The first data for the 2021 Census was released on 28th June 2022. It contains rounded population information from Local Authority (district) level to the whole of England & Wales.
This population information can be broken down by age (in single year increments from 0 to 90) and by sex. It represents everyone who was usually resident on Census Day which was 21st March 2021.
The population of Somerset was 571,600, an increase of around 41,600 people since 2011. This is a rise of 7.8% since 2011 and a 36.9% rise in 40 years since 1981.
The population of England & Wales was 59,597,300, an increase of more than 3.5million people since 2011. This is a rise of 6.3% since 2011 and a 24.3% rise in 40 years since 1981.
Somerset West & Taunton was formed in 2019 by combining Taunton Deane and West Somerset Districts. Previous Census data has been merged to show what it would have looked like.
The chart below shows that the population of each of the 4 districts has grown steadily since 2011.
Total Census population of Somerset local authorities since 1981
|Somerset West & Taunton
||Change from 1981 to 1991
||Change from 1991 to 2001
||Change from 2001 to 2011
||Change from 2011 to 2021
|Somerset West & Taunton
5-year age bands
The population pyramid below shows that for both male and female sexes the largest age groups are among the older age bands.
The age bands with the highest population are 50-54 and 55-59. There were 84,700 people in their 50s accounting for nearly 15% of the total population
We traditionally see a thinning of the ‘pyramid’ in the late teens/early 20s due to people either leaving the county to attend University or to work.
We then tend to see a rise in the population aged 40+ however in this census the rebound appears to be faster with the number of people in the 25-29 and 30-34 age bands rising and more similar to those in the 40s.
- Most 5-year age bands saw an increase in population between 2011 and 2021.
- The largest increase was in the 70-74 age band with over 13,000 more people than in 2011
- Only one age band over 50 saw a reduction
- The largest decreases are in the 40-44 and 45-49 age bands, however there is a similarly sized increase in the 25-29 and 30-34 age bands
- Just over 30,000 more people aged 65+ than in 2011
- Three quarters of the population growth between 2011 and 2021 was in the 65+ age range
As previously mentioned, we know many people tend to leave the county to attend University or work elsewhere, however this census shows a further reduction in the number of people in this late teen/early 20s age range. The cause of this is unclear at the moment.
We also see the ‘rebound’ in the late 20s more clearly and along with the drop in the 40s this explains why the population of people in the 30s and 40s are more even than we expect to see.
Looking at the percentage changes of 5-year age band population between 2011 and 2021 we again see the impact of the aging population.
There has been more than a 50% increase in the number of people aged 70-74 and there are a third more people aged 90 or over.
The rise in the number of people in the mid-20s to mid-30s is also noticeable here with a nearly 30% increase in the number of people aged 30-34.
We are expecting more Census data to be released from October 2022 onwards and we will continue to add new analysis as new data is released.
The Census 2021 release plans can be viewed on the ONS web site