Skip to content

Regional Profiles - Population and Migration - West Midlands, March 2013

Released: 01 March 2013 Download PDF

Also in this release

Local authorities with largest percentages of children and older people, mid-2011

Local authorities in West Midlands with largest percentages of either children or older people
Source: Office for National Statistics

Download chart data

The West Midlands region had one of the highest proportions of population aged under 16 as well as an above average proportion of older people compared with other English regions.

In mid-2011, 19.5% of residents were aged under 16. This was the second highest proportion for any English region, after London at 19.9%, and compares with 18.9% for England. The proportion aged 65 and over was also above average at 17.0% compared with 16.4% for England. This was similar to most other regions, apart from London (11.1%) and the South West (19.7%).

The local authority areas with the highest proportions of children were Birmingham (22.8%) and Sandwell (21.5%) in West Midlands metropolitan county. For people aged 65 and over, the highest proportions were in Malvern Hills local authority (LA) in Worcestershire (24.4%) and Stratford-on-Avon LA in Warwickshire (22.3%).

The total population of the West Midlands region was 5.6 million in mid-2011, 11% of the population of England. The region contains one of the largest conurbations in England, as well as some of the country’s most rural and sparsely populated counties. Birmingham was home to over 1.0 million people and had a population density of 4,000 people per sq km. In contrast, two of the five most sparsely populated counties in England are also found in the region – Herefordshire unitary authority (UA) (84 people per sq km) and Shropshire UA (96 people per sq km).

Between 2001 and 2011 the population of the region increased by 330,000, or 6.2%. This is below the corresponding rate of 7.4% for England. The interim 2011-based projections indicate that the rate of population growth could remain below the national average. The total population is projected to reach 6.0 million by 2021, of which 19.3% could be aged 65 and over compared with the figure for England of 18.7%.

In 2010, international migration resulted in a net increase of 13,000 people in the region. The net change from interregional migration was -8,000; that is 8,000 more people moved out of the region to other parts of the UK than arrived from other regions.

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

Portrait of the West Midlands, July 2011 (Pdf 2255Kb) - The Portrait of the West Midlands presents a wide range of information covering infrastructure, demographic, environmental and economic statistics for the region. It includes information for districts, unitary and local authorities which allows comparison between the various areas and the rest of the UK.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.