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Census 2011 result shows increase in population of the South East

Released: 16 July 2012 Download PDF (96.8 Kb)

The population of the South East on census day (27 March 2011) was 8.6 million, an increase of 8 per cent from 2001 when it was 8 million. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the first results from the 2011 Census today.

It remains the region with the largest population in England and Wales. It was one of three English regions that grew by 8 per cent between 2001 and 2011. London grew the most, by 12 per cent. 

By comparison the population across the whole of England and Wales increased by 7 per cent to 56.1 million, the largest growth in population in any 10-year period since census taking began in 1801. 

Jil Matheson, National Statistician said:

"I'd like to thank everyone in the South East for their support. The 2011 Census has been a resounding success and I am proud of the incredible effort that has been put in. It is a rich source of information about the population and its characteristics. Across England and Wales around 19 out of 20 people responded and we have excellent statistical methods for ensuring we have a complete estimate of the whole population. These statistics will provide valuable information for planners, policy-makers and the public for years to come."

All local authorities in the South East grew in population. The largest growth was in Milton Keynes (17 per cent) and the smallest growth was 3 per cent in Adur (West Sussex) which also had the smallest population (61,200).

Brighton and Hove was the largest local authority by population in the South East with 273,000 people, an increase of 23,500 (9 per cent) between 2001 and 2011.

Portsmouth was the most densely populated local authority area in the region (and the most densely populated in England and Wales outside London) with 5,082 people per square kilometre which equates to about 51 people on a rugby pitch. Chichester was the least densely populated with 145 people per square kilometre.

The local authority with the largest proportion of people aged 65 and over was Rother with 28 per cent; the smallest proportion in this age group was in Slough (9 per cent). Conversely, Slough had the highest proportion of people aged 19 and under with 29 per cent, while Arun had the lowest proportion (20 per cent).

Across England and Wales there was a 13 per cent increase in the number of children under five with over 400,000 more under fives in 2011 than in 2001. In the South East there were 62,400 more under-fives compared with 2001, an increase of 13 per cent. Slough has the largest proportion in this age group (9 per cent), with the smallest being in Rother (4 per cent).

The total number of households in the South East was 3.6 million. Slough had the largest average household size in the region with 2.8 people, the highest outside London.

Glen Watson, Census Director said:

 "The whole operation has worked well. We met our targets both for response and quality. We’ve had fantastic support from the public, and also from voluntary groups, community groups and local authorities throughout England and Wales. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone involved, including the 35,000 people who worked on the data collection and helped to make the census a success."

Read the full report.

Local Authorities in South East ranked by population size in 2011 Census

South East 2011 population 2001 population Change 2001-2011 (per cent)
Brighton and Hove 273,400 249,900 9.4
Medway 263,900 249,700 5.7
Milton Keynes 248,800 212,700 17
Southampton 236,900 219,500 7.9
Portsmouth 205,100 188,000 9.1
New Forest 176,500 169,500 4.1
Aylesbury Vale 174,100 165,900 4.9
Wycombe 171,700 162,100 5.9
Basingstoke and Deane 167,800 152,900 9.7
Reading 155,700 144,700 7.6
Maidstone 155,200 139,100 11.6
Wokingham 154,400 150,300 2.7
West Berkshire 153,800 144,500 6.4
Oxford 151,900 135,500 12.1
Canterbury 151,200 135,400 11.7
Arun 149,500 141,000 6
Wealden 148,900 140,200 6.2
Windsor and Maidenhead 144,600 133,500 8.3
Cherwell 141,900 132,000 7.5
Slough 140,200 120,600 16.3
Mid Sussex 139,900 127,400 9.8
Isle of Wight 138,300 132,900 4.1
Reigate and Banstead 137,800 126,700 8.8
Guildford 137,200 129,800 5.7
Swale 135,800 123,100 10.3
South Oxfordshire 134,300 128,300 4.7
Thanet 134,200 126,800 5.8
Horsham 131,300 122,300 7.4
Elmbridge 130,900 122,700 6.7
Eastleigh 125,200 116,300 7.7
Waverley 121,600 115,700 5.1
Vale of White Horse 121,000 115,800 4.5
Tonbridge and Malling 120,800 107,800 12.1
Havant 120,700 116,900 3.3
Ashford 118,000 103,000 14.6
Winchester 116,600 107,300 8.7
Test Valley 116,400 110,000 5.8
East Hampshire 115,600 109,400 5.7
Tunbridge Wells 115,000 104,000 10.6
Sevenoaks 114,900 109,200 5.2
Chichester 113,800 106,500 6.9
Bracknell Forest 113,200 109,700 3.2
Dover 111,700 104,600 6.8
Fareham 111,600 108,200 3.1
Shepway 108,000 96,300 12.1
Crawley 106,600 100,400 6.2
West Oxfordshire 104,800 95,700 9.5
Worthing 104,600 97,700 7.1
Gravesham 101,700 95,800 6.2
Eastbourne 99,400 89,800 10.7
Woking 99,200 89,900 10.3
Lewes 97,500 92,200 5.7
Dartford 97,400 86,000 13.3
Spelthorne 95,600 90,400 5.8
Rushmoor 93,800 90,900 3.2
Chiltern 92,600 89,200 3.8
Hart 91,000 83,600 8.9
Rother 90,600 85,500 6
Hastings 90,300 85,400 5.7
Surrey Heath 86,200 80,300 7.3
Mole Valley 85,400 80,300 6.4
Tandridge 83,000 79,300 4.7
Gosport 82,600 76,700 7.7
Runnymede 80,500 78,100 3.1
Epsom and Ewell 75,100 67,100 11.9
South Bucks 66,900 61,900 8.1
Adur 61,200 59,700 2.5

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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For further information:

Media Line:  01329 447654
 
Email: 2011censuspress@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Visit: www.ons.gov.uk/census for more detailed analysis and information

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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). 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 population numbers refer to that day.
  2. 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.
  3. The ‘median’ is the value halfway up an ordered list of numbers. The median age is the age that half of the population are older than and half are younger than.
  4. For the first time every census questionnaire form could be filled out and returned on-line and 16 per cent of census returns were completed on-line.
  5. The 2011 Census figures will be used to base the 2011 population mid-year estimates which are due for release in September 2012. In due course the mid-year population estimates for 2002-2010 will be rebased. 
  6. 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.
  7. The second release, due between November 2012 and February 2013, will feature more detailed statistics including national identity, ethnicity, marital and civil partnership status, and religion.
  8. The regions referred to conform to standard statistical regions.
  9. For the latest on census, follow us on Twitter@2011censusinfo
  10. Some facts about the collection of census data:
    • The 25 million 32-page (16 sheets of paper) questionnaires sent to households in England and Wales were printed at the rate of eight questionnaires per second
    • Stacked up, they would be 200 times the height of The Shard
    • Questionnaires were processed at a rate of 170,000 per day
    • Questionnaires were printed on paper from sustainable sources and 1,700 tonnes were destroyed and recycled after processing
  11. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

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