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Regional Profiles - Population and Migration - North West, October 2011

Released: 28 October 2011 Download PDF

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Population estimates and projections, 1971 to 2030

North West

Population estimates and projections for the North West , 1971 to 2030
Source: Office for National Statistics


  1. Mid-year estimates and 2008-based projections
  2. Intervals on x-axis are 5 years except 2006 to 2010 which is only 4 years

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The population of the North West is projected to continue to grow more slowly than any other region in England.

The total population was 6.9 million in mid-2010, 13 per cent of the population of England − the third largest English region. In the period 2001 to 2010 the population of the North West grew 2.4 per cent, the lowest growth of all English regions. Within the region Manchester showed the largest increase at 17.9 per cent between 2001 and 2010. However, the populations of Burnley and Sefton decreased by 4.7 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively.

Projections based on the mid-2008 population estimates show that the North West population could grow to 7.4 million in 2030. This represents a projected increase from 2010 of 7.1 per cent, around half the projected rate of increase in England (14.4 per cent).

There was net migration to the region of just under 17,000 people in 2009. This resulted from net international migration of 24,000 and net inter-regional migration of -7,000. That is, 7,000 more people moved elsewhere within the UK than arrived from other regions.

The North West had the second highest population density in England with 490 people per sq km in 2010, compared with the England average of 400. Within the North West the population density varied substantially, ranging from 24 people per sq km in Eden local authority in Cumbria, to 4,300 people per sq km in Manchester.  This is nearly as high as the population density of London (5,000 people per sq km).

The proportion of the population aged 65 and over was close to that for England as a whole, at 16.7 per cent in 2010. The population of this age group for the North West is projected to increase to 22.5 per cent in 2030, slightly above the figure for England (21.7 per cent).

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. The chart shows population estimates for 5-year intervals up to 2006 and projections for 2010 to 2030 for 10 year intervals.

  2. The geography used reflects the changes which took place in April 2009.

  3. Population estimates and projections are for 30 June each year. The mid-2010 population estimates are those published on 30 June 2011 and the 2008-based subnational population projections are those published on 27 May 2010.

  4. Migration data are for calendar years and were published on 25 November 2010.

  5. You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence, or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email:

  6. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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