This bulletin presents the main messages shown by the 2012 mid-year population estimates. It provides information on the size and age structure of the population of England and Wales at 30 June 2012. Estimates are presented for the regions of England and for local and unitary authorities within England and Wales. A release covering the UK will be made later in 2013.
The mid-year estimates refer to the population on 30 June of the reference year and are published annually. They are the official set of population estimates for the UK and its constituent countries, the regions of England and Wales and local authorities. However, this publication relates only to mid-2012 estimates for England and Wales; national level estimates for the UK are scheduled to be published later in 2013 when estimates for mid-2011 and mid-2012 will be available for all of the constituent countries. Population estimates for Northern Ireland are produced by Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) and for Scotland by National Records of Scotland (NRS). The timetables for population outputs are available for each country on their respective websites.
The official 2012 mid-year estimates for England and Wales, referred to in this bulletin, build on the 2011 Census based mid-year estimates, updated to account for population change during the period between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2012. A combination of registration, survey and administrative data are used to estimate the different components of population change.
Mid-year population estimates relate to the usually resident population. They account for long-term international migrants (people who change their country of usual residence for a period of 12 months or more) but do not account for short-term migrants (people who come to or leave the country for a period of less than 12 months). ONS publishes statistics on short-term migrants separately; the Short-term international migration annual report for Mid-2011 and a Short story on seasonal migration were both published in May 2013 and a report on the Short-term Residents of Local Authorities in England and Wales from the 2011 Census was published in March 2013.
The mid-year population estimates are essential building blocks for a wide range of National Statistics. They are used directly as a base for other secondary population statistics, such as population projections, population estimates for the very old and population estimates for small geographical areas. They are used for weighting survey estimates such as the Labour Force Survey and other social surveys to ensure that they are representative of the total population, and they are used as denominators for rates or ratios, for example in health and economic indicators. They are an important input for a wide number of economic and social statistics. Main users include central and local government and the health sector, where they are used for planning and monitoring service delivery, resource allocation and managing the economy. Additionally, they are used by a wider range of organisations such as commercial companies (for market research), special interest groups and academia as well as being of interest to the general public.
For further information on how ONS population estimates meet user needs along with information on their fitness for purpose, please see the Quality and Methodology Information (150.7 Kb Pdf) .
The mid-year population estimates series provide annual estimates of the size and composition of the population.
The estimated usual resident population of England and Wales in mid-2012 was 56,567,800; 53,493,700 in England and 3,074,100 in Wales. Figure 1 shows the size of the population of England and Wales during the period mid-2002 to mid-2012.
The population of England and Wales increased by about 3.97 million (7.5%) in the 10 years since 2002. The increase in population during this period is higher than the 7.3% increase measured between 2001 and 2011.
The estimated usual resident population of England and Wales increased by 396,900 in the year ending 30 June 2012; by 386,600 in England and by 10,300 in Wales. Figure 2 shows the annual change in the population of England and Wales during the 10 year period beginning mid-2002 to mid-2003 by broad contributing reason.
Compared with the annual population change seen over each of the last 10 years the increase in the year ending mid-2012 is about average for the period.
The contribution of net international migration to population change over the period can be clearly seen in Figure 2, making up more than half of population growth in the years ending mid-2003 to mid-2008. From mid-2009 to mid-2011 the contribution to population growth of net international migration and natural change - the balance of births minus deaths - was broadly equal. For the year ending mid-2012 net international migration fell to its lowest level over the period and although the balance of births minus deaths in the year ending mid-2012 is similar to last year, its contribution to population increase is boosted as a result.
The balance of births minus deaths has increased year on year over the last 10 years, and from contributing slightly more than 29% of population growth in the year ending mid-2003 has contributed 60% of population growth in the year ending mid-2012. In the year to mid-2012 the number of births was at a 40 year high - the largest since the year to mid-1972 when there were 748,600 births.
It should be noted that the two net figures are not independent over time, as past immigrants contribute to the number of births and deaths in subsequent years. A report on fertility patterns in the UK for UK born and non-UK born mothers was published in October 2012.
In mid-2012, the population of England and Wales consisted of 27,843,400 males (49.2%) and 28,724,400 females (50.8%). Figure 3 shows the full age and sex structure of the population.
Each line in the pyramid represents a single year of age and the length of the line relates to the number of people of that age in the population. The size and composition of the population is determined by the pattern of births, deaths and migration which have taken place in previous years. The main details illustrated by the pyramid for mid-2012 include:
peaks and wide areas of the pyramid which reflect the high numbers of births (particularly for people aged 64 to 65 born in the years after the Second World War and those aged 41 to 50, born during the baby boom of the 1960s);
the sharp spike in the pyramid at age 65 includes those males born between 1 July 1946 and 30 June 1947 who will have obtained state pension age in the year to mid-2012;
the sharp narrowing of the pyramid for people aged around 10 years, a consequence of low numbers of births just after the turn of the century, and the increasing broadening of the base of the pyramid owing to a higher numbers of births in recent years; and
that females outnumber males at older ages, reflecting the higher life expectancy of females.
The median age of the population of England and Wales at mid-2012 was 39.6. An interactive population pyramid showing the age structure of the population by local authority is available as part of the population estimates analysis tool (2.92 Mb ZIP) .
The mid-2012 population estimates described in this bulletin reflect the population as at 30 June 2012 and include an estimate of the population change which occurred between 1 July 2011 and this date.
These estimates are based on the 2011 mid-year estimates published in September 2012, with the resident population aged on. Those born during the 12 month period are added to the population and those who have died are removed. The estimates take into account the movement of people coming to live in England and Wales and those leaving to live abroad (international migrants). They also account for the movement of people between different areas of the UK (internal migrants). Internal migration includes both cross-border moves between the four countries of the UK and moves between local areas within England and Wales. Full details of the methods used to create the estimates are available in a separate methodology reference document (488.7 Kb Pdf) .
Table 1 shows the difference between the mid-2012 population estimates at national level and the mid-2011 estimates.
|Mid-2011 Population (thousands)||Mid-2012 Population (thousands)||Percentage Change|
|England and Wales||56,170.9||56,567.8||0.71|
Overall, the population of England and Wales increased by 396,900 (0.71%) during the 12 month period ending mid-year 2012. England accounted for approximately 386,600 of the population increase, with the population of Wales increasing by approximately 10,300.
Details of the main components of population change over the 12 month period are shown in Table 2. It demonstrates the contribution of the different types of change; for example the contribution of births and deaths to population change compared with migration.
|thousands||1st July 2011 to 30 June 2012|
|Population at start of period||56,170.9|
|Net: births minus deaths||239.1|
|In migration - from rest of the UK||53.5|
|Out migration - to rest of the UK||51.2|
|Net migration from rest of the UK||2.3|
|In migration - international||468.9|
|Out migration - international||313.5|
|Net international migration||155.5|
|Total Net migration||157.8|
|Population at end of period||56,567.8|
There were 729,400 births and 490,300 deaths during the 12 month period, resulting in a population increase of approximately 239,100 due to natural change - the balance of births minus deaths. Over the same period 468,900 international migrants arrived in England and Wales and 313,500 international migrants left England and Wales to live abroad. Moves into England and Wales from the rest of the UK for the same period numbered 53,500 and moves out of England and Wales to the rest of the UK numbered 51,200 - both figures including changes to the size of armed forces. All of these changes combined resulted in a net increase in population of 396,900.
Mid-2012 population estimates for the regions of England and Wales, presented in Table 3, show that the population increase in the year ending mid-year 2012 was greatest in southern and eastern England. London had the highest population increase, up 1.27% during the 12 month period, with the South East, East and South West regions increasing by 0.83%, 0.77% and 0.73% respectively. The North East of England had the smallest population increase in the year to mid-2012 at 0.23%, while the population of Wales increased by 0.34%. No region experienced a population decrease.
|Mid-2011 Population (thousands)||Mid-2012 Population (thousands)||Percentage Change|
|England and Wales||56,170.9||56,567.8||0.71|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||5,288.2||5,316.7||0.54|
Table 4 presents the broad components of change which have contributed to the estimated population increase for the regions of England and Wales in the year to 30 June 2012.
More than a quarter (26%) of the total increase in population of England and Wales occurred in London. Here growth was particularly influenced by a surplus of births against deaths, by immigration from overseas and out migration to other regions of the UK. In the year to mid-2012, the balance of births minus deaths contributed 86,500 to London’s population and net international migration contributed a further 69,000. Movement of people to and from other parts of England and Wales and the UK resulted in the loss of 51,500 people who were living in London in mid-2011. The South East added 72,000 to the population of England and Wales (18% of the total increase), followed by the East of England adding 44,900 (11% of the total increase).
Excluding London, the greatest difference in births and deaths in the year to mid-2012 was in the South East where there were 32,400 more births than deaths. The West Midlands was second only to London for having the highest net international migration with 15,800 more international migrants arriving than people emigrating in the year to mid-2012. The South East had the greatest net flow of migrants to and from other regions of the UK in the same period with some 26,100 more people moving there than leaving to other regions in the country.
|Population increase (thousands)||Births minus Deaths||Net International Migration||Net within UK Migration|
|England and Wales||396.9||239.1||155.5||2.3|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||28.5||18.3||11.0||-0.9|
There are presently 348 local authorities in England and Wales; 326 in England and 22 in Wales. In mid-2012, the local authority with the smallest population size at 2,300 was Isles of Scilly and the largest population at 1,085,400 was Birmingham.
The total population grew in 318 local authorities (91%) in the year to mid-2012. In total, nine local authorities had growth of more than 2% in their population. Table 5 shows the top 10 local authorities which had the greatest percentage population growth in the year to mid-2012.
|Rank||Local Authority||Mid-2011||Mid-2012||Percentage Change|
|2||City of London||7.4||7.6||2.59|
|7||Kingston upon Thames||160.4||163.9||2.16|
All of the local authorities with the greatest percentage growth in population in the year to mid-2012 are in England; seven of these areas are London boroughs. The greatest percentage growth in population in Wales was 1.0% for Ceredigion (ranked 85th). Growth in these local authorities in the year to mid-2012 was generally due to net international migration, with high rates of natural change - births minus deaths, in Tower Hamlets and Hackney.
The total population fell in just 30 local authorities (9%) in the year to mid-2012; only three local authorities had a fall of more than 1% in their population. Table 6 shows the top 10 local authorities which had the greatest percentage population fall in the period.
|Rank||Local Authority||Mid-2011||Mid-2012||Percentage Change|
|2||Kensington and Chelsea||158.3||155.9||-1.47|
|3||Hammersmith and Fulham||182.4||179.9||-1.42|
All of the local authorities with the greatest percentage fall in population in the year to mid-2012 are in England. Of these, four local authorities are in the North West. The greatest percentage fall in population in Wales was -0.1% or about 100 fewer people, for Powys (ranked 21st).
Population falls in these local authorities were generally due to low levels of natural change and net international migration. Exceptions to this were Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham, where the population falls were almost entirely attributable to negative net migration. Both local authorities experienced large numbers of international migrants arriving, but had even greater numbers emigrating. The fall in Rutland can be attributed to a sizeable outflow of armed forces personnel during the year to mid-2012.
Revised population estimates for mid-2002 were published in December 2013 as part of a consistent time-series for the period mid-2002 to mid-2010 aligned to the 2011 Census results. This gives an opportunity to compare the population estimates for mid-2012 with the rebased mid-2002 estimates and make some observations.
Since mid-2002, the population of England and Wales has increased by 2,135,300 males (8.3%) and 1,830,400 females (6.8%) in the decade. Figure 4 shows the age and sex structure of the mid-2012 and mid-2002 population.
The main details shown by the pyramid are:
the increase in the number of males aged 75 and over. While there are more females aged 75 and over than males, the number of males in this age group has increased by 23% since mid-2002. This compares to an increase of slightly more than 5% for females in this age group over the same period. For higher ages the increase is even greater, with 52% more males than a decade ago aged 83 and over;
that at every age where we have single year of age data: 75 to 89, the number of males shows an increase between mid-2002 and mid-2012. The increase for females aged 75 and over in mid-2012 is not reflected at every age, with a decrease in those aged 77 to 82, but this is a consequence of lower numbers of 67 to 72 year old females a decade ago;
that at most ages the peaks and troughs present in the pyramid in mid-2002 are visible in the mid-2012 data shifted by 10 years, demonstrating the cohort ageing of the population. The mid-2012 pyramid however, shows some difference in this pattern for those aged 23 to 33: here the profile is much wider and flatter than the mid-2002 pyramid might suggest. This clearly shows the effects of immigration into England and Wales which happened during the last decade; and
that there are 591,400 more zero to six year olds in mid-2012 than there were in mid-2002, demonstrating the increase in births which have occurred in recent years. The number of children aged 7 to 16 is 335,500 less than mid-2002.
A release of estimates of the very elderly covering the period 2002 to 2011 for England and Wales was published in March 2013.
Figure 5 shows the estimated population of England and Wales compared alongside that of the member states of the European Union (EU) at mid-2012. The population of England and Wales ranks fourth compared to the 26 EU countries shown; behind Germany, France and Italy. England and Wales has approximately 24 million fewer people than Germany and 3 million fewer than Italy. Note that the population of the UK is not included in the chart as official population estimates for mid-2012 are not yet available. However, if the latest official population estimate of the UK of 63.2 million (2011 Census) was shown then the UK would rank third, with approximately 3.8 million more people than Italy.
Table 7 shows that population growth in England and Wales between mid-2002 and mid-2012 was 7.5%, 1.3 percentage points higher than the growth which occurred in France. Population growth in Spain was greater, at about 1.5 times that of England and Wales.
|England and Wales||7.5|
Table 8 shows EU member states with the top 10 highest absolute population growths over the year to mid-2012. England and Wales with a population increase of 396,900 over the year showed growth greater than that of any other European Union member state.
|Mid-2011 Population (thousands)||Mid-2012 Population (thousands)||Increase (thousands)||Percentage Change|
|England and Wales||56,170.9||56,567.8||396.9||0.7|
This release of the mid-year population estimates for 2012 makes use of the improved methods for estimating international and within UK migration at local authority level that ONS devised in a four year programme to improve migration and population statistics. More details about these improvements are available in the Quality and Methodology Information (QMI) document (150.7 Kb Pdf) .
This mid-2012 estimates for England and Wales is the third population estimates product to be published based on the results of the 2011 Census. Future releases of population estimates and projections in 2013 include:
Summer 2013: Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - Mid-2011 (2011 Census-based)
Summer 2013: Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - Mid-2012
September-October 2013: Super Output Area mid-year population estimates for England and Wales - Mid-2012
October-November 2013: National Population Projections - 2012-based projections
November-December 2013: Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - Mid-2001 to Mid-2010 revised
November-December 2013: National Park Population Estimates (experimental) - Mid-2011 (2011 Census Based)
November-December 2013: Parliamentary Constituency and Ward Population Estimates (experimental) - Mid-2012
Some dates given here are provisional. Any changes or confirmation of dates will be announced on the UK statistics Publication Hub release calendar.
National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.
An Overview of Population Statistics is available on the ONS website.
Mid-2012 population estimates data for England and Wales are available on the ONS website. Published tables for mid-2012 include England and Wales by single year of age and sex; region and local authority; and detailed components of population change. Unformatted tables to enable re-use of the data are also published for local authorities by single year of age and sex. A population estimates analysis tool (2.92 Mb ZIP) is available for users to produce simple reports on the mid-2012 population data.
2011 Census results for England and Wales are available on the ONS website.
2011 Census results for Northern Ireland are produced by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) and are available on their website. Population estimates for Northern Ireland are also produced by NISRA.
A report (488.7 Kb Pdf) describing the methodology used to create the mid-2012 population estimates is available.
Net migration estimates quoted in this report include net international migration and net flows of asylum seekers. The net effect of cross-border moves between England and Wales and the rest of the UK, together with moves of armed forces personnel at home and overseas are also included.
Population components in the mid-year estimates may vary from those published in other ONS outputs due to definitional differences and context of use.
Further information on the quality of mid-year population estimates can be found in the Quality and Methodology Information (QMI) document (150.7 Kb Pdf) .
This is the first release of mid-2012 population estimates. No revisions of this dataset have been made.
Information on those people that have pre-release access can be found on the ONS website.
Release number: MYE4BL1
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