What is the Census?
The census happens every 10 years and gives us a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales.
On Sunday 21st March 2021 every household was required to complete the census, a detailed questionnaire asking a host of questions about those who live there. The Census questions ask for details on people’s sex, age, ethnicity and the status of their health, education and occupation.
The huge survey has been taking place every 10 years since 1801 (except in 1941), with the last one being in 2011.
The Census is run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in England and Wales and by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Scotland’s Census was delayed until March 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Covid outbreak also means the Census in England, Wales and Northern Ireland was the first to be primarily completed online.
Census 2021 first results
The first results were published on Tuesday 28 June 2022. These are estimates of the number of people and households in England and Wales. They show the number of people by sex and age at the local authority level, rounded to the nearest 100.
On Census Day, the size of the usual resident population in England and Wales was 59,597,300.
The population of England was 56,489,800
The population of Wales was 3,107,500.
This was the largest the population has ever been.
Key findings of the first results
The population of England and Wales grew by more than 3.5 million (6.3%) since the last census in 2011, when it was 56,075,912.
The population grew in each of the nine regions of England and also grew in Wales; the region with the highest population growth was the East of England, which increased by 8.3% from 2011 (a gain of approximately 488,000 residents).
There were 30,420,100 women (51.0% of the overall population) and 29,177,200 men (49.0%) in England and Wales.
There were more people than ever before in the older age groups; the proportion of the population who were aged 65 years and over was 18.6% (16.4% in 2011).
There were 24,782,800 households in England and Wales on Census Day; the number of households increased by more than 1.4 million since 2011 (6.1%), when there were 23,366,044 households.