Date announced for first results from 2021 census in England and Wales

Estimates of the population size in every local authority area will be published.

Ian Jones
Tuesday 24 May 2022 14:48
A woman logs on to the census 2021 website (Danny Lawson/PA)
A woman logs on to the census 2021 website (Danny Lawson/PA)

The first results from the 2021 census in England and Wales will be released on June 28, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has announced.

Estimates of the population size in every local authority area will be published, including a breakdown by age and sex.

There will also be figures showing the change in population since the last census in 2011.

More than 20 million households across England and Wales filled in census questionnaires in spring last year, with a record 89% of responses completed online.

This has provided data of “extremely high quality”, according to Jen Woolford, ONS director of health, population and methods transformation.

“The data will give us a crucial baseline from which to measure changes in our society, which will help us understand changing needs,” she added.

“It was important to understand the population and its characteristics during the Covid-19 pandemic and early census data has already been used to understand more about vaccine uptake by occupation and to support the response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

The census takes place across the UK every 10 years and provides the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in the country.

Its results are used by a range of organisations including governments, councils and businesses, and underpins everything from the calculation of economic growth and unemployment to helping plan schools, health services and transport links.

Data from the 2021 census for England and Wales will be published in stages over the next two years, the ONS said.

Future releases will include figures on ethnicity, religion, the labour market, education and housing plus – for the first time – information on UK armed forces veterans, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The first results from the 2021 census in Northern Ireland were published on Tuesday by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

It showed that the population on census day – March 21 2021 – was a record 1,903,100, up from by 92,200 or 5% since 2011.

People aged 65 and over accounted for 17.2% of the population of Northern Ireland last year, up sharply from 14.6% in 2011, while the equivalent figure for 40 to 64 year-olds rose from 31.7% to 32.4%.

By contrast, 15 to 39-year-olds accounted for 31.2% of the Northern Ireland population in 2021, down on the decade from 34.2%, while the figure for children aged 14 and under fell from 19.6% to 19.2%.

In Scotland, the census is run by the National Records of Scotland and was delayed by one year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Data collection is still under way and the first results are expected in 2023.

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