The South West has the highest proportion of older people and the lowest population density of any English region.
In 2010, 19.6 per cent of South West residents were aged 65 and over, compared with 16.5 per cent for England as a whole. The 2008-based projections suggest this percentage could rise to 26.0 per cent by 2030 compared with 21.7 per cent for England as a whole.
The total population of the region was 5.3 million in mid-2010, 10 per cent of the population of England. It had an average population density of 220 residents per sq km which was the lowest for any English region. It was highest in the Bristol unitary authority, at 4,000 people per sq km, and lowest in the West Devon and West Somerset local authority districts, each with fewer than 50 people per sq km.
The region’s population increased faster than in England as a whole between 2001 and 2010, growing by 330,000 or 6.7 per cent compared with 5.6 per cent for England. The projections suggest that the region could have 6.2 million residents by 2030 – 17.1 per cent more than in 2010. This is higher than the projected England increase of 14.4 per cent.
The South West is a popular destination for inter-regional migration. Net migration from other parts of the UK was higher, relative to the region’s population, than for any other English region at 35 per 10,000 residents in 2009.
Source: Office for National Statistics
The geography used reflects the changes which took place in April 2009.
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.
Migration data are for calendar years and were published on 25 November 2010.
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