London, the East and the East Midlands regions are all projected to grow at a faster rate than England
London is projected to grow by 14 per cent and both the East and the East Midlands regions are projected to grow by 10 per cent over the 10 year period to 2020, compared with the projected growth for England of 8 per cent over the same time period
The number of local authorities where more than a quarter of the population are aged 65 and over is projected to increase from an estimated ten areas in 2010 to 63 by 2020
These projections are based on the indicative mid-year population estimates published on 17 November, not the published mid-year estimates series
These projections do not take into account any information from the 2011 Census
This bulletin presents the key findings from the 2010-based subnational population projections for England. They replace the 2008-based projections published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in May 2010.
Subnational population projections provide estimates of the future population of English regions, local authorities and primary care organisations, assuming a continuation of recent local trends in fertility, mortality and migration which are constrained to the assumptions made for the 2010-based national population projections. Subnational population projections by age and sex are produced every two years.
These projections are based on the indicative 2010 mid-year population estimates published on 17 November 2011 and a set of underlying demographic assumptions regarding fertility, mortality and migration based on five years of local trends. They are consistent with the 2010-based national population projections for England. They are not forecasts and do not attempt to predict the impact that future government or local policies, changing economic circumstances or other factors might have on demographic behaviour.
These projections do not take into account any information from the 2011 Census. Further information about 2011 Census outputs is available on the ONS website.
The primary purpose of the subnational projections is to provide an estimate of the future size and age structure of the population of local authorities in England. These are used as a common framework for informing local-level policy and planning in a number of different fields as they are produced in a consistent way.
Examples of uses made of the population projections include:
the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) when calculating the allocation of central government resources to local areas
locally they are used to inform planning of healthcare, education and other service provisions
subnational projections also form the basis for other products such as household projections, and by researchers and other organisations that also produce their own projections
Projections become increasingly uncertain the further they are carried forward due to the inherent uncertainty of demographic behaviour. This is particularly so for smaller geographical areas.
This bulletin focuses on the first ten years of the projections. Projections to 2035 are also available on the ONS website (211.5 Kb Excel sheet) . For more information on how ONS population projections meet user needs along with information on their fitness for purpose, please see the report on quality and methodology (120.6 Kb Pdf) .Back to table of contents
The 2010-based national population projections for England published in October 2011 projected the population of England to grow by 4.4 million by 2020. This 8.4 per cent growth over 10 years is equivalent to an average annual growth rate of 0.8 per cent. All regions of England are projected to see population growth over the 10 year period to 2020 but the rate of that growth varies. Three regions are projected to grow faster than the national average with London projected to grow the fastest, by 14 per cent over the 10 year period. The East and the East Midlands regions are both projected to grow by 10 per cent. The region projected to grow at the slowest rate over the next 10 years is the North East at 3.5 per cent (Table 1).
Table 1: Population change in regions by age group, 2010 to 2020
|Population (thousands)||Percentage population change by age group|
|Mid-2010||Mid-2020||All ages||0-15||16-64||65 and over|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||5,247||5,577||6.3||11.0||1.1||21.4|
|Source: Office for National Statistics|
Download this table Table 1: Population change in regions by age group, 2010 to 2020.xls (29.7 kB)
Of the 14.2 per cent projected growth in London, 11.8 per cent is due to natural change (more births than deaths) and 2.5 per cent to net migration (Table 2). Although London is a destination for many people migrating to live and work both from other regions and internationally, there are also large numbers of people who migrate out of London, which is why growth due to net migration is projected to be just 2.5 per cent. One reason for the high level of natural change is because London as a region has a relatively young age structure, with little over 11 per cent of its population being aged 65 and over in 2010 compared with most other regions which have about 17 per cent of the population aged 65 and over. Since mortality rates are higher in the older age groups, fewer deaths are projected in London than elsewhere. London also has a correspondingly larger population of adults aged 16 to 64. In particular, nearly half the population in 2010 are estimated to be aged between 16 and 44 years old, the main childbearing ages. In most other regions the proportion in this age group is just less than two-fifths. This drives the higher number of births being projected in London over the next 10 years, leading to a 21 per cent projected increase in the number of children between 2010 and 2020 (Table 1).
Table 2: Percentage population growth between mid-2010 and mid-2020
|Natural change||Migration and other changes||Internal migration||International migration|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||6.3||4.2||2.1||-0.3||2.5|
|Source: Office for National Statistics|
|1. Figures may not sum due to constraining methods and rounding. Cross-border migration is included with international migration|
Download this table Table 2: Percentage population growth between mid-2010 and mid-2020.xls (26.1 kB)
The subnational population projections take the indicative 2010 mid-year population estimates which were published on 17 November 2011 as their starting point. The projected local authority population for each year is calculated by ageing on the population for the previous year, applying assumed local fertility and mortality rates to calculate the number of projected births and deaths, and then adjusting for migration into and out of each local authority. Local authority assumed levels of fertility, mortality and migration are derived from observed values during the previous five years and are constrained to the assumptions made in the 2010-based national projections. Finally, the subnational population projections are constrained to the national population projections for England. A full description of the methodology used to produce the subnational population projections is available.
Migration Statistics Improvement Programme
It has long been recognised that international migration is one of the most difficult components of population change to measure accurately, particularly at local authority level. There is no single, comprehensive source of international migration data at national and/or local levels.
The Migration Statistics improvement Programme (MSIP) ran from April 2008 to March 2012, with a vision to produce improved population and migration statistics that are relevant for user needs, are as accurate as possible, and are recognised as being definitive estimates.
On 17 November 2011, ONS published details of an improved methodology for estimating long-term immigration to local authorities in England and Wales. The methodology does not change the total immigration estimates for England and Wales, but aims to give better estimates of the distribution of migrants at local authority level. ONS also published a set of indicative mid-year long-term immigration estimates for 2006-2010 as well as indicative population estimates incorporating the improved methods. The 2010-based population projections incorporate these improvements to the estimates of immigration and population at local authority level. Users were invited to comment on the new methodology and the implications of this change on immigration and population estimates, and on the 2010-based subnational population projections. A response to user feedback was published on 10 February 2012.
Census and subnational projections
The estimates of the population on which the projections are based are produced using the cohort component method. This means they themselves are based on data from the 2001 Census.
Each year it is possible that errors around measuring components of population change impact on the accuracy of the mid-year estimates. This is potentially compounded each successive year and therefore the ten-yearly population census provides a benchmark for rebasing the estimates. Since these subnational projections are based on mid-2010 population estimates which are as far from a census base as possible, any accuracy issues with the estimates affects the accuracy of the projections.
Following the publication of 2011 Census data, the mid-year estimates for 2011 will be produced and the previously published mid-year estimates for 2002 to 2010 will be rebased. This will then provide a consistent series of population estimates over time, avoiding a step change in the estimates when they are rebased on new census counts. This will be followed by a new set of projections which will incorporate 2011 Census data.
2011 Census data are due to be published later this year. More information is available about the 2011 Census data releases.Back to table of contents
Further information on 2010-based subnational population projections for England is available on the ONS website.
Information on the indicative population estimates on which these projections are based released on 17 November 2011 is available.
Subnational population projections for the other constituent countries of the UK are produced by the devolved administrations: 2010-based subnational projections for Scotland.
The latest projections for Wales and Northern Ireland are 2008-based:
Information on the 2010-based national population projections for the UK and its constituent countries released in October 2011 is available on the ONS website.
2011 Census-based short-term subnational population projections for England provisional date for publication in September/October 2012
Office for National Statistics, Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport NP10 8XG
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