The South East has the largest population of any English region, and the third highest population density.
The population was 8.5 million in mid-2010, 16 per cent of the population of England. The average population density for the South East was 450 residents per sq km, the third highest of all the regions. It was more than ten times the regional average in the unitary authority of Portsmouth at 5,100 people per sq km, the highest of any local authority area outside Inner London. Chichester and West Oxfordshire local authorities had the lowest population densities at fewer than 150 people per sq km.
In mid-2010, 17.2 per cent of residents in the South East were aged 65 and over, compared with 16.5 per cent for England as a whole. The coastal districts of the South East had higher proportions of older residents than the rest of the region. In Rother local authority district 28.8 per cent of residents were aged 65 and over, by contrast in Slough the proportion was 10.7 per cent.
Between 2001 and 2010 the population of the South East increased by 6.2 per cent (500,000), faster than the England average of 5.6 per cent. Milton Keynes showed the largest increase between 2001 and 2010 at 13.5 per cent, compared with the population of Havant which was virtually unchanged. The 2008-based projections suggest the region could have 9.9 million residents by 2030, a 16.1 per cent increase on 2010 – higher than the growth rate of 14.4 per cent for England as a whole.
Migration was an important component of population change in the South East. Between mid-2008 and mid-2009 inter-regional migration resulted in a net increase of 18,000 people. Net international migration increased the population of the South East by 19,000. Natural change (births minus deaths) in mid-2008 to mid-2009 added 27,000.
Source: Office for National Statistics
Population estimates and projections are for 30 June each year. The mid-2010 population estimates are those published on 30 June 2011 and the 2008-based subnational population projections are those published on 27 May 2010.
Mid-year migration data were published on 25 November 2010.
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