A request that this article title be changed to Demographics of the United Kingdom is under discussion. Please do not move this article until the discussion is closed.
Demographics of the United Kingdom
PopulationIncrease 67,081,234 (30 June 2020)[1]
Density270/km2 (700/sq mi) (2020 census)
Growth rateIncrease 0.53% (2022 est.)
Birth rateDecrease 10.79 per 1,000 (2022)
Death rateDecrease 9.07 per 1,000 (2022)
Life expectancyIncrease 81.94 years (2022)
 • maleIncrease 79.95 years of age (2022)
 • femaleIncrease 84.04 years of age (2022)
Fertility rateIncrease 1.61 (2021)
Infant mortality rateDecrease 3.82 deaths/1,000 live births (2022)
Net migration rateIncrease 3.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Age structure
0–14 years17.6% (2020)
15–64 years63.9%
65 and over18.5%
Sex ratio
At birth1.05 male(s)/female
Under 151.05 male(s)/female (2022)
65 and over0.73 male(s)/female (2022)
Nationality
NationalityBritish
Major ethnicIncrease White: 82.9% Increase White British/Irish: 74.4% (2021)
Minor ethnic
Increase Asian British: (6.3%)
DecreaseBlack British: (3.0%)
Increase British Mixed: (2.0%)
Increase Other: (0.9%)
Language
SpokenBritish English
Sources:[2]

The population of the United Kingdom was estimated at over 67.0 million in 2020. It is the 21st most populated country in the world and has a population density of 270 people per square kilometre (700 people/sq mi), with England having significantly greater density than Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.[3] Almost a third of the population lives in south east England, which is predominantly urban and suburban, with about 9 million in the capital city, London, whose population density is just over 5,200 per square kilometre (13,468 per sq mi).[4]

The population of the UK has undergone demographic transition—that is, the transition from a (typically) pre-industrial population, with high birth and mortality rates and slow population growth, through a stage of falling mortality and faster rates of population growth, to a stage of low birth and mortality rates with, again, lower rates of growth. This growth through 'natural change' has been accompanied in the past two decades by growth through net immigration into the United Kingdom, which since 1999 has exceeded natural change.[5]

The United Kingdom's high literacy rate (99% at age 15 and above)[6] is attributable to universal state education, introduced at the primary level in 1870 (Scotland 1872, free 1890[7]) and at the secondary level in 1900. Parents are obliged to have their children educated from the ages of 5 to 16 years. In England, 16-17 year olds should remain in education, employment or training (for example, in the form of A-Levels, vocational training, and apprenticeships), until the age of 18.[8]

The United Kingdom's population is predominantly White British (81.88% at the 2011 Census), but due to migration from Commonwealth nations, Britain has become ethnically diverse. The second and third largest non-white racial groups are Asian British at 7% of the population, followed by Black British people at 3%.

The main language of the country is British English. Some Celtic languages, namely Scottish Gaelic and Irish, are still spoken by minorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively, and Cornish has been revived to a limited degree in Cornwall; but the predominant language in all these areas is English. Welsh is widely spoken as a first language in parts of North and West Wales, and to lesser extent in South East Wales, where English is the dominant first language.[citation needed]

History

Before the census, 200–1800

Roman Britain had an estimated population between 2.8 million and 3 million at the end of the second century AD. At the end of the fourth century, it had an estimated population of 3.6 million, of whom 125,000 consisted of the Roman army and their families and dependents.[9] The urban population of Roman Britain was about 240,000 people at the end of the fourth century.[9] Roman Britain's capital city, Londinium, is estimated to have had a population of about 60,000.[10][11]

Following the Roman withdrawal from Britain, Germanic tribes from continental Europe such as the Angles, Saxons and Jutes began a period of significant migration to the southeastern part of the island, notably bringing their language, Old English.[12] Nevertheless, the overall population is believed to have fallen precipitously due to political upheavals and plagues.[13][14] By the time of the compilation of the Domesday Book in the eleventh century, there may have between 1.25 and 2 million people living in England.[15] Though the Domesday Book did not count the English population, it has been regarded as one of the first attempts to produce a census of the country.[16]

Between the years of 1086 and 1750, the English population fluctuated in size due to civil war, famines and plagues.[5] By the end of the 13th century, the population was estimated to have reached between four and six million people, but a combination of factors such as widespread famine and disease in the following century collapsed the population dramatically. An agricultural crisis in 1315 to 1322 and the Black Death in 1348 to 1350 collapsed the population by over a third of its pre-existing number, and the growth rate.[5] By 1377, the population was estimated on a poll-tax of all people aged 14 and over, depending on the population amount of those under 14, to be around 2.2 million to 3.1 million.[5]

Periods of instability over the 15th century such as the War of the Roses caused the population to, while grow, increase at a slowed pace.[5] The general factors behind the slow increase was a high mortality rate due to war, less marriages within the population and late marriages, keeping fertility levels lower than they should have been for the time and a net emigration of English people out of the country.[5] However, in contrast to the preceding century, by the 16th century, this situation has elevated itself due to political stability under the Tudor monarchy and little civil unrest which would have resulted in a higher mortality rate.[5] While this was overturned with the English Civil War in 17th century, it allowed the population to grow at a faster pace, causing the population of England to reach a pre-collapse total of 5.74 million by 1750.[5] In Scotland, population growth was not to the same extent as it was in England, which resulted in being significantly lower in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, which is often ascribed to similar factors halting it such as a high mortality rate, especially for infants, and later marriage and childbearing patterns.[5] Ireland on the other hand before the 19th century consistently had rapid population growth, which has been ascribed to higher fertility rates and earlier marriage than England. Furthermore, the Plantation of Ulster in the 17th century also affected the population total of Scotland with an estimated 100,000 Scots migrating to Ulster, additionally, the Jacobite rebellion in 1745 also caused significant emigration.[5] The estimated population total of Scotland in 1691 was 1.23 million.[5]

The impetus to collect population data was reinforced due to food supply concerns and war against France in the late 18th century and the beginning of the early 19th century.[5] In 1800, the Census Act was passed, authorising the first modern census in British history to be conducted.[5]

Census established and the demographic transition, 1800–2000

Population development of the UK since 1800

The first Census in 1801 revealed that the population of Great Britain was 10.5 million.[17] Of this, England's population had grown to 8.3 million, Wales population rested at 0.6 million while Scotland had a population of 1.6 million.[5] In Ireland, the population rested at an estimate of between 4.5 and 5.5 million inhabitants.[18][19] Since 1801, a census has been conducted every decade, in Ireland this was conducted for the first time in 1821.[5]

During the Industrial Revolution, the demographic transition started to occur within the United Kingdom, going from a pre-industrial society demographically to one of an industrialised society. By 1841 Census, the population of England and Wales rested at 15.9 million,[5][20] doubling in the space of 40 years, for Ireland 8.2 million[5][20][21] and for Scotland 2.6 million.[5][20] This slowed rate of growth for Scotland may be attributed to higher net emigration of Scottish people out of the nation, and two typhus epidemics in 1837 and 1847.[5]

Factors often associated with the beginning of the demographic transition began to change dramatically as well, which contributed to the rapid increase. For example, Child mortality decreased dramatically, the proportion of children born in London who died before the age of five decreased from 74.5 per thousand in 1730–1749 to 31.8 per thousand in 1810–1829.[22] General mortality was thought to have declined as well, especially after 1850 as well as an increased birth rate caused the English population to sustain itself in the second phase of the transition from 1750 to 1870.[5]

Due to this, in the second half of the 19th century the population of England continued to grow quickly from 16.8 million in 1851 to 30.5 million in 1901.[5] This rapid growth was also seen in the other constituent nations. In Wales, the population increased from 0.6 million in 1801 to 2 million in 1901, in Scotland, the population increased from 1.6 million to 4.5 million in 1901. In contrast however and due to the Great Irish Famine, which began in the 1840s, caused the deaths of 1 million Irish people, and caused well over a million to emigrate.[5][23] Mass emigration became entrenched as a result of the famine, and Ireland's population decreased rapidly, from 8.2 million in 1841 to 3.2 million in 1901.[5][24] However this massive population collapse did not effect Northern Ireland to the same extent, due to being more industrialised and urbanised and while the population did decline, it had recovered itself by the beginning of the 20th century.[5] This prolonged period of emigration and net population decline in Irish history was only reversed by the middle of the 20th century.[24]

By the 1870s, the total fertility rate of the UK population declined from 4.88 children per woman in 1871, to 2.4 by 1921, representing a transition to the third stage of the demographic transition.[5] Traditional means of birth control were used such as abstinence and withdrawal facilitated the collapse of the birth rate,[5] this was also hastened by the 1930s by more modern methods of contraception which were beginning to be used with increased acceptance.[5] From 1840 to 1930 there was a net emigration of English people out of the country which resulted in the population being stunted in the capacity it could have grown to.[5]

During the first half of the 20th century, the United Kingdom began to approach the 4th stage of the demographic transition.[5] The end of the First World War and the loss of lives of troops, coupled with an influenza outbreak is estimated to have caused the death of upwards of 900,000 people in the United Kingdom.[5] This as a consequence shrunk the male population of the Lost Generation and altered the sex ratio, which slowed the growth rate of the population down.[5] By the end of the Second World War, this transition had been completed and the society had a low but fluctuating birth rate, a low death rate and a slowed growth rate of the population.[5] In 1948, the British Nationality Act was signed which allowed the access of the peoples of the British Empire's colonies to migrate to the country being classed in nationality as the same as a native of the United Kingdom. This law, while an unintentional side-effect, led to the start of modern immigration to the United Kingdom.

The move into the 4th stage also took place during major social change in the United Kingdom throughout the 1960s.[5] Liberalisation of society during the decade led to the 1967 Abortion Act which legalised abortion in the United Kingdom for the first time, and the 1969 Divorce Reform Act, which liberalised the circumstances under which someone can get a divorce.[5] Between these years, the population fluctuated; from the 1950s onwards the population increased through natural growth but by the time of the mid-1970s the population decreased due to emigration, which took net migration to a negative, and deaths exceeding births.[5] For the first time in 1973, the birth rate of the country fell below replacement level, due to the previous liberalising acts.[25] By the 1980s, the decline of population growth had recovered to an extent due to a reversal of net emigration.[5]

In the 1990s, international migration began to contribute more proportionally to population growth,[5] and by 1998 this had passed natural increase as the main provider of growth.[5] Liberalisation of immigration rules under the new government allowed rapid increase of the number of migrants arriving, quadrupling the number from a net migration rate of 50,000 a year, to 200,000 a year.[26]

Modern century, 2000–present

By the beginning of the 21st century, the population of the United Kingdom rested at a total of 59,113,000 people. In each constituent nation, the population of England was 49,449,700, Scotland had a population of 5,064,200, Wales had a population of 2,910,200 and Northern Ireland a population of 1,689,300.[5] Increased international migration which began to rapidly increase at the end of the 20th century also has brought increased ethnic heterogenization to the British population, not only in ethnicity and race, but also in country of birth. In 2001, the White British population was registered to be 88.52% of the total population, but by 2011, this proportion of the population had dropped to 81.88%, with other ethnic groups either rising by 50% of their respective total population in 2001 or doubling entirely.

Such rapid immigration growth boosted population growth in the United Kingdom. In 2011, the population sat at around 63 million people.

Population

See also: Countries of the United Kingdom by population, List of cities in the United Kingdom § List of cities, and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom

Total number of registered deaths over time

The population of the UK in the last recorded census in 2011 was 63 million, of whom 31 million were male and 32 million female. The 2011 census recorded the population of England as 53.0 million, Scotland as 5.3 million, Wales as 3.1 million, and Northern Ireland as 1.8 million.[27] At the last recorded population estimate, it was estimated that the UK population was at a total of 67,081,234 people.

There are 13 urban areas that exceed 500,000 inhabitants: they are centred on London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds and Bradford, Southampton and Portsmouth, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leicester, Manchester, Belfast, Bristol, Newcastle upon Tyne and Nottingham.[28]

According to the World Population Review,[29] in 2019 there was:

Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on MediaWiki.org.
Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on MediaWiki.org.

[fn 1]

Population by constituent country

Population distribution across the country
Part Population
(mid-2020)[30]
Of total population (%) Area
(km2 (mi2))[31]
Of total
area
(%)
Population
density
(per km2 (per mi2))
England 56,550,138 84.3 84.3
 
130,309 (50,313) 53.7 434 (1,124)
Scotland 5,466,000 8.2 8.2
 
77,911 (30,082) 32.1 70 (181)
Wales 3,169,586 4.7 4.7
 
20,736 (8,006) 8.5 153 (396)
Northern Ireland 1,895,510 2.8 2.8
 
13,793 (5,326) 5.7 137 (355)
United Kingdom 67,081,234 100 100
 
242,749 (93,726) 100 274 (710)

Population change over time

Population change in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 2011 to 2021
  More than -3%
  -0 - 3%
  +0 - 5%
  +5 - 10%
  More than +10%

The following table shows the total UK population estimated at census dates. Pre 1901 figures include the whole of Ireland, whereas from 1901 onwards only the population of Northern Ireland is included.

United Kingdom population at census dates[32][33][34]
Intercensal
period
Population
at start
of period
Average annual numbers of Population density
at start of
period (per km2)
Overall
change
Births Deaths Net natural
change
Net migration
etc.
1851–1861 27,368,800 154,910 Un­known Un­known Un­known Un­known 87
1861–1871 28,917,900 256,680 Un­known Un­known Un­known Un­known 92
1871–1881 31,484,700 344,980 Un­known Un­known Un­known Un­known 100
1881–1891 34,934,500 286,790 Un­known Un­known Un­known Un­known 111
1891–1901 37,802,400 373,580 Un­known Un­known Un­known Un­known 120
1901–1911 38,237,000 385,000 1,091,000 624,000 467,000 −82,000 156
1911–1921 42,082,000 195,000 975,000 689,000 286,000 −92,000 172
1921–1931 44,027,000 201,000 824,000 555,000 268,000 −67,000 180
1931–1951 46,038,000 213,000 793,000 603,000 190,000 22,000 188
1951–1961 50,225,000 258,000 839,000 593,000 246,000 12,000 205
1961–1971 52,807,000 312,000 962,000 638,000 324,000 −12,000 216
1971–1981 55,928,000 42,000 736,000 666,000 69,000 −27,000 229
1981–1991 56,357,000 108,000 757,000 655,000 103,000   5,000 231
1991–2001 57,439,000 161,000 731,000 631,000 100,000 61,000 235
2001–2011 59,113,000 324,000 722,000 588,000 134,000 191,000 242
2011–2021 63,182,000 259

Population density calculated on:

Future projections

Population projections from the UN for the United Kingdom to 2100

The UK government first began publishing population projections for the country in the 1920s under the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) which were mainly produced to be used for long-term financial estimates for pensions and other schemes of social insurance.[35] However, since the Second World War, population projections have taken an expanded role in all areas of influencing government policy. The GAD produced population projections every year from 1955 to 1979 and then switched it to every 2 years up to 1991. The Office for National Statistics took control of producing population projections for the country in 2006.[35]

The British Office for National Statistics' 2016-based National Population Projections indicated that, if recent trends continue, the UK's population would increase by 3.6 million between mid-2016 and mid-2026. This represents an average annual growth rate of 0.5%. Over the same period, the population of England is projected to grow by 5.9%; for Wales, this figure is 3.1%, while for Scotland and Northern Ireland the figures are 3.2% and 4.2% respectively. These projections did not allow for any possible effects of the UK leaving the European Union.[36]

Fertility

Total fertility rate of the United Kingdom from 1541 to 2019
Total fertility rate of the United Kingdom across local authorities in 2021
  1 to 1.4
  1.4 to 1.7
  1.7 to 1.9
  1.9 to 2.1
  2.1+

Since 1838, it has been compulsory to register a birth or death in the United Kingdom.[37]

First official data on the fertility rate of the country was first made available in 1938,[37] However estimates of the total fertility rate (TFR) can be made back all the way till 1541.[38]

The fertility rate of the country before the 19th century maintained itself at an average of around 5 children per woman. This fertility rate within the United Kingdom has been falling since 1870, when the country began into transition into the 3rd stage of the demographic transition.[39][37][25][40][41] This transition represents the change in reproductive strategy from how many children a mother 'needs' to more of how many she 'wants' and a substitution of quality over quantity in the offspring produced.[42][43] From the 1880s onwards, the birth rate began to decline rapidly from the levels it had previous sustained itself at.[43] In England this crude birth rate decline represented a 44% decrease over a period from 1875 to 1920.[43]

A number of factors have been argued to have contributed to this ranging from four broad spectrums of biological, technological changes and developments in the society, socio-economic reasons and cultural considerations.[40] In the context of the Industrial Revolution, a large number of socio-economic developments occurred; large scale urbanisation of the population caused mass internal movements of people to high density population centres, income per capita of citizens rose significantly especially in the last half of the 19th century, coupled with large scale economic growth improved the livelihoods of the working and middle classes of the United Kingdom, this growth in the standard of living led also to the collapse of mortality rates, which had been in decline since the early 18th century and more especially the infant mortality.[41][43][40] This development came about with the decline of child labour at the same time as well which meant there was less of a need for a quantity of children to uphold the household economically,[41][43][40] educational quality of the country rose during the same time period which meant that children held more economical potential through educated labour means.[40]

The decline and equalling out of the gender gap in terms of place in the workforce meant that women were beginning in the 19th century to become a larger part of the workforce which also contributed to the birth rate decline.[41][43][40]

Improvements in public diets and nutritional quality increases, which are linked to biological factors such as a decline in lactation, have also been included as a potential factor in the decline of the fertility rate.[40] Technological developments within the society also began to have an effect; contraceptive use become somewhat usable on a mass scale in the latter half of the 19th century due to technological developments in the production of rubber.[40] Abortion, while illegal during the 19th century, was also used by women, however to what extent at the time is unknown.[40]

Cultural considerations such as decline in religious adherence (albeit little data on this matter during the 19th century) have also been considered as reasons.[40] While these factors altogether are debated by demographers as to which were more important than each other, it is generally accepted that due to these factors overall, mothers could begin to invest more time and nurture 'quality' into their offspring rather than having an increased 'quantity' of children that were needed in the past for various such reasons, and that this development led to the decrease of the total fertility rate.[42]

By 1914, the birthrate sat at around 2.88 children per woman, however by 1918 had collapsed proportionally by almost 50%[44] due to World War One and sank to 2.03 children.[45][38] In the post-World War One period, while the birthrate of the country boomed at the very end of the war reaching a peak of 3.08 children in 1920,[45] this began to endure a rapid decline and had slumped to historic lows by the 1930s, for the first time in the country's history falling below a replacement level fertility rate.[37][25] This did not recover in-till the end of the Second World War in 1945.

In the post-World War Two period, the fertility rate of the country boomed once again, bringing itself out of the below replacement level in the 1930s to levels not seen since the late 19th century. This peaked in 1964, with a TFR of 2.95.[46][47] However, by 1973, the fertility rate of the country collapsed again below replacement, and has not since in the present day reached a replacement level again.[37] However population issues such as the sub-replacement level fertility rate have often been categorised as something in which the government does not view as a major issue.[25] Little incentives were made and have been made to increase the birth rate throughout the UK's post war period.[25] However compared to other countries in continental Western European standards, the United Kingdom managed to retain a seemingly 'high' fertility rate.[25]

Family planning policies were enacted during the 1970s due to concerns of rapid population growth during the 1960s.[25] The 1973 NHS Reorganisation Act is an example of such policies, within this act family planning advice and supplies were first issued to the public.[25] Over this time period, with previous liberalising acts such as the Abortion Act and the Divorce Reform Act, and scientific developments such as increased access to contraceptive methods to reduce pregnancies, such as the contraceptive pill, it is generally ascribed that these social changes were the major contributors to the decline of the fertility rate below replacement level in the latter half of the 20th century.[25] With these changes also, pre-marital conceptions fell to 1950 levels by the late 1970s.[25] This pattern of decline of the birth rate is similar to other European countries.[25]

The government's position was further presented and then re-iterated in 1984 at the UN Conference on Population in Mexico;

The United Kingdom('s) government does not pursue a population policy in the sense of actively trying to influence the overall size of the population, its age-structure, or the components of change except in the field of immigration. Nor has it expressed a view about the size of population, or the age-structure, that would be desirable. ...The current level of births has not been the cause of general anxiety. The prevailing view is that decisions about fertility and childbearing are for people themselves to make, but that it is proper for government to provide individuals with the information and the means necessary to make their decisions effective. To this end, the government provides assistance with family planning as part of the National Health Service. The ‘ageing’ of the population does raise social and economic issues. However, it is believed that these will prove manageable; and also, to a degree, that society will adapt....’[25]

In 2003, Right to Request was setup which allowed the parents of small children to request flexible working times which included shorter working hours for parents to care for their children.[25] However, although a majority of requests for Right to Request are accepted, a report in 2006 found that its impact was negligible as mothers tended to switch employers to get reduced hours regardless.[25]

Due to migration beginning in the late 90s and especially during the 2000s lead to the overall total fertility rate of the country to rise by 0.1 in the period of 2004 to 2011.[25]

In 2012, the UK's total fertility rate (TFR) was 1.92 children per woman,[48] below the replacement rate, which in the UK is 2.075.[49] In 2001, the TFR was at a record low of 1.63, but it then increased every year until it reached a peak of 1.96 in 2008, before decreasing again.[48] In 2012 and 2013, England and Wales's TFR decreased to 1.85.[48][50] In Scotland however TFR is lower: it decreased from 1.75 in 2010 to 1.67 in 2012.[48] Northern Ireland has the highest TFR in the UK, standing at 2.02 in 2010 and 2.03 in 2012.[48]

Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on MediaWiki.org.
Total fertility rate (TFR) from 1552 to 1899
Years[38]
1552 1556 1560 1565 1570 1575 1580 1590 1595 1600 1605 1610 1615 1620 1625 1630 1640 1650
5.12 4.78 4.7 5.31 4.64 4.48 4.62 4.25 4.47 4.63 4.79 4.47 4.51 4.78 4.35 4.45 4.71 3.49
1660 1665 1670 1675 1680 1690 1695 1700 1705 1710 1715 1720 1725 1730 1735 1740 1750 1755
3.83 4.1 3.97 3.75 3.97 4.29 4.37 4.39 4.37 3.79 4.25 4.16 4.51 4.28 4.94 4.58 4.73 4.64
1760 1765 1770 1775 1780 1785 1790 1795 1797 1799 1800 1801 1802 1803 1804 1805 1806 1807
4.56 4.81 4.98 4.96 4.9 5.09 5.35 5.21 5.4 5.11 4.97 4.6 5.3 5.61 5.65 5.55 5.49 5.45
1808 1809 1810 1811 1812 1813 1814 1815 1816 1817 1818 1819 1820 1821 1822 1823 1824 1825
5.4 5.24 5.36 5.43 5.31 5.45 5.46 6.02 5.73 5.69 5.54 5.45 5.4 5.55 5.69 5.54 5.42 5.38
1826 1827 1828 1829 1830 1831 1832 1833 1834 1835 1836 1837 1838 1839 1840 1841 1842 1843
5.36 5.07 5.23 4.85 4.83 4.78 4.78 5 4.89 4.83 4.86 4.79 4.78 4.93 4.9 4.89 4.83 4.82
1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 1861
4.83 4.75 4.9 4.58 4.71 4.78 4.85 4.94 4.94 4.78 4.89 4.85 4.94 4.9 4.79 4.97 4.86 4.88
1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879
4.92 4.94 4.96 4.94 4.92 4.94 4.97 4.82 4.88 4.85 4.89 4.94 4.93 4.92 4.9 4.89 4.88 4.81
1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897
4.75 4.68 4.62 4.55 4.47 4.39 4.32 4.24 4.16 4.11 4.06 4 3.95 3.9 3.84 3.79 3.73 3.68
1898 1899
3.62 3.58
Total live births over time

Mother's mean age at first birth

The first available data on when a mother gives birth for the first time was in 1920.[37]

The reduction of the total fertility rate of the United Kingdom has also had an effect on the mean age in which a mother gives birth to her first child.[46]

The age in which a mother gives birth to her first child has changed depending on the time period, but since the 1970s the age in which someone gives birth has been trending upwards.[46]

Mean age of childbearing[37][46]
Year Mean age of childbearing
1920 25.6
1941 23.8
1959 25.7
1960 27.8
1965 27.1
1970 26.3
1975 26.5
1980 26.9
1985 27.3
1990 27.7
2018 29

Family size

The reduction of the fertility rate has also had an effect on the general family size of mothers in the United Kingdom, with the two being interlinked with each other.[46] The family size of the average UK family can be estimated with a completed family size (CFS), which is an estimate of the amount of children a woman has birthed by the end of her childbearing years.[37]

Family size within the UK has shifted towards two or one children in recent decades, rather than in the past when larger family sizes were more prominent and sought after.[46] This pattern is similar to other European countries, where couples are having fewer children.[46] Increasingly, there are also more couples who are completely childless; this has been increasing since the 1950s.[46][51]

Development of family size distribution (percentages)[37][46]
No. of children Years
1920 1925 1930 1935 1940 1945 1950 1955 1960
0 21 17 13 12 11 10 14 17 21
1 21 22 18 15 13 13 12 12 12
2 27 28 30 32 37 43 43 40 35
3 16 17 19 21 22 21 20 20 21
4 or more 15 16 20 20 17 13 11 11 11
Average family size
(Completed family size of all women)
2 2.12 2.35 2.42 2.36 2.17 2.03 2.02 1.95

Life expectancy

Life expectancy in UK since 1543
Life expectancy in UK since 1960 by gender

Life expectancy has increased in the United Kingdom since the 18th century due to precipitate declines in child mortality, see below, and from relatively minor improvements in healthcare. A life expectancy of 40, the historical norm, does not mean that person is likely to die at 40 years old but rather when he or she is very old or very young; much in line with a bathtub curve.

At the start of the 20th century, the life expectancy at birth was only 45.6 years.[52]

By 1950, life expectancy at birth had risen to 68.6 years.[52] During the latter half of the century, further factors influenced the increase of life expectancy: diseases and the improvement of healthcare in the 1950s, decline in smoking in the mid-1970s and improvements in treating heart disease in the 1990s contributed to its decline.[53]

At the start of the 21st century, the life expectancy at birth was 77.8 years.[52]

In 2011 the life expectancy at birth of the UK was around 80.4 years,[52] but the rate of increase has been stalling.[53][54][55] Potential factors behind this may be austerity measures imposed in the beginning of the 2010s,[55][56] which coincidentally since then mortality rates have slowed down in decline[57] or older people dying off at faster rates than expected.[57] On the topic of austerity measures, Professor Richard Faragher has said that "It is possible to have high or rising life expectancy during austerity, as is the case in Japan. Similarly, you can have rising life expectancy despite high levels of inequality – this was the case in Britain from 1900-1950."[57] but noted that austerity measures to social services like the NHS, especially social care support for the elderly may be causing a stalling of life expectancy increase due to a decreased quality of life for older generations.[55][57]

Life expectancy from 1543 to 2015
Years[58][52]
1543 1548 1553 1558 1563 1568 1573 1578 1583 1588 1593 1603 1608 1613 1618 1623 1628 1633
33.9 38.8 39.6 22.4 36.7 39.7 41.1 41.6 42.7 37.1 38.1 38.5 39.6 36.8 40.3 33.4 39.7 39.7
1638 1643 1648 1653 1658 1663 1668 1673 1678 1683 1688 1693 1698 1703 1713 1718 1723 1728
34.0 36.3 39.7 39.1 33.0 33.3 33.5 37.4 32.4 31.3 35.9 36.5 38.1 38.5 36.9 35.8 35.5 25.3
1733 1738 1743 1748 1753 1758 1763 1768 1773 1778 1783 1788 1793 1798 1803 1808 1813 1818
36.3 35.3 34.3 36.5 39.8 38.1 35.4 36.2 39.1 37.7 35.8 39.0 37.9 38.9 40.0 40.6 41.3 40.8
1823 1828 1833 1838 1842 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847 1848 1849 1850 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855
40.5 41.4 40.9 40.6 41.0 41.6 41.2 42.2 40.2 38.5 39.9 37.7 42.8 41.0 40.4 40.0 39.5 40.7
1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 1871 1872 1873
42.5 40.9 39.5 40.4 41.9 41.6 42.1 40.4 39.6 39.8 40.1 42.0 41.7 41.3 40.6 41.1 42.7 43.3
1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891
42.1 41.5 42.7 43.7 42.0 43.5 43.0 45.1 44.0 44.0 43.6 44.6 44.6 45.1 46.3 45.9 44.1 44.4
1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
45.6 44.7 48.3 45.4 47.1 46.4 46.1 45.2 45.6 46.9 48.3 49.5 48.1 49.9 49.6 50.6 51.0 51.7
1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927
53.3 51.2 54.3 53.4 53.2 51.2 54.2 54.2 47.3 54.3 57.3 58.1 57.0 59.3 58.1 58.4 59.6 59.0
1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945
59.9 57.6 60.8 60.0 60.5 60.6 61.3 62.0 61.8 62.3 63.2 63.6 60.9 61.4 64.0 64.0 64.8 65.8
1946 1947 1948 1949 1950
66.3 66.3 68.4 68.1 68.6
1950–55 1955–60 1960–65 1965–70 1970–75 1975–80
69.4 70.6 71.0 71.7 72.3 73.0
1980–85 1985–90 1990–95 1995–2000 2000–05 2005–10
74.2 75.1 76.3 77.2 78.4 79.7
2010–15
81.0

Infant mortality

Infant mortality trends since 1960

Infant mortality has been on the decline since the Second Industrial Revolution, although the majority of the decline came around from the start to the end of the 20th century.[59][60][61][62] In raw terms for example, infant mortality in England sat around 151 deaths to 1000 live births in 1901 but by the end of the century it had plummeted down to only 6 deaths per 1000 births.[60]

There are two general lines of thought which are usually taken from into analysing the decline of infant mortality rates, the first line of thought comes from social historians, who ascribe the decline of infant mortality to social phenomenons of the time such as the need for a healthy population for the sake of the nation's fighting capabilities and political issues surrounding women.[59] The second line of thought comes from demographers themselves which more or less ascribe the decline of infant mortality itself more to the general decline of mortality altogether in the society than any particular reason why.[59]

Physical unfitness during the Boer War came into national prominence as many recruits came back to be too medically unfit for service.[62][61] With this, In 1904, the Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration was published[63][61][62] which listed large amounts of details of the failings of the British population, and for that matter government, in sustaining a healthy population.

The current rate of infant mortality in the United Kingdom is roughly around 3.82 deaths per 1,000 live births.[2]

Age structure

Main article: Ageing of the United Kingdom

Population pyramid from 1950 to 2022
Population pyramid projections of the United Kingdom from 2023 up to 2100

Interlinked with fertility and mortality, The age structure of the United Kingdom has varied with how rates of fertility and mortality have changed throughout the country's history. Due to the transition to an industrialised society, the United Kingdom has also undergone a 'demographic transition': that is to say, that it has gone from a high birth rate, high mortality rate society to a low birth rate, low mortality rate society over the space of two centuries.

Before the 18th century, the United Kingdom retained an age structure universal to societies in the first stage of the transition theory, with high fertility rates and high mortality rates,[5] in the late 18th century, the Industrial Revolution began, kickstarting the country's transition into the second phase: mortality rates declined but birth rates stayed at the same level;[5] by 1870, the country had begun to transition into the third phase:[5] the birth rate began to decline from around near 5 children per woman to below replacement level in the 1930s.[5] The fourth phase of the transition began in the 1960s, when the fertility rate rose, and peaked during the middle of the decade, and then collapsed by 1973 to a below replacement level rate. Since then, the rate has not risen to an above replacement level fertility rate; this has resulted in a population which is currently ageing:[5] in 2007, for the first time in the country's history, there were more people over the age of 60 than there were under the age of 16.[64]

Peaks and bands within the population represent different periods in which people were born, for example, a large peak of people in particularly for those aged 70–74 born following the Second World War and a wide band for those aged 50–59, born during the 1960s baby boom. Those aged 80 upwards would have been born in the 1930s baby dearth when the birth rate was below replacement level. On the younger band of the population there is a noticeable gap between the ages of 14 and 20, this due to at the beginning of the 21st century a lower number of children being born (and a subsequent lower TFR), however in the years following the birth rate rose during the 2010s and a 'broadening' of the pyramid began for those in the younger years leading to more children in those age cohorts. In relation to the sex ratio of the country, in the higher ages of the population, there are more women than men reflecting the higher life expectancies of women in the population, in the lower ages there are more men than women because there are slightly more boys than girls born each year.[65][66] In relation to the older age brackets, In 2015, there were estimated to be over half a million people (556,270) aged 90 and over living in the UK, up from 194,670 people in 1985,[67] and there were estimated to be 14,570 centenarians (people aged 100 or over) and 850 people aged 105 or over.[68] The Office of National Statistics has also wrote in their mid-2016 report on population projections that the median age of the British population was 40 years of age,[69] and this will continue to rise as more people in the population age and a below-replacement level fertility level not refilling the population. This will make the number of people aged 85 and over double from 1.6 million in mid-2016 to 3.2 million in mid-2041.[70]

The demographic ageing of the population is not evenly spread geographically, as people in rural areas are typically of a higher age than those living in metropolitan areas such as Greater London for example.[64]

Age structure of the population in 2020

  0 – 14 years (17.63%)
  15 – 24 years (11.49%)
  25 – 54 years (39.67%)
  55 – 64 years (12.73%)
  65+ years (18.48%)
Median age 1950–2100
Map of population density in the UK as at the 2011 census
Age structures 1976–2019[71][72]
Ages 1976 1986 1999 2016 2019
0–15 years (%) 24.5 20.5 20.4 18.9 19.0
16–64 years (%) 61.2 64.1 63.8 63.1 62.5
65 years and over (%) 14.2 15.4 15.8 18.0 18.5
Median age of the population[2][73]
Median age 1950 1960 1971 1981 1991 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 2060 2070 2080 2090 2100
Total 34.9 years 35.6 years 34.1 years 34.5 years 35.8 years 37.6 years 39.6 years 40.6 years 42.4 years 43.8 years 43.9 years 44.7 years 45.5 years 46 years 46.7 years 47.7 years
Male 39.6 years
Female 41.7 years

Urbanisation and population density

Population density

The United Kingdom is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, in 2020 it was the 8th most densely populated country.[74]

The current largest metropolitan areas are listed below:

 
Largest urban areas of the United Kingdom
(England and Wales: 2011 census built-up area;[75] Scotland: 2016 estimates settlement;[76] Northern Ireland: 2001 census urban area)[77]
Rank Urban area Pop. Principal settlement Rank Urban area Pop. Principal settlement
1 Greater London 9,787,426 London 11 Bristol 617,280 Bristol
2 Greater Manchester 2,553,379 Manchester 12 Edinburgh 512,150 Edinburgh
3 West Midlands 2,440,986 Birmingham 13 Leicester 508,916 Leicester
4 West Yorkshire 1,777,934 Leeds 14 Belfast 483,418 Belfast
5 Greater Glasgow 985,290 Glasgow 15 Brighton & Hove 474,485 Brighton
6 Liverpool 864,122 Liverpool 16 South East Dorset 466,266 Bournemouth
7 South Hampshire 855,569 Southampton 17 Cardiff 390,214 Cardiff
8 Tyneside 774,891 Newcastle upon Tyne 18 Teesside 376,633 Middlesbrough
9 Nottingham 729,977 Nottingham 19 Stoke-on-Trent 372,775 Stoke-on-Trent
10 Sheffield 685,368 Sheffield 20 Coventry 359,262 Coventry

Urbanisation

Population expansion over time of major cities (excluding London)

Rapid urbanisation began with the onset of the Industrial Revolution in the mid to late 18th century, shifting jobs and more importantly people away from rural Britain's dominance at the time which was primarily agricultural, to manufacturing jobs within urban areas which started to spring up.[78] In 1750, an estimated total of around only 1 million people lived in some sort of urban area such as a town or city,[79] which was around 1/6th of the estimated total population but a century later this had risen to 8 million people in 1850,[79] equating to just over half of the nation.[78][79]

While this mass urbanisation affected pre-existing cities to a large degree such as London, smaller and 'newer' towns were in particular effected by the re-distribution of the population and exploded in raw population growth.[78] Cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle for example had an explosive expansion in population numbers around the middle of the 19th century due to the industrial expansion of said cities bringing jobs and again people in for work.[80][79] London during the 19th century become noted as the 'premier city' of the world, being the most populated city from 1825 to 1900[81] and being the first city in Europe and one of the first in the world to reach the figure of one million inhabitants,[82] and then 5 million inhabitants.[81] This urbanisation in the 19th century has had two phases.[78] This mass influx of the population into the cities resulted in a centralisation of the population into the inner city areas however by the time of the late 19th century and early 20th century when technological advancements in transport kicked off allowing cities to expand their 'peripherals' from the inner areas to create large scale 'city regions' of their own.[78] London in particular during the 19th century had the majority of its population within the city living in the inner centre, however by the 20th century a massive expansion of 'Outer London' began which slowly became larger in population size by the middle of the century than Inner London.

By the end of the 20th century the figure of urbanisation was 80% of the country.[78] Importance in population size however of the capital declined during the latter half of the 20th century. By the end of the 20th century, London's ranking on the most populated cities of the world had fallen down to not even being in the top 20.[82]

The current classification of an 'urban' area, also termed as a 'built-up area' (BUA)[83] in the 2011 census, is a settlement which takes variables from both numerical population numbers and population density; in population numbers this is roughly more than or 10,000 people living in an area.[84][85] Anything below that is classified as 'rural', having several levels of distinction to define a rural town and fringe, village or hamlet which is usually taken from population density figures.[85] These areas are then defined within 'output areas' (OA's) themselves, which are geographic areas of the United Kingdom.[85][83] The population which resides within classified 'urban' areas was 84.4% of total population in 2022 and the annual rate of urbanisation change is estimated to be around 0.8% between 2020 and 2025.[2]

Vital statistics (1900–2023)

Vital statistics in England and Wales
Crude birth rate and death rate over time in England and Wales
Births and deaths over time in England and Wales
Marriages and divorces over time in England and Wales
Vital statistics from 1900 to 2022
Average population (Mid-year)[86] Live
births[87]
Deaths Natural change Crude
birth rate
(per 1000)[88]
Crude
death rate
(per 1000)[88]
Natural change
(per 1000)
Crude migration change
(per 1000)
Total Fertility Rate[fn 2][38][2]
1900 41,154,600 1,089,487 695,867 393,620 26.5 16.9 9.6 3.53
1901 41,538,200 1,092,781 655,646 437,135 26.3 15.8 10.5 -1.2 3.49
1902 41,892,700 1,103,483 636,650 466,833 26.3 15.2 11.1 -2.6 3.44
1903 42,246,600 1,113,086 613,726 499,360 26.3 14.5 11.8 -3.4 3.40
1904 42,611,400 1,109,542 651,301 458,241 26 15.3 10.8 -2.2 3.35
1905 42,980,800 1,092,108 617,516 474,592 25.4 14.4 11 -2.3 3.30
1906 43,361,100 1,098,475 629,955 468,520 25.3 14.5 10.8 -2.0 3.24
1907 43,737,800 1,077,851 625,271 452,580 24.6 14.3 10.3 -1.6 3.19
1908 44,123,800 1,102,345 621,427 480,918 25 14.1 10.9 -2.1 3.14
1909 44,519,500 1,073,781 614,910 458,871 24.1 13.8 10.3 -1.3 3.07
1910 44,915,900 1,051,240 578,091 473,149 23.4 12.9 10.5 -1.6 2.99
1911 42,189,800 1,033,395 620,828 412,567 24.5 14.7 9.8 -70.5 2.92
1912 42,373,600 1,025,828 580,977 444,851 24.2 13.7 10.5 -6.1 2.90
1913 42,582,300 1,032,286 600,554 431,732 24.2 14.1 10.1 -5.2 2.93
1914 42,956,900 1,032,734 611,970 420,764 24 14.2 9.8 -1.9 2.88
1915 41,361,500 956,877 666,322 290,555 23.1 16.1 7 -44.1 2.59
1916 40,536,300 922,085 599,621 322,464 22.7 14.8 8 -28.0 2.60
1917 39,780,700 790,736 589,416 201,320 19.9 14.8 5.1 -23.7 2.10
1918 39,582,000 787,427 715,246 72,181 19.9 18.1 1.8 -6.8 2.03
1919 42,944,100 826,202 602,188 224,014 19.2 18.1 5.2 79.7 2.31
1920 43,646,400 1,126,849 555,326 571,523 19.2 14 13.1 3.3 3.08
1921 43,904,100 1,001,725 544,140 457,585 22.8 12.4 10.4 -4.5 2.69
1922 44,331,500 924,740 579,480 345,260 20.9 13.1 7.8 1.9 2.44
1923 44,563,100 900,130 526,858 373,272 20.2 11.8 8.4 -3.2 2.38
1924 44,885,600 865,329 563,891 301,438 19.3 12.6 6.7 0,5 2.28
1925 45,040,000 842,405 558,132 284,273 18.7 12.4 6.3 -2.9 2.20
1926 45,217,600 825,174 536,411 288,763 18.2 11.9 6.4 -2.5 2.15
1927 45,432,000 777,520 568,655 208,865 17.1 12.5 4.6 0.1 2.01
1928 45,622,200 783,052 543,664 239,388 17.2 11.9 5.2 -1.0 2.01
1929 45,731,000 761,963 623,231 138,732 16.7 13.6 3 -0.6 1.95
1930 45,888,900 769,239 536,860 232,379 16.8 11.7 5.1 -1.6 1.95
1931 46,073,600 749,974 573,908 176,066 16.3 12.5 3.8 0.2 1.89
1932 46,335,000 730,079 567,986 162,093 15.8 12.3 3.5 2.2 1.83
1933 46,520,000 691,560 579,467 112,093 14.9 12.5 2.4 1.6 1.72
1934 46,666,000 711,483 558,072 153,411 15.2 12 3.3 -0.2 1.76
1935 46,869,500 711,426 561,324 150,102 15.2 12 3.2 1.2 1.75
1936 47,081,300 720,129 580,942 139,187 15.3 12.3 3 1.5 1.77
1937 47,288,600 723,779 597,798 125,981 15.3 12.6 2.7 1.7 1.79
1938 47,494,100 735,573 559,598 175,975 15.5 11.8 3.7 0.6 1.84
1939 47,547,700 726,632 581,857 144,775 15.3 12.2 3.0 -1.9 1.84
1940 46,026,200 701,875 673,253 28,622 15.2 14.6 0.6 -32.6 1.74
1941 44,870,400 695,726 627,378 68,348 15.5 14.0 1.5 -26.6 1.72
1942 44,323,000 771,851 562,356 209,495 17.4 12.7 4.7 -16.9 1.93
1943 48,261,000 810,524 585,582 224,942 16.8 12.1 4.7 84.1 2.03
1944 48,261,600 878,298 573,570 303,728 18.2 11.9 -6.3 6.3 2.25
1945 48,668,900 795,868 567,027 228,841 16.4 11.7 4.7 3.7 2.05
1946 48,987,800 955,266 573,361 381,905 19.5 11.7 7.8 -1.2 2.47
1947 49,538,700 1,025,427 600,728[89] 424,699 20.7 12.1 8.6 2.6 2.69
1948 50,033,200 905,182 546,002 359,180 18.1 10.9 7.2 2.8 2.39
1949 50,331,000 855,298 589,876 265,422 17 11.7 5.3 0.7 2.26
1950 50,381,500[90] 818,421 590,136 228,285 16.2 11.7 4.5 -3.5 2.08
1951 50,286,900 796,645 632,786 163,859 15.8 12.6 3.3 -5.2 2.10
1952 50,429,200 792,917 573,806 219,111 15.7 11.4 4.3 -1.5 2.15
1953 50,592,900 804,269 577,220 227,049 15.9 11.4 4.5 -1.3 2.20
1954 50,764,900 794,769 578,400 216,369 15.7 11.4 4.3 -0.9 2.26
1955 50,946,100 789,315 595,916 193,399 15.5 11.7 3.8 -0.2 2.33
1956 51,183,500 825,137 597,981 227,156 16.1 11.7 4.4 0.3 2.40
1957 51,430,200 851,466 591,200 260,266 16.6 11.5 5.1 -0.3 2.48
1958 51,652,500 870,497 604,040 266,457 16.9 11.7 5.2 -0.9 2.55
1959 51,956,300 878,561 606,115 272,446 16.9 11.7 5.2 0.7 2.63
1960 52,372,500 918,286 603,328 314,958 17.5 11.5 6.0 2.0 2.71
1961 52,807,400 944,365 631,788 312,577 17.9 12.0 5.9 2.4 2.78
1962 53,291,800 975,635 636,051 339,584 18.3 11.9 6.4 2.8 2.87
1963 53,624,900 990,160 654,288 335,872 18.5 12.2 6.3 0 2.90
1964 53,990,800 1,014,672 611,130 403,542 18.8 11.3 7.5 -0.7 2.95
1965 54,349,500 997,275 627,798 369,477 18.3 11.6 6.8 -0.2 2.88
1966 54,642,700 979,587 643,754 335,833 17.9 11.8 6.1 -0.7 2.80
1967 54,959,000 961,800 616,710 345,090 17.5 11.2 6.3 -0.5 2.69
1968 55,213,500 947,231 655,998 291,233 17.2 11.9 5.3 -0.7 2.61
1969 55,460,600 920,256 659,537 260,719 16.6 11.9 4.7 -0.2 2.51
1970 55,632,200 903,907 655,385 248,522 16.2 11.8 4.5 -1.4 2.44
1971 55,928,000 901,648 645,078 256,570 16.1 11.5 4.6 0.7 2.40
1972 56,096,000 833,984 673,938 160,046 14.9 12.0 2.9 0.1 2.20
1973 56,223,000 779,545 669,692 109,853 13.9 11.9 2.0 0.4 2.03
1974 56,235,000 737,138 667,359 69,779 13.1 11.9 1.2 -1.0 1.92
1975 56,225,000 697,518 662,477 35,041 12.4 11.8 0.6 -0.8 1.81
1976 56,216,000 675,526 680,799 -5,273 12.0 12.1 -0.1 -0.1 1.74
1977 56,189,000 657,038 655,143 1,895 11.7 11.7 0.0 -0.5 1.69
1978 56,178,000 686,952 667,177 19,775 12.2 11.9 0.4 -0.6 1.75
1979 56,240,000 734,572 675,576 58,996 13.1 12.0 1.0 0.1 1.86
1980 56,329,000 753,708 661,519 92,189 13.4 11.7 1.6 0 1.90
1981 56,357,000 730,712 657,974 72,738 13.0 11.7 1.3 -0.8 1.82
1982 56,290,000 718,999 662,081 56,918 12.8 11.8 1.0 -2.2 1.78
1983 56,315,000 721,238 659,101 62,137 12.8 11.7 1.1 -0.7 1.77
1984 56,409,000 729,401 644,918 84,483 12.9 11.4 1.5 0.2 1.77
1985 56,554,000 750,520 670,656 79,864 13.3 11.9 1.4 1.2 1.79
1986 56,683,000 754,805 660,735 94,070 13.3 11.7 1.7 0.6 1.78
1987 56,804,000 775,405 644,342 131,063 13.7 11.3 2.3 -0.2 1.81
1988 56,916,000 787,303 649,178 138,125 13.8 11.4 2.4 -0.4 1.82
1989 57,076,000 777,036 657,733 119,303 13.6 11.5 2.1 0.7 1.79
1990 57,237,500 798,364 641,799 156,565 13.9 11.2 2.7 0.1 1.83
1991 57,438,700 792,269 646,181 146,088 13.8 11.3 2.5 1.0 1.82
1992 57,584,500 780,779 634,238 146,541 13.6 11.0 2.5 0 1.79
1993 57,713,900 761,526 658,194 103,332 13.2 11.4 1.8 0.4 1.76
1994 57,862,100 750,480 626,222 124,258 13.0 10.8 2.1 0.5 1.74
1995 58,024,800 731,882 641,712 90,170 12.6 11.1 1.6 1.2 1.71
1996 58,164,400 733,163 638,879 94,284 12.6 11.0 1.6 0,8 1.73
1997 58,314,200 726,622 632,517 94,105 12.5 10.8 1.6 1.0 1.72
1998 58,474,900 716,888 627,592 89,296 12.3 10.7 1.5 1.3 1.71
1999 58,684,400 699,976 629,476 70,500 11.9 10.7 1.2 2.4 1.68
2000 58,886,100 679,029 610,579 68,450 11.5 10.4 1.2 2.2 1.64
2001 59,113,000 669,123 604,393 64,730 11.3 10.2 1.1 2.8 1.63
2002 59,365,700 668,777 608,045 60,732 11.3 10.2 1.0 3.3 1.63
2003 59,636,700 695,549 612,085 83,464 11.7 10.3 1.4 3.2 1.70
2004 59,950,400 715,996 584,791 131,205 11.9 9.8 2.2 3.1 1.77
2005 60,413,300 722,549 582,964 139,585 12.0 9.6 2.3 5.4 1.76
2006 60,827,100 748,563 572,224 176,339 12.3 9.4 2.9 3.9 1.82
2007 61,319,100 772,245 574,687 197,558 12.6 9.4 3.2 4.9 1.87
2008 61,823,800 794,383 579,697 214,686 12.8 9.4 3.5 4.7 1.96
2009 62,260,500 790,204 559,617 230,587 12.7 9.0 3.7 3.4 1.89
2010 62,759,500 807,721 561,666 246,055 12.9 8.9 3.9 4.1 1.92
2011 63,285,100 807,776 552,232 255,544 12.8 8.7 4.0 4.4 1.91
2012 63,705,000 812,970 569,024 243,946 12.8 8.9 3.8 2.8 1.92
2013 64,105,700 778,803 575,458 203,345 12.1 9.0 3.2 3.1 1.83
2014 64,596,800 776,352 570,341 206,011 12.0 8.8 3.2 4.5 1.82
2015 65,110,000 777,165 602,782 174,383 11.9 9.3 2.7 5.2 1.80
2016 65,648,100 774,835 595,659 179,176 11.8 9.1 2.7 5.6 1.79
2017 66,040,200 755,066 607,172 147,894 11.4 9.2 2.2 3.8 1.74
2018 66,435,600 731,213 616,014 115,199 11.0 9.3 1.7 4.3 1.68
2019 66,796,800 712,699 604,707 107,992 10.7 9.1 1.6 3.8 1.63
2020 67,081,234 681,560 689,629 -8,069 10.2 10.3 -0.1 4.4 1.56
2021 67,026,292 694,685 666,659 28,026 10.3 9.9 0.4 -1.2 1.54[91]
2022 673,141 657,278[92] [93] [94] 15,863
2023 660,275[95] [96] [97]

Current vital statistics

Vital statistics for 2022 – 2023
Period Live births Deaths[98][99][100] Natural increase
January-September 2022 482,841
January-September 2023 497,951
Difference Negative increase +15,110 (+3.13%)

Structure of the population

Population by Sex and Age Group (Census 27.III.2011): [101]
Age Group Male Female Total %
Total 31 028 143 32 154 035 63 182 178 100
0–4 2 002 494 1 911 459 3 913 953 6.19
5–9 1 799 999 1 716 616 3 516 615 5.57
10–14 1 878 838 1 790 488 3 669 326 5.81
15–19 2 040 725 1 955 727 3 996 452 6.33
20–24 2 164 141 2 133 057 4 297 198 6.80
25–29 2 145 054 2 161 286 4 306 340 6.82
30–34 2 059 312 2 066 137 4 125 449 6.53
35–39 2 082 310 2 112 167 4 194 477 6.64
40–44 2 283 902 2 341 733 4 625 635 7.32
45–49 2 293 572 2 349 528 4 643 100 7.35
50–54 2 028 748 2 065 706 4 094 454 6.48
55–59 1 785 598 1 828 480 3 614 078 5.72
60–64 1 868 912 1 939 062 3 807 974 6.03
65-69 1 463 355 1 554 125 3 017 480 4.78
70-74 1 162 621 1 300 124 2 462 745 3.90
75-79 903 433 1 102 586 2 006 019 3.17
80-84 615 163 883 733 1 498 896 2.37
85-89 324 063 594 280 918 343 1.45
90-94 104 072 264 353 368 425 0.58
95-99 19 756 73 195 92 951 0.15
100+ 2 075 10 193 12 268 0.02
Age group Male Female Total Per cent
0–14 5 681 331 5 418 563 11 099 894 17.57
15–64 20 752 274 20 952 883 41 705 157 66.01
65+ 4 594 538 5 782 589 10 377 127 16.42
Population Estimates by Sex and Age Group (30.VI.2020) (Excluding Channel Islands (Guernsey and Jersey) and Isle of Man, shown separately, if available. Data refer to usual resident population.): [101]
Age Group Male Female Total %
Total 33 145 709 33 935 525 67 081 234 100
0–4 1 941 390 1 840 940 3 782 330 5.64
5–9 2 125 958 2 021 455 4 147 413 6.18
10–14 2 073 515 1 971 599 4 045 114 6.03
15–19 1 893 268 1 790 412 3 683 680 5.49
20–24 2 132 032 2 001 126 4 133 158 6.16
25–29 2 280 809 2 195 821 4 476 630 6.67
30–34 2 263 511 2 258 464 4 521 975 6.74
35–39 2 179 535 2 224 565 4 404 100 6.57
40–44 2 032 071 2 059 472 4 091 543 6.10
45–49 2 126 397 2 177 570 4 303 967 6.42
50–54 2 269 897 2 346 120 4 616 017 6.88
55–59 2 216 617 2 294 234 4 510 851 6.72
60–64 1 888 526 1 967 292 3 855 818 5.75
65-69 1 624 419 1 730 962 3 355 381 5.00
70-74 1 606 864 1 757 042 3 363 906 5.01
75-79 1 114 488 1 289 271 2 403 759 3.58
80-84 759 183 967 040 1 726 223 2.57
85-89 420 012 629 854 1 049 866 1.57
90-94 162 110 308 580 470 670 0.70
95-99 32 420 91 300 123 710 0.18
100+ 2 700 12 420 15 120 0.02
Age group Male Female Total Per cent
0–14 6 140 863 5 833 994 11 974 857 17.85
15–64 21 282 650 21 315 062 42 597 712 63.50
65+ 5 722 196 6 786 469 12 508 665 18.65

Births in England and Wales by place of birth of parents

Parents’ country of birth:[102]

Place of birth of parent Number of births by place of birth of father (% of total births)(2010) (2011) (2012) (2013) (2014) (2015) (2016) (2017) (2018) (2019) (2020) (2021) (2022) Number of births by place of birth of mother (% of total births) (2010) (2011) (2012) (2013) (2014) (2015) (2016) (2017) (2018) (2019) (2020) (2021) (2022)
Total 723 165 (100) 723 913 (100) 729 674 (100) 698 512 (100) 695 233 (100) 697 852 (100) 696 271 (100) 679 106 (100) 657 076 (100) 640 370 (100) 613 936 (100) 624 828 (100) 605 479 (100) 723 165 (100) 723 913 (100) 729 674 (100) 698 512 (100) 695 233 (100) 697 852 (100) 696 271 (100) 679 106 (100) 657 076 (100) 64 0370 (100) 613 936 (100) 624 828 (100) 605 479 (100)
United Kingdom 511 264 (70.70) 510 370 (70.50) 512 136 (70.19) 487 046 (69.73) 482 314 (69.37) 481 227 (68.96) 476 354 (68.42) 462 923 (68.17) 448 411 (68.24) 434 113 (67.79) 413 208 (67.30) 427 313 (68.39) 402 503 (66.48) 541 321 (74.85) 539 364 (74.51) 540 572 (74.08) 513 411 (73.50) 507 587 (73.01) 505 588 (72.45) 499 974 (71.81) 486 417 (71.63) 471 476 (71.75) 456 328 (71.26) 434 024 (70.70) 445 055 (71.23) 422 109 (69.71)
Total outside United Kingdom 169 393 (23.42) 171 702 (23.72) 175 639 (24.07) 172 139 (24.64) 175 118 (25.19) 179 795 (25.76) 183 764 (26.39) 180 951 (26.65) 174 579 (26.57) 173 119 (27.03) 168 742 (27.49) 168 476 (26.96) 173 197 (28.60) 181 827 (25.14) 184 529 (25.49) 189 079 (25.91) 185 075 (26.50) 187 610 (26.99) 192 227 (27.55) 196 254 (28.19) 192 651 (28.37) 185 569 (28.24) 184 003 (28.73) 179 881 (29.30) 179 726 (28.76) 183 309 (30.28)
Not Stated 42 508 (5.88) 41 841 (5.78) 41 899 (5.74) 39 327 (5.63) 37 801 (5.44) 36 830 (5.28) 36 153 (5.19) 35 232 (5.19) 34 086 (5.19) 33 138 (5.17) 31 986 (5.21) 29 039 (4.65) 29 779 (4.92) 17 (0.00) 20 (0.00) 23 (0.00) 26 (0.00) 36 (0.00) 37 (0.00) 43 (0.00) 38 (0.00) 31 (0.00) 39 (0.00) 31 (0.01) 47 (0.01) 61 (0.01)
Total outside United Kingdom detail :
EU 41 269 (5.71) 43 335 (5.99) 46 418 (6.36) 47 607 (6.82) 50 512 (7.27) 55 334 (7.93) 57 858 (8.31) 58 565 (8.62) 57 540 (8.76) 55 626 (8.69) 52 325 (8.52) 51 720 (8.28) 47 423 (7.83) 52 699 (7.29) 55 058 (7.61) 58 911 (8.07) 60 448 (8.65) 64 067 (9.22) 69 070 (9.90) 71 669 (10.29) 71 472 (10.52) 69 775 (10.62) 67 645 (10.56) 63 732 (10.38) 62 992 (10.08) 58 037 (9.59)
Germany 4 368 (0.60) 4 298 (0.59) 4 187 (0.57) 3 957 (0.57) 3 988 (0.57) 3 972 (0.57) 3 875 (0.56) 3 687 (0.54) 3 653 (0.56) 3 198 (0.50) 3 107 (0.51) 5 328 (0.74) 5 108 (0.71) 5 064 (0.69) 4 838 (0.69) 4 708 (0.68) 4 667 (0.67) 4 560 (0.65) 4 245 (0.63) 3 917 (0.60) 3 816 (0.60) 3 609 (0.59) 3 511 (0.56) 3 154 (0.52)
New EU 25 758 (3.56) 27 962 (3.86) 30 695 (4.21) 31 992 (4.58) 34 139 (4.91) 38 009 (5.45) 39 985 (5.74) 40 636 (5.98) 39 933 (6.08) 38 490 (6.01) 35 651 (5.81) 34 666 (5.55) 31 515 (5.20) 34 194 (4.73) 37 063 (5.12) 40 821 (5.59) 42 523 (6.09) 45 344 (6.52) 49 642 (7.11) 51 962 (7.46) 51 863 (7.64) 50 840 (7.74) 48 716 (7.61) 45 034 (7.34) 43 823 (7.01) 39 896 (6.59)
Romania 3 867 (0.53) 4 387 (0.63) 5 414 (0.78) 7 856 (1.13) 10 684 (1.53) 12 856 (1.89) 14 269 (2.17) 15 211 (2.38) 14 791 (2.41) 15 099 (2.42) 14 651 (2.42) 4 406 (0.60) 4 956 (0.71) 6 102 (0.88) 8 734 (1.25) 11 721 (1.68) 13 717 (2.02) 15 196 (2.31) 16 069 (2.51) 15 713 (2.56) 15 894 (2.54) 15 518 (2.56)
Poland 15 619 (2.16) 16 150 (2.23) 16 432 (2.25) 16 436 (2.35) 16 950 (2.44) 17 704 (2.54) 16 956 (2.44) 15 610 (2.30) 13 838 (2.11) 12 041 (1.88) 10 542 (1.72) 9 458 (1.51) 7 613 (1.26) 19 762 (2.73) 20 495 (2.83) 21 156 (2.90) 21 275 (3.05) 22 122 (3.18) 22 928 (3.29) 22 382 (3.21) 20 779 (3.06) 18 765 (2.86) 16 737 (2.61) 14 633 (2.38) 13 373 (2.14) 11 107 (1.83)
Lithuania 3 512 (0.50) 3 454 (0.51) 3 788 (0.52) 4 535 (0.62) 4 595 (0.66) 4 786 (0.69) 4 872 (0.70) 4 912 (0.71) 4 803 (0.71) 4 517 (0.69) 4 133 (0.65) 3 619 (0.59) 3 499 (0.56)
Rest of Europe (non EU) 7 392 (1.02) 7 276 (1.01) 7 705 (1.06) 7 608 (1.09) 8 185 (1.18) 8 776 (1.26) 9 289 (1.33) 9 552 (1.41) 9 697 (1.48) 10 553 (1.65) 10 765 (1.75) 11 346 (1.82) 11 557 (1.91) 7 548 (1.04) 7 537 (1.04) 7 890 (1.08) 7 959 (1.14) 8 562 (1.23) 9 208 (1.32) 9 930 (1.43) 10 385 (1.53) 10 599 (1.61) 11 418 (1.78) 11 574 (1.89) 11 974 (1.92) 12 053 (1.99)
Albania 3 344 (0.54) 3 768 (0.62) 3 260 (0.52) 3 515 (0.58)
Africa 40 816 (5.64) 39 746 (5.49) 39 026 (5.35) 37 563 (5.38) 37 067 (5.33) 36 876 (5.28) 36 667 (5.27) 35 459 (5.22) 33 741 (5.14) 33 375 (5.21) 32 197 (5.24) 31 800 (5.09) 35 053 (5.79) 39 828 (5.51) 38 523 (5.32) 37 837 (5.19) 36 264 (5.19) 35 030 (5.04) 34 960 (5.01) 34 437 (4.95) 32 875 (4.84) 31 158 (4.74) 30 753 (4.80) 29 660 (4.83) 29 150 (4.67) 32 315 (5.34)
North Africa 4 939 (0.68) 4 650 (0.64) 4 504 (0.62) 4 632 (0.66) 4 737 (0.68) 4 760 (0.68) 4 762 (0.68) 4 669 (0.69) 4 669 (0.71) 4 874 (0.76) 4 808 (0.78) 4 531 (0.73) 4 720 (0.78) 3 839 (0.53) 3 562 (0.49) 3 488 (0.48) 3 661 (0.52) 3 733 (0.54) 3 853 (0.55) 3 901 (0.56) 3 907 (0.58) 3 945 (0.60) 4 145 (0.65) 4 270 (0.70) 4 006 (0.64) 4 256 (0.70)
Western Africa 14 240 (1.97) 14 336 (1.98) 14 546 (1.99) 14 314 (2.05) 14 508 (2.09) 14 350 (2.06) 14 383 (2.07) 13 733 (2.02) 13 246 (2.02) 12 992 (2.03) 12 689 (2.07) 12 828 (2.05) 15 696 (2.59) 13 217 (1.83) 13 067 (1.81) 13 344 (1.83) 12 906 (1.85) 12 613 (1.81) 12 472 (1.79) 12 254 (1.76) 11 381 (1.68) 10 809 (1.65%) 10 625 (1.66) 10 468 (1.71) 10 487 (1.68) 13 313 (2.20)
Nigeria 8 129 (1.12) 8 335 (1.15) 8 628 (1.18) 8 397 (1.20) 8 467 (1.22) 8 339 (1.19) 8 208 (1.18) 7 821 (1.15) 7 494 (1.14) 7 201 (1.12) 7 124 (1.16) 7 492 (1.20) 10 042 (1.66) 7 332 (1.01) 7 476 (1.03) 7 685 (1.05) 7 267 (1.04) 7 030 (1.01) 6 829 (0.98) 6 635 (0.95) 6 074 (0.89) 5 769 (0.88) 5 634 (0.88) 5 575 (0.91) 5 907 (0.95) 8 458 (1.40)
Ghana 3 487 (0.48) 3 346 (0.46) 3 545 (0.51) 3 405 (0.52) 3 366 (0.53) 3 241 (0.53) 3 085 (0.49) 3 418 (0.56) 3 566 (0.49)
Central Africa 2 468 (0.34) 2 271 (0.31) 2 228 (0.31) 2 196 (0.31) 2 212 (0.32) 2 212 (0.32) 2 216 (0.32) 2 248 (0.33) 2 126 (0.32) 2 033 (0.32) 1 926 (0.31) 1 805 (0.29) 1 950 (0.32) 2 599 (0.36) 2 364 (0.33) 2 356 (0.32) 2 288 (0.33) 2 275 (0.33) 2 343 (0.34) 2 247 (0.32) 2 245 (0.33) 2 117 (0.32%) 2 075 (0.32) 1 890 (0.31) 1 838 (0.29) 1 848 (0.31)
Eastern Africa 14 427 (1.99) 13 930 (1.92) 13 172 (1.81) 12 280 (1.76) 11 656 (1.68) 11 719 (1.68) 11 510 (1.65) 11 145 (1.64) 10 350 (1.58) 10 224 (1.60) 9 529 (1.55) 9 340 (1.49) 9 514 (1.57) 15 417 (2.13) 14 800 (2.04) 14 149 (1.94) 13 305 (1.90) 12 586 (1.81) 12 499 (1.79) 12 371 (1.78) 11 899 (1.75) 11 017 (1.68%) 10 759 (1.68) 10 013 (1.63) 9 751 (1.56) 9 895 (1.63)
Somalia 5 311 (0.73) 5 171 (0.71) 4 877 (0.67) 4 540 (0.65) 4 334 (0.62) 4 286 (0.61) 4 346 (0.62) 4 139 (0.61) 3 635 (0.55) 3 586 (0.56) 3 289 (0.54) 3 168 (0.51) 3 039 (0.50) 5 882 (0.81) 5 654 (0.78) 5 300 (0.73) 4 897 (0.70) 4 696 (0.68) 4 636 (0.66) 4 621 (0.66) 4 390 (0.65) 3 765 (0.57) 3 698 (0.58) 3 347 (0.55)
Southern Africa 4 633 (0.64) 4 465 (0.62) 4 477 (0.61) 4 051 (0.58) 3 887 (0.56) 3 767 (0.54) 3 736 (0.54) 3 612 (0.53) 3 305 (0.50) 3 208 (0.50) 3 204 (0.52) 3 238 (0.52) 3 127 (0.52) 4 675 (0.65) 4 651 (0.64) 4 425 (0.61) 4 032 (0.58) 3 765 (0.54) 3 743 (0.54) 3 613 (0.52) 3 395 (0.50) 3 231 (0.49) 3 113 (0.49) 2 985 (0.49) 3 018 (0.48) 2 952 (0.49)
South Africa 4 485 (0.62) 4 325 (0.60) 4 337 (0.59) 3 885 (0.56) 3 744 (0.54) 3 618 (0.52) 3 559 (0.51) 3 473 (0.51) 3 178 (0.48) 4 456 (0.62) 4 430 (0.61) 4 231 (0.58) 3 824 (0.55) 3 537 (0.51)
The Americas and the Caribbean 10 865 (1.50) 10 673 (1.47) 10 861 (1.49) 10 196 (1.46) 10 541 (1.52) 10 360 (1.48) 10 606 (1.52) 10 236 (1.51) 10 061 (1.53) 10 030 (1.57) 9 844 (1.60) 10 169 (1.63) 10 259 (1.69) 11 494 (1.59) 11 286 (1.56) 11 317 (1.55) 10 933 (1.57) 11 191 (1.61) 11 346 (1.63) 11 441 (1.64) 11 102 (1.63) 11 097 (1.69) 10 927 (1.71) 10 912 (1.78) 11 439 (1.83) 11 487 (1.90)
North America 3 648 (0.50) 3 680 (0.51) 3 710 (0.51) 3 465 (0.50) 3 728 (0.54) 3 596 (0.52) 3 711 (0.53) 3 482 (0.51) 3 461 (0.53) 3 407 (0.53) 3 329 (0.54) 3 468 (0.56) 3 236 (0.53) 4 604 (0.64) 4 518 (0.62) 4 567 (0.63) 4 382 (0.63) 4 586 (0.66) 4 564 (0.65) 4 633 (0.67) 4 429 (0.65) 4 476 (0.68) 4 338 (0.68) 4 206 (0.69) 4 583 (0.73) 4 257 (0.70)
United States Of America 3 271 (0.48) 3 333 (0.51) 3 240 (0.51) 3 145 (0.51) 3 446 (0.55) 3 200 (0.53)
Central America 233 (0.03) 252 (0.03) 221 (0.03) 249 (0.04) 243 (0.03) 284 (0.04) 284 (0.04) 254 (0.04) 274 (0.04) 279 (0.04) 279 (0.05) 342 (0.05) 383 (0.06) 343 (0.05) 373 (0.05) 345 (0.05) 365 (0.05) 403 (0.06) 414 (0.06) 402 (0.06) 410 (0.06) 428 (0.07) 412 (0.06) 427 (0.07) 494 (0.08) 513 (0.08)
South America 2 427 (0.34) 2 363 (0.33) 2 461 (0.34) 2 438 (0.35) 2 624 (0.38) 2 698 (0.39) 2 935 (0.42) 2 930 (0.43) 3 027 (0.46) 3 095 (0.48) 3 245 (0.53) 3 414 (0.55) 3 651 (0.60) 3 378 (0.47) 3 282 (0.45) 3 285 (0.45) 3 301 (0.47) 3 419 (0.49) 3 594 (0.52) 3 799 (0.55) 3 823 (0.56) 3 813 (0.58) 3 939 (0.62) 4 117 (0.67) 4 238 (0.68) 4 509 (0.74)
Caribbean 4 557 (0.63) 4 378 (0.60) 4 469 (0.61) 4 044 (0.58) 3 946 (0.57) 3 782 (0.54) 3 676 (0.53) 3 570 (0.53) 3 299 (0.50) 3 249 (0.51) 2 991 (0.49) 2 945 (0.47) 2 989 (0.49) 3 169 (0.44) 3 113 (0.43) 3 120 (0.43) 2 885 (0.41) 2 783 (0.40) 2 774 (0.40) 2 607 (0.37) 2 440 (0.36) 2 380 (0.36) 2 238 (0.35) 2 162 (0.35) 2 124 (0.34) 2 208 (0.36)
Middle East and Asia 65 060 (9.00) 66 963 (9.25) 67 999 (9.32) 65 764 (9.41) 65 634 (9.44) 65 419 (9.37) 66 259 (9.52) 64 234 (9.46) 60 879 (9.27) 61 081 (9.54) 61 258 (9.98) 61 002 (9.76) 66 899 (11.05) 66 348 (9.17) 68 534 (9.47) 69 667 (9.55) 66 324 (9.50) 65 725 (9.45) 64 748 (9.28) 65 961 (9.47) 64 126 (9.44) 60 431 (9.20) 60 881 (9.51) 61 760 (10.06) 61 854 (9.90) 67 342 (11.12)
Middle East 8 035 (1.11) 7 967 (1.10) 7 926 (1.09) 8 049 (1.15) 8 392 (1.21) 8 753 (1.25) 9 229 (1.33) 9 578 (1.41) 9 801 (1.49) 9 693 (1.51) 9 452 (1.54) 9 687 (1.55) 10 302 (1.70) 6 657 (0.92) 6 793 (0.94) 6 781 (0.93) 6 773 (0.97) 7 073 (1.02) 7 409 (1.06) 7 883 (1.13) 8 269 (1.22) 8 433 (1.28) 8 600 (1.34) 8 387 (1.37) 8 676 (1.39) 9 255 (1.53)
Central Asia 166 (0.02) 161 (0.02) 190 (0.03) 185 (0.03) 220 (0.03) 188 (0.03) 193 (0.03) 189 (0.03) 223 (0.03) 179 (0.03) 210 (0.03) 222 (0.04) 219 (0.04) 296 (0.04) 360 (0.05) 375 (0.05) 364 (0.05) 376 (0.05) 422 (0.06) 403 (0.06) 397 (0.06) 432 (0.07) 363 (0.06) 415 (0.07) 368 (0.06) 352 (0.06)
Eastern Asia 4 019 (0.56) 4 030 (0.56) 4 493 (0.62) 3 724 (0.53) 4 118 (0.59) 3 724 (0.53) 3 912 (0.56) 3 457 (0.51) 3 104 (0.47) 3 016 (0.47) 2 721 (0.44) 2 419 (0.39) 2 657 (0.44) 5 931 (0.82) 5 928 (0.82) 6 541 (0.90) 5 605 (0.80) 6 072 (0.87) 5 538 (0.79) 5 836 (0.84) 5 346 (0.79) 4 765 (0.73) 4 614 (0.72) 4 129 (0.67) 3 871 (0.62) 4 075 (0.67)
China 3 611 (0.50) 3 882 (0.56) 3 596 (0.52)
Southern Asia 48 722 (6.74) 50 693 (7.00) 51 472 (7.05) 50 389 (7.21) 49 602 (7.13) 49 468 (7.09) 49 799 (7.15) 48 143 (7.09) 45 047 (6.86) 45 482 (7.10) 46 059 (7.50) 45 924 (7.35) 50 645 (8.36) 46 737 (6.46) 48 817 (6.74) 49 302 (6.76) 47 755 (6.84) 46 485 (6.69) 45 795 (6.56) 46 409 (6.67) 44 953 (6.62) 42 007 (6.39) 42 556 (6.65) 44 008 (7.17) 44 170 (7.07) 48 645 (8.03)
India 12 799 (1.77) 14 181 (1.96) 13 991 (1.92) 13 662 (1.96) 13 639 (1.96) 13 798 (1.98) 14 007 (2.01) 13 715 (2.02) 12 968 (1.97) 13 569 (2.12) 14 631 (2.38) 15 452 (2.47) 18 013 (2.97) 13 575 (1.88) 14 892 (2.06) 14 621 (2.00) 14 044 (2.01) 13 735 (1.98) 13 780 (1.97) 13 883 (1.99) 13 476 (1.98) 12 675 (1.93) 13 108 (2.05) 14 404 (2.35) 15 260 (2.44) 17 745 (2.93)
Pakistan 19 091 (2.64) 19 612 (2.71) 20 280 (2.78) 20 068 (2.87) 19 601 (2.82) 19 236 (2.76) 19 131 (2.75) 18 513 (2.73) 17 334 (2.64) 17 519 (2.74) 17 140 (2.79) 16 375 (2.62) 17 393 (2.87) 17 840 (2.47) 18 434 (2.55) 19 091 (2.62) 18 578 (2.66) 17 943 (2.58) 17 342 (2.49) 17 367 (2.49) 17 099 (2.52) 15 996 (2.43) 16 320 (2.55) 16 460 (2.68) 15 791 (2.53) 16 654 (2.75)
Bangladesh 9 105 (1.26) 9 027 (1.25) 9 033 (1.24) 8 776 (1.26) 8 534 (1.23) 8 699 (1.25) 8 876 (1.27) 8 286 (1.22) 7 754 (1.18) 7 371 (1.15) 7 244 (1.18) 7 184 (1.15) 7 435 (1.23) 8 360 (1.16) 8 371 (1.16) 8 224 (1.13) 7 982 (1.14) 7 783 (1.12) 7 752 (1.11) 8 106 (1.16) 7 426 (1.09) 7 027 (1.07) 6 774 (1.06) 6 767 (1.10) 6 790 (1.09) 7 007 (1.16)
Afghanistan 3 232 (0.50) 3 275 (0.53) 3 345 (0.54) 4 254 (0.70) 3 875 (0.64)
Sri Lanka 3 717 (0.51) 3 698 (0.51) 3 745 (0.51) 3 530 (0.51) 3 509 (0.50) 3 511 (0.49)
South East Asia 4 048 (0.56) 4 040 (0.56) 3 860 (0.53) 3 374 (0.48) 3 237 (0.47) 3 226 (0.46) 3 075 (0.44) 2 831 (0.42) 2 660 (0.40) 2 661 (0.42) 2 769 (0.45) 2 711 (0.43) 3 041 (0.50) 6 650 (0.92) 6 561 (0.91) 6 592 (0.90) 5 774 (0.83) 5 641 (0.81) 5 519 (0.79) 5 365 (0.77) 5 117 (0.75) 4 725 (0.72) 4 681 (0.73) 4 755 (0.77) 4 714 (0.75) 4 955 (0.82)
Antarctica and Oceania 3 991 (0.55) 3 709 (0.51) 3 630 (0.50) 3 401 (0.49) 3 179 (0.46) 3 030 (0.43) 3 085 (0.44) 2 905 (0.43) 2 661 (0.40) 2 454 (0.38) 2 353 (0.38) 2 439 (0.39) 2 006 (0.33) 3 910 (0.54) 3 591 (0.50) 3 457 (0.47) 3 147 (0.45) 3 035 (0.44)) 2 895 (0.41) 2 816 (0.40) 2 691 (0.40) 2 509 (0.38) 2 379 (0.37) 2 243 (0.37) 2 317 (0.37) 2 075 (0.34)
Australasia 3 707 (0.51) 3 434 (0.47) 3 344 (0.46) 3 124 (0.45) 2 903 (0.42) 2 788 (0.40) 2 861 (0.41) 2 667 (0.39) 2 439 (0.37) 2 257 (0.35) 2 182 (0.36) 2 251 (0.36) 1 820 (0.30) 3 660 (0.51) 3 350 (0.46) 3 232 (0.44) 2 921 (0.42) 2 800 (0.40) 2 695 (0.39) 2 602 (0.37) 2 499 (0.37) 2 335 (0.36) 2 219 (0.35) 2 101 (0.34) 2 185 (0.35) 1 921 (0.32)
Other Oceania 284 (0.04) 274 (0.04) 286 (0.04) 277 (0.04) 276 (0.04) 242 (0.03) 224 (0.03) 238 (0.04) 222 (0.03) 197 (0.03) 171 (0.03) 188 (0.03) 186 (0.03) 249 (0.03) 239 (0.03) 223 (0.03) 226 (0.03) 235 (0.03) 200 (0.03) 214 (0.03) 192 (0.03) 174 (0.03) 160 (0.02) 142 (0.02) 132 (0.02) 154 (0.03)

Social issues

Marriage, divorce, families and household types

Marriage and divorce

Marriage status of England and Wales in 2020

In 2004, 58% of births were conceived within a married couple, 35% by non-married couples registered by both parents and 7% by non-married mothers who registered the birth alone.[37]

This varied from each constituent nation, Wales for example had the highest births outside of marriage at 51% in 2004, In England this percentage was 42% and in Scotland 47%. Northern Ireland had the lowest of 35% in 2004.[37]

Household and family type

Sexual orientation

Main article: Demographics of sexual orientation § United Kingdom

Sexual identification 2014–2020

Out of the 600,000 people in the UK that applied to go to university through UCAS in 2020, 7.2%, or 40,000, described themselves as LGBT on their application form. UCAS estimates this to be a rate 2.5 times higher than the overall UK population. The UCAS report in collaboration with Stonewall also found LGBT students were more likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds (compared to those who identified as heterosexual or didn't specify), have a disability (compared to non-LGBT students) and have a mental health condition (compared to non-LGBT students).[103]

For the first time, the 2021 United Kingdom census included a question on sexual orientation.[104] Results for Scotland are expected to be published from spring 2024 onwards.[105]

Results of the 2021 United Kingdom census
Sexual orientation (aged 16 and over)
England and Wales[106] Northern Ireland[107]
Straight or Heterosexual 89.4% 90.0%
Gay or Lesbian 1.5% 1.2%
Bisexual 1.3% 0.8%
All other sexual orientations 0.3% 0.2%
Not answered 7.5% 7.9%

Gender identity

In the 2021 United Kingdom census, in England and Wales, 262,000 people (0.5%) answered that their gender identity was different from their sex registered at birth, including 0.10% who identified as a trans man, 0.10% as a trans woman, and 0.06% as non-binary.[108] 1% of people aged 16 to 24 years said that their gender identity was different from their sex registered at birth.[109]

Abortion

Main article: Abortion in the United Kingdom

Percentage of conceptions leading to an abortion overtime from 1969 to 2020

Abortion in the United Kingdom (however not Northern Ireland) was officially legalised in 1967 under the Abortion Act of that year, allowing women for the first time to get an abortion under numerous medical grounds outlined within the act. Previously, this was outlawed under the Offences against the Person Act of 1861 and then the updated Infant Life (Preservation) Act of 1929 which only permitted an abortion if the death of a child was "done in good faith for the purpose only of preserving the life of the mother".

In 2020, the amount of conceptions which led to an abortion was around 25.3%[110]

Conceptions leading to an abortion from 1969 to 2020[111]
Year 1969 1971 1976 1981 1986 1991 1996 2001 2006 2011 2016 2020
Percentage of conceptions leading to an abortion 5.98% 11.32% 15.17% 17.09% 18.02% 19.6% 20.55% 23% 22.26% 20.88% 21.5% 25.29%

Health

Main article: Health in the United Kingdom

General health

General health (self-identified) England and Wales
2001[112] 2011[113] 2021[114]
Number % Number % Number %
Very good health 35,676,210 68.6% 26,434,409 47.1% 28,827,308 48.4%
Good health 19,094,820 34.1% 20,046,220 33.6%
Fair health 11,568,363 22.2% 7,401,881 13.2% 7,597,001 12.7%
Bad health 4,797,343 9.2% 2,428,668 4.3% 2,412,358 4.0%
Very bad health 716,134 1.3% 714,655 1.2%
Total 52,041,916 100% 56,075,912 100% 59,597,542 100.0%

Death rate and cause

Health issues

Disability

Disabled population pyramid in 2021 in England and Wales
Disability status England and Wales
1991 (long-term illness)[115] 2001 (limiting long-term illness)[116] 2011[117] 2021[118]
Number % Number % Number % Number %
Disabled (under the Equality Act) 6,039,455 11.9% 9,484,856 18.2% 10,048,441 17.9% 10,444,776 17.5%
Disabled under the Equality Act: Day-to-day activities limited a little 5,278,729 9.4% 5,985,013 10.0%
Disabled under the Equality Act: Day-to-day activities limited a lot 4,769,712 8.5% 4,459,763 7.5%
Not disabled (under the Equality Act) 46,027,471 82.1% 49,152,766 82.5%
Not disabled under the Equality Act: No long term physical or mental health conditions 46,027,471 82.1% 45,090,197 75.7%
Not disabled under the Equality Act: Has long term physical or mental health condition but day-to-day activities are not limited 4,062,569 6.8%
Total 50,748,000 100% 52,041,916 100% 56,075,912 100% 59,597,542 100%

Employment and income

Main article: Economy of the United Kingdom

The unemployment rate for the youth age bracket of 15–24 was 11.2% in 2019 – 13% for males and 9.2% for females.[119]

Method of transportation to work

Method of transportation England and Wales (aged 16 and over in employment)
1981 (10% sample)[120] 1991 (10% sample)[121] 2001[122] 2011[123] 2021[124]
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
Work mainly at or from home 77,711 3.7% 105,715 4.9% 2,170,547 9.2% 1,422,708 5.4% 8,671,722 31.2%
Underground, metro, light rail, tram 42,717 2.1% 706,477 3.0% 1,028,800 3.9% 505,311 1.8%
Train 80,751 3.9% 129,325 6.1% 957,713 4.1% 1,371,025 5.2% 529,461 1.9%
Bus, minibus or coach 315,767 15.2% 196,554 9.2% 1,742,300 7.4% 1,949,442 7.3% 1,160,990 4.2%
Taxi 121,380 0.5% 137,988 0.5% 200,490 0.7%
Motorcycle, scooter or moped 61,244 2.9% 32,828 1.5% 257,474 1.1% 214,244 0.8% 128,849 0.5%
Driving a car or van 806,735 38.8% 1,148,863 53.7% 13,012,850 55.3% 15,264,527 57.5% 12,524,571 45.1%
Passenger in a car or van 248,400 12.0% 159,317 7.5% 1,472,576 6.3% 1,357,280 5.1% 1,083,447 3.9%
Bicycle 80,084 3.9% 66,739 3.1% 648,433 2.8% 762,334 2.9% 569,295 2.0%
On foot 318,606 15.3% 247,987 11.6% 2,352,386 10.0% 2,846,588 10.7% 2,113,657 7.6%
Other method of travel to work (and Not stated) 47,482 2.3% 50,517 2.4% 86,916 0.4% 171,400 0.6% 285,873 1.0%
Total 2,079,497 100% 2,137,845 100% 23,529,052 100% 26,526,336 100% 27,773,666 100%

Migration

Main articles: Foreign-born population of the United Kingdom and Modern immigration to the United Kingdom

Migration to the United Kingdom from 1970 to 2021
Foreign born population of England and Wales over time
Foreign born and UK born population pyramid from 1981 to 2021 in England and Wales
Percentage born to foreign born mothers in England and Wales

Historical and present net numbers

Foreign born by country for England and Wales in 2021

Migration to the UK has varied through its history. Irish migration from the Great Famine predominated during the 19th century.[125] Additionally Jewish migration from Russia also arrived famously into Bethnal Green in London.[125]

Starting from the 1950s onwards, following on from the British Nationality Act of 1948 which de jure allowed the migration of upwards 800,000,000[126] British subjects who were now British citizens in law, modern mass migration to the United Kingdom began. During this decade West Indians from the Caribbean, those from Jamaica and so on began to arrive.[127]

During the middle of the 1960s to the 70s, migration flipped in origin to the majority of those arriving being of South Asian origin from the Indian sub-continent. Immigration restrictions, in response to the ever increasing number arriving, were introduced, such as the Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 1962, Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 1968 and the Immigration Act of 1971.[128][127]

Through the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, net migration to the United Kingdom was often negative in terms of numbers, with more people leaving the country, than entering in total.

Since 1994, net migration in numbers has been in the positives, with more people entering the country, rather than leaving.[25] Migration increased fourfold following the election of Tony Blair in 1997,[129][130] immigration restrictions were undone such as the primary purpose rule.[131]

In 2004, along with Ireland and Sweden, Britain was one of the only countries within the EU to not implement 'transitional controls' on migration flows from the newly joined A8 countries from Eastern Europe.[132][133] Around 453,000 immigrants, which has been revised upwards in recent years,[133][134] from these new counties were estimated in 2015 to have migrated to the UK.[135]

Country of birth

Country of birth was first asked as a census question in 1841.[136]

Rank Country of birth Population[137]
1  India 863,000
2  Poland 818,000
3  Pakistan 547,000
4  Romania 427,000
5  Ireland 360,000
6  Germany 289,000
7  Bangladesh 260,000
8  South Africa 252,000
9  Italy 233,000
10  China 217,000
11  Nigeria 215,000
12  France 185,000
13  Lithuania 168,000
14  Portugal 165,000
15  United States 161,000
16  Spain 159,000
17  Australia 153,000
18  Philippines 153,000
19  Zimbabwe 128,000
20  Bulgaria 128,000
21  Sri Lanka 126,000
22  Jamaica 123,000
23  Kenya 121,000
24  Ghana 114,000
25  Brazil 101,000
26  Somalia 99,000
27  Hungary 98,000
28  Canada 95,000
29  Latvia 89,000
30  Afghanistan 79,000
31    Nepal 76,000
32  Iran 72,000
33  Slovakia 72,000
34  Turkey 71,000
35  Netherlands 68,000
36  Iraq 67,000
37  New Zealand 67,000
38  Greece 66,000
39  Malaysia 61,000
40  Russia 59,000
41  Cyprus 57,000
42  Thailand 54,000
43  Uganda 52,000
44  Taiwan 49,000
45  Syria 48,000
46  Albania 47,000
47  Singapore 44,000
48  Czech Republic 44,000
49  Sweden 42,000
50  Egypt 39,000
51  Japan 39,000
52  Ukraine 38,000
53  Colombia 38,000
54  Belgium 35,000
55  Mauritius 34,000
56  Saudi Arabia 33,000
57  Sudan 33,000
58  Kosovo 29,000
59  Zambia 29,000
60  Malta 27,000
61  Vietnam 27,000

In the 1980s to 1990s, around 12 to 13% of births were born to foreign born mothers. In 2004, this had risen to 20% of births being born to foreign born mothers.[37] The fertility rate among non-UK born women was 1.98 and among UK born women 1.50 in 2020.

Country of birth from 1951 to 2011
Country of birth Year
1951[138] 1961[138] 1971[139] 1981[140] 1991[141] 2001[138] 2011[138]
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
Europe 52,325,821 96.71% 52,939,273 96.13% 53,960,525 95.57%
United Kingdom 48,168,300 95.8% 50,233,900 95.1% 51,016,100 94.29% 51,706,978 93.89% 52,659,965 93.27% 54,216,400 91.7% 55,188,698 87.34%
Other Europe 1,309,721 2.4% 1,232,295, 2.2% 1,300,560 2.3%
Republic of Ireland 693,435 1.28% 607,428 1.10% 627,930 1.11%
Other EEC/EU 497,985 0.88%
Other Europe 616,286 1.13% 624,867 1.13% 174,645 0.30%
Asia 547,340 1.01% 765,383 1.38% 925,725 1.63%
Republic of India 313,630 0.57% 391,874 0.71% 410,008 0.72%
Republic of Pakistan 137,112 0.25% 188,198 0.34% 234,312 0.41%
Republic of Bangladesh 48,517 105,066 0.18%
China 23,998
Other Asia 96,598 0.17% 136,794 0.24% 152,341 0.26%
Africa 155,738 0.28% 290,453 0.52% 332,195 0.58%
East Africa 221,170 0.39%
Other Africa 111,025 0.2%
Caribbean and Americas 296,347 0.54% 295,179 0.53% 264,781 0.46%
Old Commonwealth 136,148 0.25% 152,747 0.27% 180,828 0.32%
Other (New Commonwealth) 114,521 0.21% 162,358 0.29% 194,647 0.34%
Other: Total[142] 526,587 0.97% 461,410 0.83% 600,065 1.06%
Foreign born: Total 2,118,600 4.2% 2,573,500 4.9% 3,190,300 5.8% 3,429,100 6.2% 3,835,400 6.7% 4,896,600 8.3% 7,993,480 12.7%
Total: 50,286,900 100% 52,807,400 100% 54,102,502 100% 55,066,803 100% 56,458,766 100% 59,113,000 100% 63,182,178 100%
TFR by country of birth[143][fn 3][fn 4]
Country of birth Year
1971 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 2001
United Kingdom 2.30 1.70 1.70 1.70 1.80 1.80 1.80 1.70 1.70 1.65 1.6
New Commonwealth 4.00 3.50 2.90 2.80 2.90 2.80 2.70 2.90 2.80 2.96 3.09 2.8
India 4.30 3.90 3.10 2.80 2.90 2.70 2.40 2.60 2.20 2.19 2.32 2.3
Pakistan, Bangladesh 9.30 7.10 6.50 6.10 5.60 5.20 4.70 5.00 5.10 5.20
Pakistan 4.8 5.30 4.7
Bangladesh 3.9 4.83 3.9
East Africa 2.7 2.1 2 2.1 1 1.9 2 1.7 1.8 1.76 1.6
Other Africa 4.2 3.4 3.1 3 3.2 4.2 3.1 3.1 3.58 3.52 2.0
West Indies 3.4 2.5 2 1.8 1.8 1.9 1.6 1.9 1.8 2.33 2.57
Mediterranean 2.1 2.1 2.2 2 1.9 2.1 1.7 1.89 1.8
Hong Kong, Far East 2.70 1.7 1.9 2 1.8 1.7 1.8 1.6 1.6 1.39
Other New Commonwealth 2.3 2.4 2.3 2.5 2.4 2.2 2 2.63 2.94 2.2
Rest of the World 2.00 1.90 2.00 1.90 1.90 1.90 1.90 2.04 2.09 1.8
Total: 2.38 1.84 1.80 1.76 1.78 1.81 1.80 1.82 1.77 1.72 1.73 1.65

Internal

Population movements of the country have fluctuated over time, in the 19th century with the urbanisation of the country, large amounts of people moved to the capital and the nearby industrial cities, but in recent years there has been a general trend of 'de-urbanisation' as parts of the population have moved back to the countryside. An example of recent large scale internal movement in the 21st century has been the departure of 220,000 White British Londoners to other areas of rural England and Wales over the 2000s[144] and over the 2010s around a total of 550,000 people left the city.[145] Demographically by age, the people leaving the city more than entering tend to be in their 30s and 40s while people entering in their 20s.[145]

Ethnicity

Ethnic demographic breakdown

Ethnic demography of the United Kingdom from 1951 to 2011
Ethnic Group Year
1991[146][t 1] 2001[147][148][149] 2011[150][151][152][153] 2021/2[154][155][156][t 2]
Number % Number % Number % Number %
White: Total 51,873,794 94.5% 54,153,898 92.12% 55,073,145 87.2% 55,756,781 83.30%
White: British 52,728,717 89.7% 52,320,080 82.8% 50,582,935 75.57%
White: Irish 837,464 1.52% 1,022,303 1.53%
White: Gypsy / Traveller / Irish Traveller 1,710 62,981 0.1% 176,994 0.26%
White: Other 1,423,471 2.4% 2,690,084 4.3% 1,562,170 2.3%
Asian / Asian British: Total 1,834,117 3.34% 2,578,826 4.39% 4,373,661 6.9% 5,690,325 8.5%
Asian / Asian British: Indian 840,255 1.53% 1,053,411 1.79% 1,452,156 2.3% 1,908,079 2.85%
Asian / Asian British: Pakistani 476,555 0.86% 747,285 1.27% 1,174,602 1.9% 1,639,728 2.45%
Asian / Asian British: Bangladeshi 162,835 0.29% 283,063 0.48% 451,741 0.7% 649,689 0.97%
Asian / Asian British: Chinese 156,938 0.28% 247,403 0.42% 433,444 0.7% 490.023 0.73%
Asian / Asian British: Other Asian 197,534 0.35% 247,664 0.42% 861,718 1.4% 990,484 1.5%
Black / Black British: Total[t 3] 890,727 1.62% 1,148,738 1.95% 1,905,506 3% 2,462,405 3.68%
Black / Black British: African 212,362 0.38% 485,277 0.83% 1,021,973 1.6% 1,526,225 2.28%
Black / Black British: Caribbean 499,964 0.91% 565,876 0.96% 599,197 0.9% 633,386 0.95%
Black / Black British: Other Black 178,401 0.32% 97,585 0.17% 284,336 0.5% 302,794 0.45%
Mixed / British Mixed 677,117 1.15% 1,250,414 2% 1,752,893 2.62%
Other: Total 290,206 0.52% 230,615 0.39% 580,049 0.9% 1,264,321 1.89%
Total: 54,888,844 100% 58,789,194 100% 63,182,775 100% 66,937,321 100%

Note:

  1. ^ For 1991, Only data from Great Britain itself has been used, due to Northern Ireland not conducting an question on ethnicity within there. If Northern Ireland population data was added in as substitute as the jurisdiction had virtually no ethnic minorities during that period, the White population would rise to 94.65% of the population.
  2. ^ The Scottish referendum of 2021 was delayed by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall totals have been published. The Ethnic division is expected to be published in Spring 2024. The proportions (about 8% of the total UK population) have been scaled from the 2011 results until these are available.
  3. ^ For the purpose of harmonising results to make them comparable across the UK, the ONS includes individuals in Scotland who classified themselves in the "African" category (29,638 people), which in the Scottish version of the census is separate from "Caribbean or Black" (6,540 people),[157] in this "Black or Black British" category. The ONS note that "the African categories used in Scotland could potentially capture White/Asian/Other African in addition to Black identities".[158]
Estimates and census figures of the growth of the ethnic minority population in the United Kingdom[159][fn 5]
Ethnic minority Year
1939*[160] 1951* 1961* 1971* 1981* 1986* 1991 1993* 1998* 2000* 2001 2011
Number 7,000 50,000 400,000 1,370,000 2,090,000 2,470,000 3,015,050 3,200,000 3,700,000 4,040,000 4,635,296 8,108,626
% 0.1% 0.8% 2.5% 3.9% 4.5% 5.5% 5.7% 6.5% 7.1% 7.88% 12.83%

Geographic distribution

Age structure of ethnic groups

Population pyramid of England and Wales by ethnicity in 2021
Ethnic composition by age group of England and Wales from 1991 to 2021

Ethnicity of school pupils

Ethnicity of school pupils in Great Britain over time
Ethnicity of school pupils in Great Britain
Ethnic group School year[161][162][163][164]
2004 2008 2012 2016 2021
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
White: Total 6,648,681 84.2% 6,406,400 82.9% 6,204,628 80.3% 6,245,235 77.8% 7,001,982 73.5%
White: British 6,468,459 82% 6,132,309 79.4% 5,867,768 75.9% 5,763,533 71.8% 6,313,543 66.3%
White: Irish 26,100 0.3% 23,620 0.3% 21,805 0.3% 21,127 0.3% 22,994 0.2%
White: Roma/Irish Traveller 6,500 13,295 0.2% 21,308 0.3% 29,184 0.4% 36,845 0.4%
White: Other 147,622 1.9% 237,176 3.1% 293,747 3.8% 431,391 5.4% 628,600 6.6%
Asian / Asian British: Total 491,953 6.2% 587,288 7.6% 685,135 8.9% 792,382 9.9% 1,083,920 11.4%
Asian / Asian British: Indian 156,563 2% 165,320 2.1% 175,964 2.3% 203,785 2.5% 299,136 3.1%
Asian / Asian British: Pakistani 189,283 2.4% 226,285 2.9% 267,230 3.5% 309,078 3.8% 398,789 4.2%
Asian / Asian British: Bangladeshi 72,473 0.9% 90,161 1.2% 106,800 1.4% 121,100 1.5% 156,301 1.64%
Asian / Asian British: Chinese 25,902 0.3% 27,893 0.4% 28,766 0.4% 33,342 0.4% 53,318 0.55%
Asian / Asian British: Other Asians 47,732 0.6% 77,629 1% 106,375 1.4% 125,077 1.6% 176,376 1.85%
Black / Black British: Total 247,024 3.1% 298,391 3.9% 348,918 4.5% 400,528 5% 502,344 5.2%
Black: Caribbean 96,695 1.22% 92,876 1.2% 92,076 1.2% 87,057 1.1% 84,024 0.88%
Black: African 122,429 1.55% 172,400 2.2% 215,812 2.8% 263,079 3.3% 352,285 3.7%
Black: Other Blacks 27,900 0.35% 33,115 0.4% 41,030 0.5% 50,392 0.6% 66,035 0.69%
Mixed / British Mixed 186,314 2.4% 242,511 3.1% 305,936 4% 382,730 4.8% 583,723 6.1%
Other: Total 82,280 1% 84,095 1.1% 104,187 1.3% 129,536 1.6% 199,770 2.1%
Unclassified 230,573 2.9% 104,012 1.3% 77,862 1% 81,146 1% 153,499 1.6%
Total: 7,891,306 100% 7,723,472 100% 7,726,651 100% 8,031,557 100% 9,526,070 100%

Ethnicity of live births and total fertility rate

Ethnicity of live births in England and Wales[165]
Ethnic Group Year
2005[166] 2011 2015 2019
Number % Number % Number % Number %
White: Total 451,514 69.5%

(80.3%)

536,021 74.49% 507,829 72.29% 452,248 70.67%
White: British 418,052 64.4%

(75.2%[fn 8])

476,328 66.19% 432,114 62.05% 374,056 58.45%
White: Other 33,462 5.1% 59,693 8.29% 75,715 10.87% 78,192 12.22%
Asian / Asian British: Total 56,065 8.7% 76,599 10.64% 76,976 11.05% 73,874 11.54%
Asian / Asian British: Indian 16,053 2.5% 22,725 3.15% 21,582 3.09% 20,627 3.22%
Asian / Asian British: Pakistani 24,290 3.7% 27,948 3.88% 28,142 4.04% 27,573 4.31%
Asian / Asian British: Bangladeshi 8,241 1.3% 9,847 1.36% 9,889 1.42% 9,505 1.49%
Other Asians 7,481 1.2% 16,079 2.23% 17,363 2.49% 16,169 2.52%
Black / Black British: Total 32,701 5% 36,151 5.02% 33,461 4.8% 30,846 4.81%
Black: African 19,756 3% 24,457 3.39% 23,483 3.37% 21,589 3.37%
Black: Caribbean 7,517 1.2% 6,943 0.96% 5,964 0.85% 5,480 0.86%
Other Blacks 5,428 0.8% 4,751 0.66% 4,014 0.57% 3,777 0.59%
Mixed / British Mixed 22,606 3.5% 34,643 4.81% 40,433 5.8% 41,918 6.54%
Other: Total 15,232 2.4% 13,320 1.85% 15,625 2.24% 15,523 2.42%
Not Stated 70,303 10.8% 22,848 3.17% 22,041 3.16% 25,578 4.00%
Total: 649,371 100% 719,582 100% 696,365 100% 639,987 100%

Future projections

Future ethnic projections based on Coleman, 2010

Numerous predictions and projections of the future ethnic demography of the United Kingdom have been made over the years.

In 2010, academic David Coleman produced research postulating a future demographic decline of the White British in Britain, indicating that they would become a minority in Birmingham and London during the 2020s.[167] He also estimated that around 2056 to 2066, the trend of a declining share of the white populace will result in the United Kingdom having an overall white minority.[168][169]

In Prospect, he outlined four projections for a majority-minority scenario within the United Kingdom;[170]

Religion

Main article: Religion in the United Kingdom

Religious affiliation in Great Britain over time
Non-Christian population percentage growth in England and Wales
Religious makeup of England and Wales in age groups from 2001 to 2021

In 2001, the question of religious adherence was asked for the first time since 1851 in the United Kingdom Census.[171]

The traditional religion in the United Kingdom is Christianity. In England the established church is the Church of England (Anglican). In Scotland, the Church of Scotland (a Presbyterian Church) is regarded as the 'national church' but there is not an established church.

In Wales there is no established church, with the Church in Wales having been disestablished in 1920. Likewise, in Ireland, the Church of Ireland was disestablished in 1871. In Northern Ireland and parts of Western Scotland there are lingering sectarian divides between Roman Catholic and Protestant communities.[172]

The table below shows data regarding religion for the 2001 and 2011 censuses:

Religion 2001[173][174][175][176] 2011[177][178][179][180]
Number % Number %
Christian 42,079,417 71.58% 37,583,962 59.49%
Muslim 1,591,126 2.71% 2,786,635 4.41%
Hindu 558,810 0.95% 835,394 1.32%
Sikh 336,149 0.57% 432,429 0.68%
Jewish 266,740 0.45% 269,568 0.43%
Buddhist 151,816 0.26% 261,584 0.41%
Other religion 178,837 0.30% 262,774 0.42%
No religion 16,221,509 25.67%
Religion not stated 4,528,323 7.17%
(No religion and Religion not stated) 13,626,299 23.18% 20,749,832 32.84%
Total population 58,789,194 100.00% 63,182,178 100.00%
Population pyramid of England and Wales by religion in 2021

In the 2011 Census, rather than select one of the specified religions offered on the Census form, many people chose to write in their own religion. Some of these religions were reassigned to one of the main religions offered. In England and Wales, 241,000 people belonged to religious groups which did not fall into any of the main religions.[181] The largest of these were Pagans (56,620), Spiritualists (39,061) and Jains (20,288).[182] Despite its high-profile nature there were only 2,418 Scientologists.[183] The census also recorded 176,632 people stating their religion as Jedi Knight and 6,242 people as Heavy Metal[184] after a campaign by Metal Hammer.[182] These returns were classified as "No religion", along with Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist, and Free Thinker.[184] Those who ticked Heathen who had been categorised as no religion in 2001 were categorised as other.[184] It is unclear how the ONS treated people who ticked "Other" but did not write in any religion.[184]

In 2012 the British Social Attitudes Survey found the highest number to be non-religious (48%) followed by Christians (46%) with another six per cent identifying otherwise. Discrepancies found between surveys may be the result of differences in phrasing, question order, and data collection method.[185]

Future projections

Pew Research Center has found that by 2050 on all scenarios, the Islamic population of the United Kingdom will rise, depending on the scenario the percentage of the population which will be Islamic will either be 9.7% in a zero migration scenario, 16.7% in a medium migration scenario or 17.2% in a high migration scenario.[186]

Languages

Main article: Languages of the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom's de facto official language is English which is spoken as a first language by 95% of the population. Six regional languages—Scots, Ulster-Scots, Welsh, Cornish, Irish and Scottish Gaelic—are protected under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Abilities in these languages (other than Cornish) for those aged three and above were recorded in the census of 2011 as follows.[187][188][189]

Regional languages

Ability 2011
Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
Welsh Scottish Gaelic Scots Irish Ulster-Scots
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
Understands but does not speak, read or write 157,792 5.15% 23,357 0.46% 267,412 5.22% 70,501 4.06% 92,040 5.30%
Speaks, reads and writes 430,717 14.06% 32,191 0.63% 1,225,622 23.95% 71,996 4.15% 17,228 0.99%
Speaks but does not read or write 80,429 2.63% 18,966 0.37% 179,295 3.50% 24,677 1.42% 10,265 0.59%
Speaks and reads but does not write 45,524 1.49% 6,218 0.12% 132,709 2.59% 7,414 0.43% 7,801 0.45%
Reads but does not speak or write 44,327 1.45% 4,646 0.09% 107,025 2.09% 5,659 0.33% 11,911 0.69%
Other combination of skills 40,692 1.33% 1,678 0.03% 17,381 0.34% 4,651 0.27% 959 0.06%
No skills 2,263,975 73.90% 5,031,167 98.30% 3,188,779 62.30% 1,550,813 89.35% 1,595,507 91.92%
Total 3,063,456 100.00% 5,118,223 100.00% 5,118,223 100.00% 1,735,711 100.00% 1,735,711 100.00%
Can speak 562,016 18.35% 57,602 1.13% 1,541,693 30.12% 104,943 6.05% 35,404 2.04%
Has some ability 799,481 26.10% 87,056 1.70% 1,929,444 37.70% 184,898 10.65% 140,204 8.08%

Cornish is spoken by around 2,500 people. In the 2011 census, 464 respondents aged three and over in Cornwall said that Cornish was their main language, amounting to 0.09% of the total population of Cornwall aged three and over.

After English, Polish was the second most common language given in the United Kingdom census 2011. 618,091 respondents aged three and over said that Polish was their main language, amounting to 1.01% of the total population of the United Kingdom aged three and over.

The French language is spoken in some parts of the Channel Islands although the islands, like the Isle of Man, are not part of the United Kingdom.[190] British Sign Language is also common.

Proficiency in English

Proficiency in English
Language proficiency England and Wales
2011[191] 2021[192]
Number % Number %
Main language is English 49,808,185 92.3% 52,569,816 91.1%
Main language is not English 4,153,266 7.7% 5,134,447 8.9%
Can speak English very well 1,722,197 3.2% 2,255,542 3.9%
Can speak English well 1,567,919 2.9% 1,838,559 3.2%
Cannot speak English well 725,639 1.3% 879,782 1.5%
Cannot speak English 137,511 0.3% 160,564 0.3%
Total 53,961,451 100% 57,704,263 100%

National identity

Respondents to the 2011 UK census gave their national identities as follows.

National identity Years
2011[193][194][195] 2021[196]
United
Kingdom
Country Country
England Scotland Wales N. Ireland England Wales
English only 51.41% 60.38% 2.28% 11.22% 0.60% 15.3% 9.1%
Scottish only 5.93% 0.79% 62.43% 0.50% 0.37% 0.4% 0.4%
Welsh only 3.26% 0.55% 0.15% 57.51% 0.06% 0.3% 55.2%
Northern Irish only 0.81% 0.21% 0.33% 0.14% 20.94% 0.1% 0.1%
British only 18.77% 19.19% 8.37% 16.95% 39.89% 56.8% 18.5%
+ English and British only 7.82% 9.09% 1.26% 1.54% 0.27% 14.3% 1.8%
+ Scottish and British only 1.67% 0.15% 18.29% 0.07% 0.09% 0.2% 0.1%
+ Welsh and British only 0.44% 0.11% 0.06% 7.11% 0.02% 0.2% 8.1%
Northern Irish and British only 0.22% 0.03% 0.15% 0.02% 6.17% 0.1% 0.0%
Other combination of UK identities only (excludes Irish) 0.45% 0.37% 1.01% 1.10% 0.13% 0.4% 1.3%
Other identity and at least one UK identity 0.97% 0.90% 1.25% 0.43% 3.05% 1.9% 1.1%
Irish only 1.31% 0.64% 0.41% 0.32% 25.26% 0.5% 0.3%
Other 6.94% 7.59% 4.01% 3.10% 3.12% 9.5% 4%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Education

Main articles: Education in England, Education in Northern Ireland, Education in Scotland, and Education in Wales

Qualification of England and Wales in 2021. See description of the file for explanatory notes.
Literacy rates within the United Kingdom

In the present day each country of the United Kingdom has a separate education system, with power over education matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland being devolved.

Universal state education in England and Wales was introduced for primary level in 1870 and secondary level in 1900.[197] Education is mandatory from the ages of 5 to 18, The majority of children are educated in state-sector schools,[198] only a small proportion of which select on the grounds of academic ability. Despite a fall in actual numbers, the proportion of children in England attending private schools rose slightly from 7.1% to 7.3% between 2004 and 2007.[198]

Scotland first legislated for universal provision of education in 1696. Four per cent of children in Scotland attend private schools, a rate which has remained relatively stable since 2015.[199][200]

In Wales, one of the most notable distinctive features of education in Wales is the emphasis on the Welsh language – lessons in which are compulsory for all until the age of 16. Whilst a significant minority of students (15.7% in the 2014\15 academic year) are taught primarily through the medium of Welsh.[201]

Level of qualification England and Wales (aged 16 and over, not in education)
2001[202] 2011[203] 2021[204]
Number % Number % Number %
No qualifications 10,937,042 29.1 10,307,327 22.7% 8,827,472 18.2%
Level 1 and entry level qualifications 6,230,033 16.6 6,047,384 13.3% 4,679,223 9.6%
Level 2 qualifications 7,288,074 19.4 6,938,433 15.3% 6,493,490 13.4%
Apprenticeship 1,631,777 3.6% 2,590,252 5.3%
Level 3 qualifications 3,110,135 8.3 5,617,802 12.3% 8,225,629 16.9%
Level 4 qualifications or above 7,432,962 19.8 12,383,477 27.2% 16,413,231 33.8%
Other qualifications 2,609,192 6.9 2,570,580 5.7% 1,337,076 2.8%
Total 37,607,438 100% 45,496,780 100% 48,566,373 100%

See also

Notes and references

Notes

  1. ^ Note: Crude migration change (per 1000) is a trend analysis, an extrapolation based average population change (current year minus previous) minus natural change of the current year (see table vital statistics). As average population is an estimate of the population in the middle of the year and not end of the year.
  2. ^ In fertility rates, 2.1 and above is a stable population and has been marked blue, 2 and below leads to an aging population and the result is that the population decreases.
  3. ^ Note: This table has been suggested by the author of the study that it can be correlated with the table on TFR's on different ethnic groups, see below section for said table
  4. ^ Note: discontinuity in estimates from 1993 to 1996. This increase in total fertility arises from a re-basing of the population estimates for ethnic minorities from the results of the 1991 census. These fertility estimates were not published in 1998–2000 and the only years for which estimates are now published are 1991 and 2001.
  5. ^ Ethnic minority population has been defined historically in different terms but refers to individuals who are 'non-white'. Starred years are estimates of the total population of ethnic minorities in the country while non-starred are census year figures.
  6. ^ Percentage for Great Britain, not the entirety of the United Kingdom
  7. ^ Percentage for Great Britain, not the entirety of the United Kingdom
  8. ^ Report states that births in which no ethnicity was stated were usually White British. If assumptions about all non-stated births are actually White British, the percentage of the group rises to 75.2% of births in 2005 and 80.3% White overall.

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