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Statistical bulletin: Primary Care Organisations Mid-Year Population Estimates, Mid 2011 (Census Based) This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 11 April 2013 Download PDF

Key Points

  • In mid-2011 the median population size of Primary Care Organisations (PCOs) was 288,700 compared to 268,900 in mid-2001.
  • The PCOs with the largest percentage population increases over the ten year period since mid-2001 are in London.
  • Most PCOs where population has decreased over the ten year period since mid-2001 are in the north of England.
  • The PCO with the highest median age in mid-2011 was Dorset at 47.8.
  • The PCO with the lowest median age in mid-2011 was Heart of Birmingham Teaching at 28.9.
  • PCO population estimates are produced for use by both central government departments and local authorities for a range of purposes including, for example, planning and monitoring of services.

Summary

This bulletin presents the main messages from the publication of the 2011 mid-year population estimates for Primary Care Organisations (PCOs) in England. It also describes changes that have taken place since 2001 and the age distribution of the population within these areas.

Introduction

Mid-year population estimates for 2011 for England, including estimates for regions and local authorities within England were published on 25 September 2012. The estimates refer to the usually resident population as at 30 June of the reference year and are published annually.

Mid-year population estimates for Primary Care Organisations (PCOs) within England also refer to the usually resident population as at 30 June of the reference year and are published annually, approximately three months after the publication of national, regional and local authority level estimates. However, these estimates for mid-2011 have been published approximately six months after the national estimates due to the additional time required to incorporate the results of the 2011 Census.

PCOs were the lower level of the health administration system in England prior to April 2013, reporting to Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs).

In mid-2011 there were 151 Primary Care Organisations within England consisting of 146 Primary Care Trusts and 5 Care Trusts. Care Trusts had similar duties to Primary Care Trusts, except that Care Trusts also had responsibilities for social care as well as health care.

Quality and Use

PCO population estimates are used by both central government departments and local authorities for a range of purposes including planning and monitoring of services, as denominators for the calculation of various rates and indicators, and in the production of population projections and forecasts.

These estimates are currently classified as experimental statistics as they have not yet been assessed against the standards required for National Statistics. Further information on the quality of mid-year population estimates is available in a Quality and Methodology Information paper published on the ONS website.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 introduced a new structure for NHS organisation which replaced PCOs with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) from 1 April 2013. The PCO population estimates for mid-2011 included in this release have been produced in response to ongoing user requirements for information about PCO areas.

Key users of these statistics will be consulted before any changes are made to the range of population estimates available for health geographies within England. It is currently expected that population estimates for the new CCG areas will be produced later in 2013.

 

 

Population Change

In mid-2011 the population of England was 53,107,200, an increase of 7.4% since mid-2001.

In mid-2011 the median population size of PCOs was 288,700 compared to 268,900 in mid-2001, however they varied widely in population size with the smallest PCO, Hartlepool, having a population of 92,100, and the largest, Hampshire, a population of 1,322,100. The majority of PCOs (80%) have a population of between 100,000 and 500,000 persons.

Table 1: PCO population estimates, mid-2011

    Population (thousands)
Rank Primary Care Organisation Mid-2011
1 Hampshire 1322.1
2 Surrey 1124.8
3 Hertfordshire 1119.8
4 West Sussex 808.9
5 North Yorkshire and York 799.0
6 Norfolk 762.0
7 Eastern and Coastal Kent 759.6
8 Leeds 750.7
9 Devon 747.7
10 Derbyshire County 737.5

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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PCOs with populations greater than 500,000 in mid-2011 are mainly those representing county areas, for example Hampshire, Surrey and Hertfordshire. However, four PCOs covering areas including the cities of Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford and Manchester also have populations greater than 500,000.

The majority of PCOs (86%) with populations of less than 250,000 in mid-2011 are areas equivalent to a single local authority district.   

In total, 65 PCOs (43%) had a population increase of at least 7.5% over the ten year period from mid-2001 to mid-2011, including 14 PCOs (9%) where the increase was at least 15%.

Table 2: PCOs with greatest percentage increase in population, mid-2001 to mid-2011

    Population (thousands) % Change
Rank Primary Care Organisation Mid-2001 Mid-2011 Mid-01 to Mid-11
1 Tower Hamlets 201.1 256.0 27.3
2 Newham 249.4 310.5 24.5
3 Manchester Teaching 422.9 502.9 18.9
4 City and Hackney Teaching 214.6 254.6 18.6
5 Hounslow 216.0 254.9 18.0
6 Greenwich Teaching 217.5 255.5 17.5
7 Peterborough 157.4 184.5 17.2
8 Milton Keynes 218.2 255.4 17.1
9 Waltham Forest 222.0 259.7 17.0
10 Leicester City 282.8 329.6 16.6

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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The greatest percentage increase in population between mid-2001 and mid-2011 was 27.3% in Tower Hamlets PCO. Five other London PCOs were included in the top ten along with four PCOs covering large cities or towns.

In total, nine PCOs (6%) had a population decrease over the ten year period from mid-2001 to mid-2011, four of which decreased by over 3%.

Table 3: PCOs with greatest percentage decrease in population, mid-2001 to mid-2011

    Population (thousands) % Change
Rank Primary Care Organisation Mid-2001 Mid-2011 Mid-01 to Mid-11
1 Knowsley 151.2 145.9 -3.5
2 Sunderland Teaching 284.6 275.3 -3.3
3 Sefton 282.9 274.0 -3.2
4 South Tyneside 152.8 148.2 -3.0
5 Redcar and Cleveland 139.2 135.2 -2.9
6 Kensington and Chelsea 162.2 158.3 -2.4
7 Middlesbrough 141.2 138.4 -2.0
8 Stockport 284.6 283.3 -0.5
9 Blackpool 142.3 142.1 -0.1

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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The greatest percentage decrease in population between mid-2001 and mid-2011 was 3.5% in Knowsley PCO. Eight of the nine where the population has decreased over the ten year period since mid-2001 are in the North West or North East of England, with one being an Inner London Borough (Kensington and Chelsea).

 

 

Change in Population Age Distribution

The age distribution of a PCO area is likely to impact on both the overall level of demand for health services, and the type of health services required.

The median age of the population of England in mid-2011 was 39.4 up by 1.6 years since mid-2001. However, the median age of populations in PCOs varies between different areas. In mid-2011 the lowest median age in a PCO was 28.9 in Heart of Birmingham Teaching. The highest median age in mid-2011 was 47.8 in Dorset.  This compares to a range of 29.1 to 45.1 in mid-2001.

The percentage of the population aged 65 and over in England in mid-2011 was 16.4%, an increase of 0.6 percentage points over the ten year period since mid-2001. In mid-2011, at PCO level, the percentage of the population aged 65 and over varied from 6.1% in Tower Hamlets to 25.4% in Dorset.

The change in the proportion of the older population also varied more widely at PCO level as can be seen in figure 1 below.

Figure 1: PCO distribution of change in percentage of population aged 65 and over, between mid-2001 and mid-2011

Figure 1: PCO distribution of change in percentage of population aged 65 and over, between mid-2001 and mid-2011
Source: Office for National Statistics

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Over the ten year period from mid-2001 to mid-2011, 68 PCOs had an increase of more than one percentage point in the population aged 65 and over and 22 PCOs had an increase of more than two percentage points. PCOs with the largest increases in the percentage of population aged 65 and over are areas which include more rural districts such as South Staffordshire, East Riding of Yorkshire and Worcestershire.

In total 55 PCOs had a smaller percentage of population aged 65 and over in mid-2011 than in mid-2001. In 31 PCOs the decrease was greater than one percentage point. PCOs with the largest decreases in their percentage of population aged 65 and over are more likely to be urban areas. These include the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Tower Hamlets and PCOs covering the cities of Manchester, Brighton and Hove and Nottingham.

The percentage of the population aged 0 to 15 in England in mid-2011 was 18.9%, a decrease of 1.2 percentage points since mid-2001. In mid-2011, at PCO level, the percentage of the population aged 0 to 15 varied from 14.9% in Westminster to 25.9% in Barking and Dagenham.

Figure 2: PCO distribution of change in percentage of population aged 0 to 15, between mid-2001 and mid-2011

Figure 2: PCO distribution of change in percentage of population aged 0 to 15, between mid-2001 and mid-2011
Source: Office for National Statistics

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Over the ten year period from mid-2001 to mid-2011, 22 PCOs (15%) had an increase in the percentage of population aged 0 to 15, and of these only six had an increase of more than one percentage point. The majority of PCOs with increases in the percentage of population aged 0 to 15 between mid-2001 and mid-2011 are in London, however, increases were also seen in Berkshire East; Birmingham East and North; Bradford and Airedale Teaching; and Trafford.

The majority of PCOs (129 or 85%) had a decrease in the population aged 0 to 15 between mid-2001 and mid-2011. 94 PCOs had a decrease of more than one percentage point and 27 had a decrease of more than two percentage points. The majority of those PCOs with the largest decreases in percentage of population aged 0 to 15 are in the north of England.

Methodology

The mid-2011 Primary Care Organisation population estimates are provided for the boundaries that were in force at the reference date of 30 June 2011. This boundary set consists of 151 PCOs.

Further information on PCO boundary changes and reorganisation can be found on the health geography guidance pages of the ONS website.

The PCO estimates are created using a combination of mid-year population estimates for local authorities and lower layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs). The majority of PCOs (85%) are composed of one or more complete local authority areas. Therefore, for these areas the PCO population estimates are identical to the mid-year population estimates for the relevant local authority or aggregation of local authorities.

The boundaries of a further 16 PCOs (11%) do not match with local authority boundaries but can be created by aggregating LSOA areas. Mid-year population estimates for these PCOs are calculated by aggregating the relevant LSOA population estimates.

The remaining 6 PCOs (in Birmingham and Lincolnshire) do not completely match either LSOA or LA boundaries as a small number of LSOAs are split between PCO areas (5.0% of LSOAs in Birmingham are split and 2.0% of those in North Lincolnshire local authority area). For these areas the population estimates have been created by aggregating LSOA population estimates and making minor adjustments to account for these splits. The adjustments apportion the population of any split LSOAs to the appropriate PCO using the latest available data on the geographic distribution of the population in these LSOAs.

More detail on the methodology used to create local authority, LSOA and PCO mid-year population estimates is available from the ONS website.

Health geography population estimates for other UK countries

The constituent countries of the UK have different arrangements for the management of their health services and therefore population statistics are produced for health geographies that are relevant to each individual country.

Population estimates for the seven Welsh Local Health Boards, which consist of one or more unitary authorities, are published alongside the mid-year population estimates for the UK and created using a cohort component based method. The latest estimates for mid-2011 were published on 25 September 2012.

National Records of Scotland (NRS) produce population estimates for Scottish NHS Boards. NRS use a cohort component based method to produce estimates for the 14 NHS Board areas in Scotland. Further information on this methodology and the latest estimates (for mid-2011 based on the 2001 Census) are available on their website.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) publish population estimates for the Health and Social Services Board and the 5 Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland. These are also produced using a cohort component based method. Further information on this methodology and the latest estimates (for mid-2011 based on the 2001 Census) can be found on the NISRA website.

Background notes

  1. An Overview of Population Statistics is available on the ONS website.

  2. Mid-2011 population estimates for Primary Care Organisations (PCO) in England are available from the reference tables section of this release.

  3. Published tables include population estimates for England, Strategic Health Authority and Primary Care Organisations by single year of age for mid-2011.

  4. More detail on the methodology used to create local authority, LSOA and PCO mid-year population estimates is available from the ONS website.

  5. This is the second release of mid-2011 population estimates for PCOs in England and supersedes the first release of interim mid-2011 PCO population estimates, published in September 2012.

  6. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office.

  7. Mid-2011 population estimates for England and Wales and for local authorities are also available on the ONS website.

  8. Next publication:
    September/October 2013

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Statistical contacts

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Pete Large +44 (0)1329 444661 Population Estimates Unit pop.info@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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