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Regional Profiles - Population and Migration - South East, March 2013

Released: 01 March 2013 Download PDF

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Local authorities with highest and lowest proportions of older people, mid-2011

Local authorities in South East have widely differing proportions of older people
Source: Office for National Statistics


  1. People aged 65 and over

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The South East has the largest population of any English region. Of all the regions it also has the greatest subregional variation in the proportion of older people.

The population was 8.7 million in mid-2011, 16% of the population of England.

In mid-2011, 17.3% of residents in the South East were aged 65 and over, a similar proportion to most other regions outside London. The coastal districts of the South East had higher proportions of older residents than the rest of the region. In Rother local authority (LA) in East Sussex, 28.6% of residents were aged 65 and over; by contrast in Slough unitary authority (UA) the proportion was 9.1%.

Between 2001 and 2011 the population of the South East increased by 7.8%, slightly higher than the England average of 7.4%. Milton Keynes UA showed the largest increase at 17.5%, followed by Slough UA (16.7%). The interim 2011-based projections suggest the region could have 9.5 million residents by 2021, a 9.3% increase on 2011 – slightly higher than the growth rate of 8.6% for England as a whole. While Milton Keynes UA and Slough UA may continue to grow rapidly, they could be matched by other commuter areas in Berkshire and Surrey.

The South East is a popular destination for both interregional and international migrants. In 2010, the population increased by 34,000 as a result of net international migration. Net interregional migration increased the region’s population by 22,000. This represents a total net migration rate of 66 people per 10,000 residents, similar to the South West and North East but less than the East of England.

The average population density for the South East was 450 residents per sq km, the third highest of all the regions and similar to the West Midlands with 430 residents per sq km. In Portsmouth UA the population density was 5,100 people per sq km. This was the highest of any local authority outside London and more than ten times the average population density for the South East region. Chichester LA in West Sussex and West Oxfordshire LA in Oxfordshire had the lowest population densities at fewer than 150 people per sq km.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Notes and sources:

    The data section of this release (454.5 Kb Excel sheet)  provides more Population and Migration data. Office for National Statistics is the source for the data.

    Population estimates and projections are based on the 2011 Census. The mid-2011 population estimates are those published on 25 September 2012 and the interim 2011-based subnational population projections were published on 28 September 2012.

    Migration data are for calendar years. The latest calendar year for which both interregional and international migration are available is 2010. Interregional migration data were published on 17 October 2011 and international migration data were published on 24 November 2011. An interactive map of Internal Migration in England and Wales by Local Authority allows you to view ONS migration estimates for England & Wales as a ‘flow map’ drawing lines on the map to represent movements of migrants between areas of the country. The map requires a web browser capable of supporting HTML5 content – for example, Internet Explorer 9+, Firefox, Chrome, Safar and iOS5+/Android3+ mobile devices.

    The 2011 Census provides a wealth of information for local areas. In particular you may be interested in:

    2001 vs 2011 – Population and Age – interactive map allows you to find your area’s average age, population density and more

    2011 Census area comparison tool – interactive tool allows the comparison of any 2 areas in England and Wales using 2011 Census population estimates and also provides a visual summary of change since 2001. Note – Requires Adobe Flash v10 or above

    Census population and change – interactive map allows you to find the population density and change in population in your area since 2001

  2. You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email:
  3. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

Further information

Regional Trends, No. 43 - Portrait of the South East, 2011 Edition (Pdf 2327Kb) - This portrait provides a wide range of data giving an overview of what it is like to live or work in the South East. The article presents a wide range of information covering infrastructure, demographic, environmental and economic statistics for the south east corner of England. It includes information for districts, unitary and local authorities in the South East which allows comparison between the various areas and the rest of the UK.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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