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Census gives insights into characteristics of the East Midlands’ population

Released: 11 December 2012 Download PDF

Statistics published today from the 2011 Census reveal the changing characteristics of the population in every region of England and Wales and the 348 local authorities from which they are formed.  These statistics cover topics such as ethnicity, religion, country of birth, health, accommodation, tenure, and availability of cars and vans. Further details are given in the Statistical Bulletin and accompanying tables.

This release supplements the figures published in July 2012, which put the total population of England and Wales on census day (27 March 2011) at 56.1 million – an increase of 3.7 million (7 per cent) since 2001.

There were just over 4.5 million residents in the East Midlands, representing 8 per cent of the population of England and Wales - an increase of some 316,000 (8 per cent) since the 2001 Census.

The median age of the region was 40, one year greater than the England and Wales average.  Within the region this ranged from 49 in East Lindsey (the fourth highest of all local authorities) to 30 in Nottingham UA (the sixth lowest).

Guy Goodwin, ONS’s Director of Census, said:

“These statistics paint a picture of society and help us all plan for the future using accurate information at a local level.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg of census statistics. Further rich layers of vital information will be revealed as we publish more detailed data for very local levels over the coming months.”

Some headline facts of life in the East Midlands are:

Household composition

The East Midlands had the highest proportion of cohabiting couple households of any England region and Wales (11 per cent); three quarters of the local authorities in the region had a proportion of cohabiting couple households greater than that for England & Wales (10 per cent). Corby had the highest proportion of any local authority (13 per cent).

Health and provision for unpaid care

The East Midlands had 19 per cent of people whose day to day activities were limited by a long term health problem or disability. This region had 11 per cent its people providing unpaid care for someone who was ill or disabled.

Derbyshire Dales contains the highest proportion of residents in England and Wales providing 1 to 19 hours of unpaid care a week (9 per cent), while East Lindsey contains the second highest proportion of residents providing 50 or more hours of unpaid care per week (4 per cent).

Within the East Midlands the smallest proportions of residents giving unpaid care were in Nottingham and Northampton (both 91 per cent).

Car or van availability

The East Midlands is the only region where the average number of cars and vans per household has remained the same between 2001 and 2011. In Wales and all other English regions except London it increased.

Outside London, Nottingham had one of the largest proportions of car-free households, at 44 per cent.  In contrast South Northamptonshire had the second highest percentage of households with two or more cars (56 per cent).  Daventry and Harborough were also among the 10 areas with the highest percentage of households with two or more cars - both at 51 per cent.

National identity

In England and Wales the local authority with the highest proportion of people who see themselves as having a Scottish national identity is Corby (10 per cent), compared to one per cent in the East Midlands as a whole.


Top 10 ethnic groups

East Midlands, 2011, All usual residents

Rank Ethnic group Thousands Per cent
1 White: English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British 3,871 85.4
2 Asian/Asian British: Indian 169 3.7
3 White: Other White 143 3.2
4 Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 49 1.1
5 Black/African/Caribbean/Black British: African 42 0.9
6 Mixed/multiple ethnic group: White and Black Caribbean 40 0.9
7 Asian/Asian British: Other Asian 38 0.8
8 Black/African/Caribbean/Black British: Caribbean 29 0.6
9 White: Irish 29 0.6
10 Asian/Asian British: Chinese 24 0.5
  Total population 4,533  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Download table

Across England and Wales the percentage of people describing their ethnicity as something other than ‘White: British’ increased between 2001 and 2011 to 20 per cent.

Leicester had the highest percentage of ’Asian/Asian British Indians’ (29 per cent, 93,000) in England and Wales.  Oadby and Wigston had the fifth largest percentage (18 per cent, 10,000) representing a 6 percentage point increase on 2001.

The greatest percentage point increase in the proportion of residents describing their ethnicity as ‘White: Other’ was seen in Boston - 12 per cent (around 7,620 residents).

Passports and country of birth

Top 15 countries of birth

East Midlands, 2011, All usual residents

Rank Country of birth Thousands Per cent
1 England 3,969 87.6
2 India 68 1.5
3 Scotland 67 1.5
4 Poland 53 1.2
5 Wales 33 0.7
6 Ireland 22 0.5
7 Pakistan 21 0.5
8 Germany 20 0.5
9 Kenya 14 0.3
10 Zimbabwe 12 0.3
11 China 11 0.2
12 South Africa 9 0.2
13 Jamaica 9 0.2
14 Lithuania 8 0.2
15 United States 7 0.2
  Total population 4,533  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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In 2011 there were 448,000 foreign-born residents in the East Midlands, 10 per cent of the resident population.


Top 5 religions

East Midlands, 2011, All usual residents

Rank Religion Thousands Per cent 
1 Christian 2,666 58.8
2 Muslim (Islam) 141 3.1
3 Hindu 90 2.0
4 Sikh 44 1.0
5 Buddhist 13 0.3
  Total population 4,533  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Download table

All local authorities in England and Wales saw a decrease in people who stated their religious affiliation as ‘Christian’. The East Midlands figures match those for England and Wales as a whole.; falling from 72 per cent to 59 per cent.

In this region 27 per cent of the population declared a ‘No religion’ affiliation - up from 16 per cent since 2001.

Oadby and Wigston was among the 10 local authorities with the highest percentage of Sikh residents (7 per cent) and Hindu residents (9 per cent).  Within the East Midlands only Leicester unitary authority had a higher proportion of Hindu residents (15 per cent).

Housing and tenure

Of all the English regions the East Midlands saw the highest growth in households (9 per cent). The region also had the highest proportion of detached houses (containing 5 of the 10 local authorities with the highest proportions of detached houses), and the greatest percentage point decrease (almost 2 percentage points) in semi-detached properties. It also had the smallest percentage of terraced housing (20 per cent), blocks of flats (9 per cent), and of converted or shared houses (just above 1 per cent).

In the East Midlands 67 per cent of households owned their accommodation either outright or with a mortgage or loan. The highest percentages were in Blaby, and Oadby and Wigston; 81 per cent in both.  The lowest was 45 per cent in Nottingham where 30 per cent of accommodation is socially rented.


In the East Midlands 25 per cent of people aged 16 and over had no recognised qualification. This is 1 percentage point lower than the proportion with a qualification of degree level or above and 2 percentage points higher than England and Wales at 23 per cent. 

Of the local authorities in England and Wales, Corby, Ashfield and Boston were ranked in the 10  authorities with the lowest proportion of residents that had a highest qualification of degree level or above.

Bolsover and Boston (both 33 per cent) were in the top 10 local authorities in England and Wales for the proportion of usual residents aged 16 and over with no recognised qualification.

For further information:

Media Line:  01329 447654  


Visit: for more detailed analysis and information


Data visualisation: 

Use this link to access interactive maps on topics such as Religion, Car ownership, Ethnicity, Dwelling type, Tenure, Year of arrival and Health. They can be embedded/used in websites using the code supplied in the maps. The maps can 'deeplink' into specific views of the data (ie a specific area and/or variable selection). Some maps are split screen, allowing graphical comparisons of 2001 with 2011 changes. 

Background notes

  1. The census provides the most accurate estimate possible for the population of England and Wales and has been carried out every 10 years since 1801, apart from 1941, by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The information provided to ONS is used solely for the census, is anonymised and protected for 100 years. Census day was on 27 March 2011. All census population numbers refer to that day.
  2. Government uses the census statistics to allocate funding for services such as education, transport and health. Policy makers in central and local government use the census to identify the needs of different communities and they are also used by commercial enterprises. It also provides the benchmark for future population estimates and for sample surveys.
  3. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.
  4. The regions referred to conform to standard statistical regions. It is not possible to compare data for some geographies between 2011 and 2001 because of local authority reorganisation in this period.
  5. The next release of census data is scheduled for 30 January 2013.This will give Key and Quick Statistics tables at output area, wards parish and parliamentary constituency geographies. These will be accompanied by a statistical bulletin and census analysis. By the end of February 2013 Key and Quick Statistics for the remaining geographies such as National Parks will be published. Further information about each of the existing and planned census outputs is available via an online prospectus as:
  6. Census results are set out in tables under Key statistics and Quick statistics. Key statistics provide summary figures that cover the full range of results from the census. They are presented in a tabular format, with figures as both numbers and percentages, to allow comparison across different areas. Quick statistics contain data which refer to one variable and its response categories from a census question. Because of this, cross-tabulation is not possible at this stage.
  7. The main population base for outputs from the 2011 Census is the usual resident population as at census day 27 March 2011. A ‘usual resident’ of the UK is anyone who, on census day, was in the UK and had stayed or intended to stay in the UK for a period of 12 months or more, or had a permanent UK address and was outside the UK and intended to be outside the UK for less than 12 months.
  8. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

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