Census 2011 briefing

A census is a count of the population which takes place in the UK every ten years. It's carried out by the ONS (Office of National Statistics) and asks everyone to share information about the people in their household. This information helps government and local authorities plan, fund and deliver important everyday services like housing, education healthcare and transport.

When the last census took place on 27 March 2011, we had the largest population to date with:

  • 56.1 million in England and Wales (27.6 million men and 28.5 million women)
  • 53.0 million in England
  • 3.1 million in Wales

The population of England and Wales has grown by 3.7 million in the 10 years since the last census. It had risen from 52.4 million in 2001, an increase of 7.1 per cent. This was the largest growth in the population in England and Wales in any 10-year period since the census began in 1801.

Additional information

Page last updated: 07 July 2017