The West Midlands is the region with the largest negative difference in population in the 10-year migration variant, with 38,300 fewer residents compared with the principal projection by mid-2026.
London is the region with the largest positive difference in population in the 10-year migration variant, with 36,200 more residents compared with the principal projection by mid-2026.
Liverpool is the local authority with the largest negative difference in population in the 10-year migration variant, with 17,900 fewer residents compared with the principal projection by mid-2026.
Ealing is the local authority with the largest positive difference in population in the 10-year migration variant, with 13,200 more residents compared with the principal projection by mid-2026.
The West Midlands is the region with the largest difference in old age dependency ratio (OADR) between the principal projection and 10-year migration variant by mid-2026.
City of London is the local authority with the largest percentage change in population within the high and low international migration variants.
Building on the subnational principal projections published in May 2018, this bulletin illustrates alternative possible future sizes and age structures of the population in the regions, counties, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and NHS regions of England. These alternatives can be used alongside the principal projection; they do not replace it.
The 10-year migration variant was created because of user demand for analysing the differences arising from migration assumptions based off 10 years of historical data rather than the five years that are used in the principal projection. The high and low international migration variants were created to inform user interest in these areas. This bulletin highlights the most notable differences between the principal projection and the variants. More information can be found in the methodology documents and datasets accompanying this release.Back to table of contents
Population projections provide an indication of the future size and age structure of the population based on mid-year population estimates and a set of assumptions of future fertility, mortality and migration.
These are the first official 2016-based variant subnational population projections and provide an alternate set of projections from the 2016-based principal subnational population projections, created to offer users a range of alternate scenarios to illustrate the consequences of particular sets of assumptions.
High and low international migration variants are available, constrained to the equivalent migration variants of the national population projections.
The 10-year migration variant projection uses migration data from years ending mid-2007 to mid-2016 to set the migration assumptions of the projection. This differs from the five years of data (years ending mid-2012 to mid-2016) used in the principal projection and the high and low international migration variants. The 10-year migration variant includes different methodologies because of the time range of data used to set assumptions. Further information about these changes can be found in the QMI and methodology documents released with this bulletin.
All three variant projections provide information at region, county, local authority, clinical commissioning group and NHS region levels. The variant projections use the same geographies and boundaries as the 2016-based subnational principal population projection. They do not incorporate any change made after 2016.
Variant household projections based on the 2016-based variant subnational population projections will be released on 16 May 2019.Back to table of contents
The West Midlands is the region with the largest negative difference in population when comparing the principal projection with the 10-year migration variant (Table 1), with 38,300 fewer residents in mid-2026. This contrasts with London, which is projected to have 36,200 more residents in mid-2026 in the 10-year migration variant.
These differences are caused by lower average levels of migration to these areas in the 10-year migration variant compared with the 5-year average used in the principal projection; additionally, there is a subsequent indirect impact on numbers of births and deaths.
|Yorkshire and The Humber
Download this table Table 1: Population difference by region between the principal projection and 10-year migration variant by mid-2026, England.xls .csv
Use the interactive map (Figure 2) to see how local authority-level old age dependency ratios (OADRs) and population age structures are projected to change by broad age group between the principal projection and 10-year migration variant in mid-2026.
Figure 2: Population age composition by broad age groups and old age dependency ratio for local authorities in England, principal and 10-year variant, mid-2026
The OADR is defined as the proportion of people of State Pension age (SPA) relative to the working age population, expressed as the number of pensioners per 1,000 working age population. For example, an OADR of 303 indicates there are 303 people of SPA per 1,000 working age people. Under current legislation, SPA will gradually rise to age 67 years for both sexes by 2028. Note that being over SPA does not necessarily mean someone is retired, nor that all working age people are in employment.
The OADR can change for a number of reasons. More people of SPA migrating into an area can raise the OADR, similarly large numbers of younger people moving to the area can lower the OADR.
The West Midlands is the region that experiences the largest differences in OADR between the 10-year migration variant and the principal projection. The OADR for West Midlands decreases from 314 in mid-2016 to 307 in mid-2026 in the 10-year migration variant; this compares with an OADR of 304 in mid-2026 in the principal projection.
At a local authority level, the City of London has the highest change in OADR with a difference of 126 by mid-2026. In the principal projection the OADR is 442 and in the 10-year migration variant it is 316. West Somerset has the second-largest difference in OADR by mid-2026 between the principal projection and 10-year migration variant. The principal projects West Somerset to have an OADR of 711 in mid-2026 compared with an OADR of 679 in the 10-year migration variant.
A difference in OADR of 10 or greater between the principal and 10-year migration variants is uncommon by mid-2026 and is only present in 20 of the 326 local authorities.Back to table of contents
The Subnational population projections Quality and Methodology Information report contains important information on:
the strengths and limitations of the data and how it compares with related data
uses and users of the data
how the output was created
the quality of the output including the accuracy of data
We have also published a methodology report to provide information on how the projections were produced. The report also summarises the improvements we have made to our methods and changes to source data.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
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