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Census gives insights into characteristics of Yorkshire and the Humber’s 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 5.3 million residents in Yorkshire and the Humber. This was an increase of some 307,000 (6 per cent) since 2001, and represents 9 per cent of the population of England and Wales.

The median age of the region was 39, which is the same as the England and Wales average. Within the region this ranged from 34 in Bradford to 47 in Craven.

Guy Goodwin, ONS 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 Yorkshire and the Humber are:


Top 10 ethnic groups

Yorkshire and the Humber, 2011, All usual residents

Rank Ethnic group Thousands Per cent
1 White: English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British 4,531 85.8
2 Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 226 4.3
3 White: Other White 130 2.5
4 Asian/Asian British: Indian 69 1.3
5 Black/African/Caribbean/Black British: African 46 0.9
6 Asian/Asian British: Other Asian 40 0.8
7 Mixed/multiple ethnic group: White and Black Caribbean 33 0.6
8 Asian/Asian British: Chinese 28 0.5
9 White: Irish 26 0.5
10 Mixed/multiple ethnic group: White and Asian 26 0.5
  Total population 5,284  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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Yorkshire and the Humber had  89 per cent of its population declaring their ethnicity as ‘White’, which was above the proportion for England and Wales (86 per cent). Yorkshire and the Humber had the highest proportion of ‘Asian/Asian British:Pakistani’ at  4 per cent, compared with 2 per cent in England and Wales.

Bradford had the highest proportion in England and Wales of those identifying themselves as ‘Asian/Asian British:Pakistani’ (20 per cent, 107,000), and also had the biggest increase in this category of 6 percentage points since 2001.


Top 5 religions

Yorkshire and the Humber, 2011, All usual residents

Rank Religion Thousands Per cent
1 Christian 3,144 59.5
2 Muslim (Islam) 326 6.2
3 Hindu 24 0.5
4 Sikh 22 0.4
5 Buddhist 14 0.3
  Total population 5,284  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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In Yorkshire and the Humber there was a decrease of 14 per cent in the number of people who stated their religious affiliation as ‘Christian’, as in most  regions in England and Wales between 2001 and 2011. In 2011, 59 per cent of usual residents in this region were Christian.

At 25 per cent, Bradford had the fourth highest proportion of Muslims of all local authorities in England and Wales.


Yorkshire and the Humber had the third highest proportion of people with an apprenticeship as their highest level of qualification (4  per cent).

Country of birth

Top 15 countries of birth

Yorkshire and the Humber, 2011, All usual residents

Rank Country of birth Thousands Per cent
1 England 4,707 89.1
2 Pakistan 87 1.6
3 Scotland 69 1.3
4 Poland 48 0.9
5 India 34 0.6
6 Wales 26 0.5
7 Germany 22 0.4
8 Ireland 20 0.4
9 Northern Ireland 17 0.3
10 China 14 0.3
11 Zimbabwe 11 0.2
12 Bangladesh 9 0.2
13 United States 9 0.2
14 South Africa 8 0.1
15 Hong Kong 6 0.1
  Total population 5,284  

Table source: Office for National Statistics

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In 2011 there were 465,000 foreign-born residents in Yorkshire and the Humber, 9 per cent of the usual resident population. The largest proportion of foreign-born residents in the region were born in Pakistan (2 per cent).

Health and the provision of unpaid care

Yorkshire and the Humber had 19 per cent of people whose day to day activities were limited by a long term health problem or disability. This region had 10 per cent of its people providing unpaid care for someone with an illness or disability (10 per cent for England and Wales as a whole).

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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