Census: snapshot of the UK's population
The population of the United Kingdom on Census Day 2001 was 58,789,194 it has been revealed by the Registrars General for England and Wales, for Scotland and for Northern Ireland.
The populations of individual countries were: England 49,138,831 (83.6 per cent of the total population); Scotland 5,062,011 (8.6 per cent); Wales 2,903,085 (4.9 per cent); Northern Ireland 1,685,267 (2.9 per cent).
The UK population has grown by 17 per cent overall since 1951, but compared with many other developed countries over the same period, the UK population is growing more slowly. It is smaller than the average growth for EU Europe (23 per cent) and considerably smaller than some countries - for example USA 80 per cent; and Australia 133 per cent.
For the first time, people 60 and over form a larger part of the population than children under 16 - 21 per cent compared to 20 per cent. There has also been a big increase in the number of people aged 85 and over - now over 1.1 million, or 1.9 per cent of the population.
Overall, the population of England has grown by 2,318,000 (5 per cent) in the past 20 years but there have been big variations in the English regions with the North East and North West regions experiencing a decline in population while the South West, East and South East have seen population growth of 10 per cent or more.
In Wales the population has grown by 89,600 (3 per cent) in the past 20 years with Ceredigion (23.2 per cent) seeing the greatest population growth while Merthyr Tydfil lost 7.5 per cent of its population.
The results in Scotland show a 2 per cent decline over 20 years but that Scotland's overall share of the UK population has not fallen below that shown in the most recent population estimates.
In Northern Ireland, compared with the UK, the population has shown the greatest increase of 9 per cent over 20 years and has increased by 82,000 (5 per cent) in the past ten years. Northern Ireland has the youngest population in the UK with children under-16 representing 24 per cent of the population compared with 20 per cent in the UK as a whole.
The results of the census in England and Wales form a key part of the new National Statistics website. It means greater and easier access to the numbers for everyone. The next set of Census results, 'Key Statistics for Local Authorities' is scheduled for release on 13 February 2003.
Source: Census 2001, Office for National Statistics