ONS website. These reports are:

  • General health of unpaid carers

  • The characteristics of migrants

  • Religion by age and socio-economic classification

Some highlights from these are listed below.

The general health of unpaid carers

This report examines the provision of unpaid care given by males and females in England and Wales in 2011, in relation to their age, general health and economic activity. Unpaid care in England and Wales has increased since 2001.

Highlights from this report include:

  • Females are significantly more likely to be unpaid carers than males; 58 per cent (3.3 million) of unpaid carers are females and 42 per cent (2.4 million) are male in England and Wales.

  • The share of unpaid care provision fell most heavily on females aged 50 to 64.

  • The number of male unpaid carers providing 50 or more hours of care per week increased by 116,000 between 2001 and 2011 from 1.7 per cent of the male population to 2 per cent, while the number of female unpaid carers providing this extent of care increased by almost 155,700 from 2.5 per cent of the female population to 2.9 per cent.

  • The general health of unpaid carers deteriorates incrementally with increasing levels of unpaid care provided up to the age of 65; the burden of providing 50 hours or more unpaid care per week appears to have the greatest impact on the general health of young carers in the age group 0 to 24.

  • Approximately half of men who are ‘Looking after the home or family’ are providing some extent of unpaid care, with the majority providing 50 hours or more.

  • Provision of 50 hours or more unpaid care per week by full-time workers presents health risks; Men in this position are 2.4 times more likely to have ‘Not Good’ health compared with men providing no unpaid care, while women are 2.7 times more likely.

The characteristics of migrants

This report looks at international migration and groups of long-term migrants.

An international migrant is defined as someone who changes his or her country of usual residence for a period of at least a year.

International migration is an important driver of population change. In this report ONS considers two factors: whether a person was born outside the UK, and whether a person held a non-UK passport. Additionally migrant groups are analysed by age, sex and year of arrival.

Highlights from this report include:

  • In 2011, 13 per cent (7.5 million) of the resident population of England and Wales were born outside the UK, while 7.4 per cent (4.2 million) held only a non-UK passport.

  • Almost half (46 per cent, 3.4 million) of the non-UK-born usual resident population held a UK passport in 2011. Those holding only a non-UK passport accounted for 51 per cent (3.8 million) of the non-UK-born usual residents. Four per cent (269,000) who reported having no passport.

  • The most common non-UK nationality was Polish with 558,000 residents, followed by Irish and Indian. These three nationalities together accounted for 30 per cent (1.2 million) of all non-UK nationals.

  • The non-UK-born population was younger on average than the UK born, with 36 per cent (2.7 million) aged 25 to 39; compared with 20 per cent (11.3 million) in the usually resident population as a whole. For non-UK passport holders (non-UK nationals) this was even higher with 43 per cent (1.9 million) aged 25 to 39.

  • The median ages for the top four countries of birth were: India (43 years), Poland (30 years), Pakistan (39 years) and Ireland (62 years). This compared with 39 years for the usually resident population of England and Wales as a whole.

  • 50 per cent (3.7 million) of the non-UK-born usually resident population of England and Wales have lived here for 10 years or more.

  • People born in Poland accounted for 14 per cent (531,000) of all usual residents on census day who arrived since 2001.

Of the 56.1 million usually resident population in England and Wales in 2011:

  • 76 per cent (42.5 million) held a UK passport, 7.4 per cent (4.2 million) held a non UK passport only (of which 372,000 were Irish passports). There were 17 per cent (9.5 million) who stated they did not hold a passport.

  • Of the 7.5 million non-UK-born residents, 46 per cent (3.4 million) held a UK passport; other nationalities accounted for 51 per cent (3.8 million).

  • The largest proportion holding a UK passport from the top 10 countries of birth was Jamaican born with 73 per cent (116,000), followed by Bangladeshi born with 72 per cent (153,000), and Pakistani born with 69 per cent (332,000).

  • The numbers of Polish born and Polish nationals were similar because few Polish born acquire UK citizenship; the Polish population was dispersed across many local authorities in England and Wales, including concentrations in agricultural areas.

  • Indian born were dispersed across much of England and Wales, with concentrations in the larger urban areas. By contrast, Indian nationals were much more concentrated in the larger university cities, and therefore likely to include students.

Contact: Chris W Smith. Tel +44 (0)1329 444 683 Email:

Religion by age and socio-economic classification

This report looks at age, sex, ethnicity, country of birth and economic activity, with a particular focus on those who said their religious affiliation was Christian, Muslim and those who said they had No religion.

Highlights from this report include:

  • In 2011 Christians had the oldest age profile of all the main religious groups. Muslims had the youngest age profile, followed by people with No religion.

  • Despite falling numbers, Christians formed the largest religious group in England and Wales in 2011. The fall in the number of Christians between 2001 and 2011 was largely in people aged under 60.

  • Muslims were the second biggest religious group and have grown in the last decade. There were increases across all age groups in both men and women.

  • The proportion of people who reported that they did not have a religion reached a quarter of the population in 2011. People with No religion had increased across all age groups but particularly among those aged 20 to 24 and 40 to 44.

  • The majority of Christians were White (9 in 10) and born in the UK (9 in 10), though numbers have fallen since 2001. There were increasing numbers of Other White, other minority ethnic groups and people born outside the UK reporting to be Christian.

  • Muslims were ethnically diverse. Two-thirds of Muslims (68 per cent) were from an Asian ethnic background, including Pakistani (38 per cent) and Bangladeshi (15 per cent). Nearly half of all Muslims were born in the UK.

  • The majority of people with ‘No religion’ were White (94 per cent) and born in the UK (93 per cent) and accounted for the majority of the increase in No religion since 2001.

  • People with No religion had the highest proportion of those who were economically active; Christians and Muslims had the lowest. Jewish people had the highest level of employment and Muslim people the highest level of unemployment.

  • The main reason for Christians being economically inactive was retirement; for Muslims economic activity was mainly because they were students, or because they were looking after the home or family.

Contact: Sian Bradford. Tel: +44 (0)1329 445 385. Email   

Background notes

  1. The census provides the most accurate estimate possible for the population of England and Wales and has been carried out every 10 years since 1801, apart from 1941, by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and its predecessors. The information provided to ONS is used solely for the census, is anonymised and protected for 100 years. Census day was on 27 March 2011. All census statistics refer to that day.

  2. 2011 and 2001 Census data are available on the Neighbourhood Statistics website. Relevant table numbers are provided in the Release 2.2 Bulletin, published 30 January 2013.

  3. Government uses the census statistics to allocate funding for services such as education, transport and health. Policy makers in central and local government use the census to identify the needs of different communities and they are also used by commercial enterprises. It also provides the benchmark for future population estimates and for sample surveys.

  4. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

  5. The regions referred to conform to standard statistical regions.

  6. The next release of census data is scheduled for June 2013, when detailed characteristics for higher threshold wards and MSOAs in England and Wales will be published Further information about each of the existing and planned census outputs is available in the online prospectus.

  7. The main population base for outputs from the 2011 Census is the usual resident population as at census day 27 March 2011. A usual resident of the UK is anyone who, on census day, was in the UK and had stayed or intended to stay in the UK for a period of 12 months or more, or had a permanent UK address and was outside the UK and intended to be outside the UK for less than 12 months.

  8. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

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