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Census result shows increase in population of the East Midlands

Released: 16 July 2012 Download PDF (93 Kb)

The population of the East Midlands on census day (27 March 2011) was 4.5 million – an increase of 8 per cent from 2001 when it was 4.2 million. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the first results from the 2011 Census today.

Outside London, the East Midlands was one of three English regions to have grown by 8 per cent between 2001 and 2011. By comparison, the population across the whole of England and Wales increased by 7 per cent to 56.1 million.

Jil Matheson, National Statistician, said:

"I'd like to thank everyone in the East Midlands for their support. The 2011 Census has been a resounding success and I am proud of the incredible effort that has been put in. It is a rich source of information about the population and its characteristics. Across England and Wales around 19 out of 20 people responded and we have excellent statistical methods for ensuring we have a complete estimate of the whole population. These statistics will provide valuable information for planners, policy-makers and the public for years to come."

No local authority in the East Midlands saw a decrease in population. The smallest increase (0.7 per cent) was in Oadby and Wigston. Across all of England and Wales 17 local authorities saw a decrease in population.

Leicester was the largest local authority in the East Midlands with 330,000 people, an increase of 47,000 between 2001 and 2011. Leicester grew the most (17 per cent) in the region and the next greatest population growths were in South Derbyshire and Boston, both with 16 per cent.

Rutland had the smallest population with 37,000 people, but it still grew by more than 8 per cent from 2001 to 2011.

Leicester was the most densely populated with 4,500 people per square kilometre, which equates to about 45 people on a rugby pitch. The least densely populated local authority was West Lindsey with 77 people per square kilometre.

The local authority with the largest proportion of people aged 65 and over was East Lindsey with 26 per cent; the smallest proportion in this age group was in Leicester (11 per cent). Conversely, Leicester had the largest proportion of people aged 19-and-under with 27 per cent, and East Lindsey the smallest with 20 per cent.

Across all of England and Wales there was a 13 per cent increase in the number of children under- five, with more than 400,000 more people in this age group in 2011 than in 2001. In the East Midlands there were 31,000 more children under five compared with 2001 (an increase of 13 per cent). Northampton and Leicester had the largest proportion of under-fives (each with 7 per cent), with the smallest proportion in Derbyshire Dales (4 per cent).

The total number of households in the East Midlands was 1.9 million. The local authority with the largest number of households was Nottingham with 126,000. Leicester has the largest average household size in the region, with 2.6 people, and East Lindsey the smallest (2.2).

Glen Watson, Census Director, said:

"The whole operation has worked well. We met our targets both for response and quality. We’ve had fantastic support from the public, and also from voluntary groups, community groups and local authorities throughout England and Wales. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone involved, including the 35,000 people who worked on the data collection and helped to make the census a success."

Read the full report.

Local Authorities in East Midlands ranked by population size in 2011 Census

LA Name 2011 population 2001 population Change 2001-2011 (per cent)
Leicester 329,900 282,800 16.7
Nottingham 305,700 268,900 13.7
Derby 248,700 230,700 7.8
Northampton 212,100 194,400 9.1
Charnwood 166,100 153,600 8.1
East Lindsey 136,400 130,700 4.4
South Kesteven 133,800 124,900 7.1
Amber Valley 122,300 116,600 4.9
Ashfield 119,500 111,500 7.2
Newark and Sherwood 114,800 106,400 7.9
Gedling 113,600 111,800 1.6
Bassetlaw 112,900 107,800 4.7
Erewash 112,100 110,100 1.8
Rushcliffe 111,100 105,800 5
Broxtowe 109,500 107,500 1.9
North Kesteven 107,800 94,400 14.2
Hinckley and Bosworth 105,100 100,200 4.9
Mansfield 104,400 98,100 6.4
Chesterfield 103,800 98,800 5.1
North East Derbyshire 99,000 96,900 2.2
South Derbyshire 94,600 81,700 15.8
Blaby 93,900 90,400 3.9
Kettering 93,500 82,300 13.6
Lincoln 93,500 85,600 9.2
North West Leicestershire 93,500 85,700 9.1
High Peak 90,900 89,400 1.7
West Lindsey 89,200 79,600 12.1
South Holland 88,300 76,700 15.1
East Northamptonshire 86,800 76,800 13
Harborough 85,400 76,800 11.2
South Northamptonshire 85,200 79,500 7.2
Daventry 77,800 72,000 8.1
Bolsover 75,900 71,900 5.6
Wellingborough 75,400 72,500 4
Derbyshire Dales 71,100 69,400 2.4
Boston 64,600 55,800 15.8
Corby 61,300 53,400 14.8
Oadby and Wigston 56,200 55,800 0.7
Melton 50,400 47,900 5.2
Rutland 37,400 34,600 8.1

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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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. The ‘median’ is the value halfway up an ordered list of numbers. The median age is the age that half of the population are older than and half are younger than.

  4. For the first time every census questionnaire form could be filled out and returned on-line and 16 per cent of census returns were completed on-line.

  5. The 2011 Census figures will be used to base the 2011 population mid-year estimates which are due for release in September 2012. In due course the mid-year population estimates for 2002-2010 will be rebased. 
  6. 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.
  7. The second release, due between November 2012 and February 2013, will feature more detailed statistics including national identity, ethnicity, marital and civil partnership status, and religion.

  8. The regions referred to conform to standard statistical regions.
  9. For the latest on census, follow us on Twitter@2011censusinfo
  10. Some facts about the collection of census data:
    • The 25 million 32-page (16 sheets of paper) questionnaires sent to households in England and Wales were printed at the rate of eight questionnaires per second
    • Stacked up, they would be 200 times the height of The Shard
    • Questionnaires were processed at a rate of 170,000 per day
    • Questionnaires were printed on paper from sustainable sources and 1,700 tonnes were destroyed and recycled after processing.
  11. 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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